Somatic muscle formation in Drosophila requires fusion of muscle founder cells with fusion-competent myoblasts. In a genetic screen for genes that control muscle development, we identified antisocial (ants), a gene that encodes an ankyrin repeat-, TPR repeat-, and RING finger-containing protein, required for myoblast fusion. In ants mutant embryos, founder cells and fusion-competent myoblasts are properly specified and patterned, but they are unable to form myotubes. ANTS, which is expressed specifically in founder cells, interacts with the cytoplasmic domain of Dumbfounded, a founder cell transmembrane receptor, and with Myoblast city, a cytoskeletal protein, both of which are also required for myoblast fusion. These findings suggest that ANTS functions as an intracellular adaptor protein that relays signals from Dumbfounded to the cytoskeleton during myoblast fusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology