Dynamic regulation of basement membrane protein levels promotes egg chamber elongation in Drosophila

Adam J. Isabella, Sally Horne-Badovinac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Basement membranes (BMs) are sheet-like extracellular matrices that provide essential support to epithelial tissues. Recent evidence suggests that regulated changes in BM architecture can direct tissue morphogenesis, but the mechanisms by which cells remodel BMs are largely unknown. The Drosophila egg chamber is an organ-like structure that transforms from a spherical to an ellipsoidal shape as it matures. This elongation coincides with a stage-specific increase in Type IV Collagen (Col IV) levels in the BM surrounding the egg chamber; however, the mechanisms and morphogenetic relevance of this remodeling event have not been established. Here, we identify the Collagen-binding protein SPARC as a negative regulator of egg chamber elongation, and show that SPARC down-regulation is necessary for the increase in Col IV levels to occur. We find that SPARC interacts with Col IV prior to secretion and propose that, through this interaction, SPARC blocks the incorporation of newly synthesized Col IV into the BM. We additionally observe a decrease in Perlecan levels during elongation, and show that Perlecan is a negative regulator of this process. These data provide mechanistic insight into SPARC's conserved role in matrix dynamics and demonstrate that regulated changes in BM composition influence organ morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
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 American Cancer Society (RSG-14-176-01) to S.H-B.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Basement membrane
  • Drosophila
  • Morphogenesis
  • Perlecan
  • Type IV Collagen


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