Xin Liang's group published'DCX-EMAP is a core organizer for the ultrastructure of Drosophila mechanosensory organelles' in Journal of Cell Biology



Mechanoreceptor cells develop specialized mechanosensory organelles (MOs), where force-sensitive channels and supporting structures are organized in an orderly manner to detect forces. It is intriguing how MOs are formed. Here, we address this issue by studying the MOs of fly ciliated mechanoreceptors. We show that the main structure of the MOs is a compound cytoskeleton formed of short microtubules and electron-dense materials (EDMs). In a knock-out mutant of DCX-EMAP, this cytoskeleton is nearly absent, suggesting that DCX-EMAP is required for the formation of the MOs and in turn fly mechanotransduction. Further analysis reveals that DCX-EMAP expresses in fly ciliated mechanoreceptors and localizes to the MOs. Moreover, it plays dual roles by promoting the assembly/stabilization of the microtubules and the accumulation of the EDMs in the MOs. Therefore, DCX-EMAP serves as a core ultrastructural organizer of the MOs, and this finding provides novel molecular insights as to how fly MOs are formed.





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