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We found that mutations in small bristles (sbr) affect several tissues during the development of the fruit fly. In sbr embryos, neurons have defects in pathfinding and the body wall muscles have defective morphology. As adults, sbr flies have smaller and thinner bristles with a reduced diameter, suggesting a defective cytoskeleton within. The phenotypes we observe are consistent with defects in cell morphogenesis. We identified DmNXF1, the Drosophila homolog of a mRNA export protein that has been characterized in human (NXF1/TAP) and yeast (Mex67p) as the protein encoded by the small bristles locus. Given that a global decrease in mRNA export in these mutants is likely, the phenotypes we observe suggest that certain tissues are acutely sensitive to lower levels of cytoplasmic mRNA and the resultant decrease in protein synthesis during key stages of cellular morphogenesis.


Journal article



Publication Date





1659 - 1670


Alleles, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Cell Lineage, Chromosome Mapping, Cloning, Molecular, Cytoplasm, DNA Damage, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Models, Genetic, Molecular Sequence Data, Muscles, Mutation, Nuclear Proteins, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length, Protein Structure, Tertiary, RNA, Messenger, RNA-Binding Proteins, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid