Meredith Price            

Undergraduate Honors Student and Research Technican II 1999-2004
B.S. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Currently Ph.D. Student, Bowerman lab, University of Oregon

The tumor suppressor APC2 as a

regulator of Wnt signaling

and the cytoskeleton

meredith's picture Drosophila Denticles as a Model for Planar Cell Polarity
Epithelial cells have the ability to orient their cytoskeletons not only along their apical-basal axis, but also orthogonal to that axis along the plane of the epithelium. This is known as planar cell polarity (PCP). PCP signaling has been characterized in several Drosophila tissues, including the wing hairs, and also plays a role in convergent extension during vertebrate morphogenesis, and in the mammalian inner ear. We are using the ventral epidermis of the Drosophila larva as a PCP model. It is patterned with segmentally-repeated denticle bands. Denticles are actin-based cellular projections over which cuticle is deposited. We have examined denticle formation both in fixed tissues and by live cell imaging.
Early in denticle development actin begins to accumulate across the entire posterior cell margin. It then forms aggregates, which sometimes merge with one another. Each aggregate initiates a denticle. Actin-associated proteins also localize to denticles, and just basal to actin is a meshwork of microtubules. We also are investigating the localization and function of known PCP pathway members throughout denticle development. Frizzled (Fz) is a known component of the PCP pathway in other Drosophila tissues and in the vertebrate embryo. Since Fz is the receptor for Wnt/Wingless (Wg) ligands in the canonical Wg pathway we investigated the roles of other Wg pathway members in the generation of PCP in denticles. Mutations in wg, disheveled, and armadillo all disrupt denticle polarity without disrupting denticle formation.


McCartney BM, Price MH, Webb RL, Hayden MA, Holot LM, Zhou M, Bejsovec A, Peifer M. (2006). Testing hypotheses for the functions of APC family proteins using null and truncation alleles in Drosophila. Development 133:2407-18.

Price, M.H.*, Roberts, D.M.*, McCartney, B.M., Jezuit, E, and Peifer, M. (2006). Cytoskeletal dynamics and cell signaling during planar polarity establishment in the Drosophila embryonic denticle. Journal of Cell Science, in press. (*=co-first authors)

Akong, K., Grevengoed, E.E., Price, M.H., McCartney, B.M., Hayden, M.A., DeNofrio, J.C., and Peifer, M.  (2002).  Drosophila APC2 and APC1 play overlapping roles in Wingless signaling in the embryo and imaginal discs.  Developmental Biology 250, 91-100.