Shibire mutations reveal distinct dynamin-independent and -dependent endocytic pathways in primary cultures of Drosophila hemocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have developed a primary cell culture system derived from embryonic and larval stages of Drosophila. This allows for high-resolution imaging and genetic analyses of endocytic processes. Here, we have investigated endocytic pathways of three types of molecules: an endogenous receptor that binds anionic ligands (ALs), glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein (GPI-AP), and markers of the fluid phase in primary hemocytes. We find that the endogenous AL-binding receptor (ALBR) is internalized into Rab5-positive endosomes, whereas the major portion of the fluid phase is taken up into Rab5-negative endosomes; GPI-APs are endocytosed into both classes of endosomes. ALBR and fluid-phase-containing early endosomes subsequently fuse to yield a population of Rab7-positive late endosomes. In primary culture, the endocytic phenotype of ALBR internalization in cells carrying mutations in Drosophila Dynamin (dDyn) at the shibire locus (shits) parallels the temperature-sensitive behavior of shits animals. At the restrictive temperature in shits cells, receptor-bound ALs remain completely surface accessible, localized to clathrin and alpha-adaptin-positive structures. On lowering the temperature, ALs are rapidly sequestered, suggesting a reversible block at a late step in dDyn-dependent endocytosis. By contrast, GPI-AP and fluid-phase endocytosis are quantitatively unaffected at the restrictive temperature in shits hemocytes, demonstrating a constitutive dDyn and Rab5-independent endocytic pathway in Drosophila.

publication date

  • August 15, 2003