An apical brush border is a characteristic of many mature epithelia. This dynamic structure consists of dense microvilli supported by F-actin bundles that protrude into the apical cytoplasm, where they are crosslinked by spectrin and myosin II to form the terminal web. Little is known about the terminal web, through which vesicles transit to and from the apical membrane. Analysis of mutations in βHeavy-spectrin, the Drosophild brush border spectrin, reveals that this protein is necessary for the maintenance of Rab5 endosomes in the midgut. As a consequence, an apical H+ V-ATPase that is probably responsible for lumenal acidification is lost both from the brush border and Rab5 endosomes. Epistasis tests indicate that βHeavy-spectrin is required during endocytosis after Dynamin and before Rab5-mediated endosome activities. These data are consistent with the location of spectrin in the terminal web, and suggest that this molecule is required for correct sorting decisions at the early endosome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology