Building from the Ground up: Basement Membranes in Drosophila Development

Adam J. Isabella, Sally Horne-Badovinac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Basement membranes (BMs) are sheetlike extracellular matrices found at the basal surfaces of epithelial tissues. The structural and functional diversity of these matrices within the body endows them with the ability to affect multiple aspects of cell behavior and communication; for this reason, BMs are integral to many developmental processes. The power of Drosophila genetics, as applied to the BM, has yielded substantial insight into how these matrices influence development. Here, we explore three facets of BM biology to which Drosophila research has made particularly important contributions. First, we discuss how newly synthesized BM proteins are secreted to and assembled exclusively on basal epithelial surfaces. Next, we examine how regulation of the structural properties of the BM mechanically supports and guides tissue morphogenesis. Finally, we explore how BMs influence development through the modulation of several major signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-336
Number of pages32
JournalCurrent Topics in Membranes
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Joel Collier and to members of the Horne-Badovinac Lab for helpful discussions and critical comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by NIH T32 HD055164 and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to A.J.I., and grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01-GM094276 and the American Cancer Society to S.H-B.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Basement membrane
  • Development
  • Drosophila
  • Morphogenesis
  • Secretion
  • Signaling


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