The Drosophila Planar Polarity Proteins Inturned and Multiple Wing Hairs Interact Physically and Function Together

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The conserved frizzled (fz) pathway regulates planar cell polarity in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. This pathway has been most intensively studied in the wing of Drosophila, where the proteins encoded by pathway genes all accumulate asymmetrically. Upstream members of the pathway accumulate on the proximal, distal, or both cell edges in the vicinity of the adherens junction. More downstream components including Inturned and Multiple Wing Hairs accumulate on the proximal side of wing cells prior to hair initiation. The Mwh protein differs from other members of the pathway in also accumulating in growing hairs. Here we show that the two Mwh accumulation patterns are under different genetic control with the early proximal accumulation being regulated by the fz pathway and the latter hair accumulation being largely independent of the pathway. We also establish recruitment by proximally localized Inturned to be a putative mechanism for the localization of Mwh to the proximal side of wing cells. Genetically inturned (in) acts upstream of mwh (mwh) and is required for the proximal localization of Mwh. We show that Mwh can bind to and co-immunoprecipitate with Inturned. We also show that these two proteins can function in close juxtaposition in vivo. An In∷Mwh fusion protein provided complete rescue activity for both in and mwh mutations. The fusion protein localized to the proximal side of wing cells prior to hair formation and in growing hairs as expected if protein localization is a key for the function of these proteins.