Wash functions downstream of Rho1 GTPase in a subset of Drosophila immune cell developmental migrations.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Molecular biology of the cell, Volume 26, Issue 9, p.1665-74 (2015)


Basic Sciences Division, Center-Authored Paper, Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Scientific Imaging Core Facility


Drosophila immune cells, the hemocytes, undergo four stereotypical developmental migrations to populate the embryo, where they provide immune reconnoitering, as well as a number of non-immune-related functions necessary for proper embryogenesis. Here, we describe a role for Rho1 in one of these developmental migrations in which posteriorly located hemocytes migrate toward the head. This migration requires the interaction of Rho1 with its downstream effector Wash, a Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome family protein. Both Wash knockdown and a Rho1 transgene harboring a mutation that prevents Wash binding exhibit the same developmental migratory defect as Rho1 knockdown. Wash activates the Arp2/3 complex, whose activity is needed for this migration, whereas members of the WASH regulatory complex (SWIP, Strumpellin, and CCDC53) are not. Our results suggest a WASH complex-independent signaling pathway to regulate the cytoskeleton during a subset of hemocyte developmental migrations.