Multiplexin (Mp) is the Drosophila orthologue of vertebrate collagens XV and XVIII. Like them, Mp is widely distributed in the basement membranes of the developing embryos, including those of neuroblasts in the central and peripheral nervous systems, visceral muscles of the gut, and contractile cardioblasts. Here we report the identification of mutant larvae bearing piggyBac transposon insertions that exhibit decrease Mp production associated with abdominal cuticular and wing margin defects, malformation of sensory organs and impaired sensitivity to physical stimuli. Additional findings include the abnormal ultrastructure of fatbody associated with abnormal collagen IV deposition, and reduced Wingless deposition. Collectively, these findings are consistent with the notion that Mp is required for the proper formation and/or maintenance of basement membrane, and that Mp may be involved in establishing the Wingless signaling gradients in the Drosophila embryo.
Elsevier Science BV
© 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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