A polarized nucleus-cytoskeleton-ECM connection in migrating cardioblasts controls heart tube formation in Drosophila

ABSTRACT

The formation of the cardiac tube is a remarkable example of complex morphogenetic processes conserved from invertebrates to humans. It involves coordinated collective migration of contralateral rows of cardiac cells. The molecular processes underlying the specification of cardioblasts (CBs) prior to migration are well established and significant advances have been made in understanding the process of lumen formation. However, the mechanisms of collective cardiac cells migration remain elusive. Here, we have identified CAP and MSP300 as novel actors involved during CB migration. They both exhibit highly similar temporal and spatial expression patterns in Drosophila migrating cardiac cells, and are necessary for the correct number and alignment of CBs, a prerequisite for the coordination of their collective migration. Our data suggest that CAP and MSP300 are part of a protein complex linking focal adhesion sites to nuclei via the actin cytoskeleton that maintains post-mitotic state and correct alignment of CBs.