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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
Articles by Iwan R. Evans in JoVE
Live Imaging Of Drosophila melanogaster Embryonic Hemocyte Migrations
Iwan R. Evans1, Jennifer Zanet2, Will Wood1, Brian M. Stramer2
1Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, 2Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics, King's College London
Drosophila hemocytes disperse over the entirety of the developing embryo. This protocol demonstrates how to mount and image these migrations using embryos with fluorescently labelled hemocytes.
Other articles by Iwan R. Evans on PubMed
Experimental Cell Research. Nov, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16137676
Vav family proteins act as guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Rho family proteins, which are known to orchestrate cytoskeletal changes and cell migration in response to extracellular stimuli. Using mice deficient for Vav1, Vav2 and/or Vav3, overlapping and isoform-specific functions of the three Vav proteins have been described in various hematopoietic cell types, but their roles in regulating cell morphology and migration have not been studied in detail. To investigate whether Vav isoforms have redundant or unique functions in regulating adhesion and migration, we investigated the properties of Vav1-deficient and Vav2-deficient macrophages. Both Vav1-deficient and Vav2-deficient cells have a smaller adhesive area; yet, only Vav1-deficient cells have a reduced migration speed, which coincides with a lower level of microtubules. Vav2-deficient macrophages display a high level of constitutive membrane ruffling, but neither Vav1 nor Vav2 is required for colony stimulating factor-1-induced membrane ruffling and cell spreading. Our results suggest that the migration speed of macrophages is regulated independently of spread area or membrane ruffling and that Vav1 is selectively required to maintain a normal migration speed.
Journal of Cell Science. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17179204
Ena/VASP proteins negatively regulate cell motility and contribute to repulsion from several guidance cues; however, there is currently no evidence for a role downstream of Eph receptors. Eph receptors mediate repulsion from ephrins at sites of intercellular contact during several developmental migrations. For example, the expression of ephrin-Bs in posterior halves of somites restricts neural crest cell migration to the anterior halves. Here we show that ephrin-B2 destabilises neural crest cell lamellipodia when presented in a substrate-bound or soluble form. Our timelapse studies show that repulsive events are associated with the rearward collapse and subsequent loss of lamellipodia as membrane ruffles. We hypothesise that Ena/VASP proteins contribute to repulsion from ephrins by destabilising cellular protrusions and show that Ena/VASP-deficient fibroblasts exhibit reduced repulsion from both ephrin-A and ephrin-B stripes compared to wild-type controls. Moreover, when EphB4 and ephrin-B2 were expressed in neighbouring Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts, VASP and Mena co-accumulated with activated Eph receptors at protrusions formed by EphB4-expressing cells. Sequestration of Ena/VASP proteins away from the periphery of these cells inhibited Eph receptor internalisation, a process that facilitates repulsion. Our results suggest that Ena/VASP proteins regulate ephrin-induced Eph receptor signalling events, possibly by destabilising lamellipodial protrusions.
PLoS Pathogens. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19609447
Drosophila embryos are well studied developmental microcosms that have been used extensively as models for early development and more recently wound repair. Here we extend this work by looking at embryos as model systems for following bacterial infection in real time. We examine the behaviour of injected pathogenic (Photorhabdus asymbiotica) and non-pathogenic (Escherichia coli) bacteria and their interaction with embryonic hemocytes using time-lapse confocal microscopy. We find that embryonic hemocytes both recognise and phagocytose injected wild type, non-pathogenic E. coli in a Dscam independent manner, proving that embryonic hemocytes are phagocytically competent. In contrast, injection of bacterial cells of the insect pathogen Photorhabdus leads to a rapid 'freezing' phenotype of the hemocytes associated with significant rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. This freezing phenotype can be phenocopied by either injection of the purified insecticidal toxin Makes Caterpillars Floppy 1 (Mcf1) or by recombinant E. coli expressing the mcf1 gene. Mcf1 mediated hemocyte freezing is shibire dependent, suggesting that endocytosis is required for Mcf1 toxicity and can be modulated by dominant negative or constitutively active Rac expression, suggesting early and unexpected effects of Mcf1 on the actin cytoskeleton. Together these data show how Drosophila embryos can be used to track bacterial infection in real time and how mutant analysis can be used to genetically dissect the effects of specific bacterial virulence factors.
Development (Cambridge, England). May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20392742
During embryonic development, Drosophila macrophages (haemocytes) undergo a series of stereotypical migrations to disperse throughout the embryo. One major migratory route is along the ventral nerve cord (VNC), where haemocytes are required for the correct development of this tissue. We show, for the first time, that a reciprocal relationship exists between haemocytes and the VNC and that defects in nerve cord development prevent haemocyte migration along this structure. Using live imaging, we demonstrate that the axonal guidance cue Slit and its receptor Robo are both required for haemocyte migration, but signalling is not autonomously required in haemocytes. We show that the failure of haemocyte migration along the VNC in slit mutants is not due to a lack of chemotactic signals within this structure, but rather to a failure in its detachment from the overlying epithelium, creating a physical barrier to haemocyte migration. This block of haemocyte migration in turn disrupts the formation of the dorsoventral channels within the VNC, further highlighting the importance of haemocyte migration for correct neural development. This study illustrates the important role played by the three-dimensional environment in directing cell migration in vivo and reveals an intriguing interplay between the developing nervous system and the blood cells within the fly, demonstrating that their development is both closely coupled and interdependent.
Disease Models & Mechanisms. Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21045209
It is seldom the primary tumour that proves fatal in cancer, with metastasis the fundamental pathological process for disease progression. Upregulation of Mena, a member of the evolutionarily conserved Ena/VASP family of actin cytoskeletal regulators, promotes metastasis and invasive motility of breast cancer cells in vivo. To complement in vitro studies of Ena/VASP function in fibroblasts, we manipulated levels of Ena, the Drosophila homologue of Mena, in migrating embryonic macrophages (haemocytes). Consistent with data from fibroblasts in vitro, Ena localises to regions of actin dynamics within migrating haemocytes, stimulates lamellipodial dynamics and positively regulates the number and length of filopodia. However, whereas Ena overexpression in fibroblasts reduces migration speeds, overexpressing Ena in haemocytes leads to a dramatic increase in migration speeds, more closely resembling the increased motility of breast cancer cells that overexpress Mena. We provide evidence that this key difference is due to spatial constraints imposed on cells within the three-dimensional environment of the embryo; this might explain how Mena can be used to promote aggressive migratory behaviour during cancer progression.