Dcas is required for importin-α3 nuclear export and mechano-sensory organ cell fate specification in Drosophila

Hildegard Tekotte, Daniela Berdnik, Tibor Török, Michael Buszczak, Lynn M. Jones, Lynn Cooley, Jürgen A. Knoblich, Ilan Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We have studied the in vivo function and tissue specificity of Dcas, the Drosophila ortholog of CAS, the importin β - like export receptor for importin α. While dcas mRNA is specifically expressed in the embryonic central nervous system, Dcas protein is maternally supplied to all embryonic cells and its nuclear/cytoplasmic distribution varies in different tissues and times in development. Unexpectedly, hypomorphic alleles of dcas show specific transformations in mechano-sensory organ cell identity, characteristic of mutations that increase Notch signaling. Dcas is essential for efficient importin-α3 nuclear export in mechano-sensory cells and the surrounding epidermal cells and is indirectly required for the import of one component of the Notch pathway, but not others tested. We interpret the specificity of the dcas phenotype as indicating that one or more Notch signaling components are particularly sensitive to a disruption in nuclear protein import. We propose that mutations in house keeping genes often cause specific developmental phenotypes, such as those observed in many human genetic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002


  • CAS
  • Cselp
  • Dcas
  • Drosophila
  • Importin alpha nuclear export
  • Mechanosensory bristle development
  • Nucleocytoplasmic transport
  • Peripheral nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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