• Morphogenesis of follicular epithelium in Drosophila melanogaster: function of von Hippel-Lindau tumour suppressor gene
  • Duchi, Serena <1979>


  • BIO/18 Genetica


  • During my PhD I have been involved in several projects regarding the morphogenesis of the follicular epithelium, such as the analysis of the pathways that correlate follicular epithelium patterning and eggshell genes expression. Moreover, I used the follicular epithelium as a model system to analyze the function of the Drosophila homolog of the human von Hippel-Lindau (d-VHL) during oogenesis, in order to gain insight into the role of h-VHL for the pathogenesis of VHL disease. h-VHL is implicated in a variety of processes and there is now a greater appreciation of HIF-independent h-VHL functions that are relevant to tumour development, including maintenance and organization of the primary cilium, maintenance of the differentiated phenotype in renal cells and regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. However, the function of h-VHL gene during development has not been fully understood. It was previously shown that d-VHL down-regulates the motility of tubular epithelial cells (tracheal cells) during embryogenesis. Epithelial morphogenesis is important for organogenesis and pivotal for carcinogenesis, but mechanisms that control it are poorly understood. The Drosophila follicular epithelium is a genetically tractable model to understand these mechanisms in vivo. Therefore, to examine whether d-VHL has a role in epithelial morphogenesis and maintenance, I performed genetic and molecular analyses by using in vivo and in vitro approaches. From my analysis, I determined that d-VHL binds to and stabilizes microtubules. Loss of d-VHL depolymerizes the microtubule network during oogenesis, leading to a possible deregulation in the subcellular trafficking transport of polarity markers from Golgi apparatus to the different domains in which follicle cells are divided. The analysis carried out has allowed to establish a significant role of d-VHL in the maintenance of the follicular epithelium integrity.


  • 2009-04-21


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Duchi, Serena (2009) Morphogenesis of follicular epithelium in Drosophila melanogaster: function of von Hippel-Lindau tumour suppressor gene , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia e fisiologia cellulare , 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1617.