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Journal Article

The putative C-type lectin Schlaff ensures epidermal barrier compactness in Drosophila


Schwarz,  H
Electron Microscopy, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Zuber, R., Shaik, K., Meyer, F., Ho, H.-N., Speidel, A., Gehring, N., et al. (2019). The putative C-type lectin Schlaff ensures epidermal barrier compactness in Drosophila. Scientific Reports, 9: 5374. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41734-9.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-57D6-3
The stability of extracellular matrices is in general ensured by cross-linking of its components. Previously, we had shown that the integrity of the layered Drosophila cuticle relies on the presence of a covalent cuticular dityrosine network. Production and composition of this structure remained unstudied. In this work, we present our analyses of the schlaff (slf) gene coding for a putative C-type lectin that is needed for the adhesion between the horizontal cuticle layers. The Slf protein mainly localizes between the two layers called epicuticle and procuticle that separate from each other when the function of Slf is reduced or eliminated paralleling the phenotype of a cuticle with reduced extracellular dityrosine. Localisation of the dityrosinylated protein Resilin to the epicuticle-procuticle interface suggests that the dityrosine network mediates the adhesion of the epicuticle to the procuticle. Ultimately, compromised Slf function is associated with massive water loss. In summary, we propose that Slf is implied in the stabilisation of a dityrosine layer especially between the epicuticle and the procuticle that in turn constitutes an outward barrier against uncontrolled water flow.