|Title||Functional analysis of Niemann-Pick disease type C family protein, NPC1a, in Drosophila melanogaster.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Bialistoky, T, Manry, D, Smith, P, Ng, C, Kim, Y, Zamir, S, Moyal, V, Kalifa, R, Schedl, P, Gerlitz, O, Deshpande, G|
|Date Published||2019 May 15|
During embryonic gonad coalescence, primordial germ cells (PGCs) follow a carefully choreographed migratory route circumscribed by guidance signals towards somatic gonadal precursor cells (SGPs). In Drosophila melanogaster, SGP-derived Hedgehog (Hh), which serves as a guidance cue for the PGCs, is potentiated by mesodermally restricted HMGCoA-reductase (Hmgcr) and the ABC transporter Multi-drug-resistant-49 (Mdr49). Given the importance of cholesterol modification in the processing and long-distance transmission of the Hh ligand, we have analyzed the involvement of the Niemann-Pick disease type C-1a (NPC1a) protein, a cholesterol transporter, in germ cell migration and Hedgehog signaling. We show that mesoderm-specific inactivation of Npc1a results in germ cell migration defects. Similar to Mdr49, PGC migration defects in the Npc1a embryos are ameliorated by a cholesterol-rich diet. Consistently, reduction in Npc1a weakens the ability of ectopic HMG Coenzyme A reductase (Hmgcr) to induce germ cell migration defects. Moreover, compromising Npc1a levels influences Hh signaling adversely during wing development, a process that relies upon long-range Hh signaling. Last, doubly heterozygous embryos (Mdr49/Npc1a) display enhanced germ cell migration defects when compared with single mutants (Npc1a/+ or Mdr49/+), supporting cooperative interaction between the two.