Activated armadillo/β-catenin does not play a general role in cell migration and process extension in drosophila

Joseph J. Loureiro, Kathryn Akong, Pelin Cayirlioglu, Andrew E. Baltus, Aaron DiAntonio, Mark Peifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Human β-catenin and its fly homolog Armadillo are best known for their roles in cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion and in transduction of Wingless/Wnt signals. It has been hypothesized that β-catenin may also regulate cell migration and cell shape changes, possibly by regulating the microtubule cytoskeleton via interactions with APC. This hypothesis was based on experiments in which a hyperstable mutant form of β-catenin was expressed in MDCK cells, where it altered their migratory properties and their ability to send out long cellular processes. We tested the generality of this hypothesis in vivo in Drosophila. We utilized three model systems in which cell migration and/or process extension are known to play key roles during development: the migration of the border cells during oogenesis, the extension of axons in the nervous system, and the migration and cell process extension of tracheal cells. In all cases, cells expressing activated Armadillo were able to migrate and extend cell processes essentially normally. The one alteration from normal involved an apparent cell fate change in certain tracheal cells. These results suggest that only certain cells are affected by activation of Armadillo/βcatenin, and that Armadillo/β-catenin does not play a general role in inhibiting cell migration or process extension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


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