During Drosophila oogenesis, the endopolyploid nuclei of germ-line nurse cells undergo a dramatic shift in morphology as oogenesis progresses; the easily-visible chromosomes are initially polytenic during the early stages of oogenesis before they transiently condense into a distinct '5-blob' configuration, with subsequent dispersal into a diffuse state. Mutations in many genes, with diverse cellular functions, can affect the ability of nurse cells to fully decondense their chromatin, resulting in a '5-blob arrest' phenotype that is maintained throughout the later stages of oogenesis. However, the mechanisms and significance of nurse-cell (NC) chromatin dispersal remain poorly understood. Here, we report that a screen for modifiers of the 5-blob phenotype in the germ line isolated the spliceosomal gene peanuts, the Drosophila Prp22. We demonstrate that reduction of spliceosomal activity through loss of peanuts promotes decondensation defects in NC nuclei during mid-oogenesis. We also show that the Prp38 spliceosomal protein accumulates in the nucleoplasm of nurse cells with impaired peanuts function, suggesting that spliceosomal recycling is impaired. Finally, we reveal that loss of additional spliceosomal proteins impairs the full decondensation of NC chromatin during later stages of oogenesis, suggesting that individual spliceosomal subcomplexes modulate expression of the distinct subset of genes that are required for correct morphology in endopolyploid nurse cells.
- Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
- Drosophila Proteins
- Drosophila melanogaster
- Germ Cells
- Microfilament Proteins