The twisted gene encodes Drosophila protein O-mannosyltransferase 2 and genetically interacts with the rotated abdomen gene encoding Drosophila protein O-mannosyltransferase 1. Academic Article uri icon


  • The family of mammalian O-mannosyltransferases includes two enzymes, POMT1 and POMT2, which are thought to be essential for muscle and neural development. Similar to mammalian organisms, Drosophila has two O-mannosyltransferase genes, rotated abdomen (rt) and DmPOMT2, encoding proteins with high homology to their mammalian counterparts. The previously reported mutant phenotype of the rt gene includes a clockwise rotation of the abdomen and defects in embryonic muscle development. No mutants have been described so far for the DmPOMT2 locus. In this study, we determined that the mutation in the twisted (tw) locus, tw(1), corresponds to a DmPOMT2 mutant. The twisted alleles represent a complementation group of recessive mutations that, similar to the rt mutants, exhibit a clockwise abdomen rotation phenotype. Several tw alleles were isolated in the past; however, none of them was molecularly characterized. We used an expression rescue approach to confirm that tw locus represents DmPOMT2 gene. We found that the tw1 allele represents an amino acid substitution within the conserved PMT domain of DmPOMT2 (TW) protein. Immunostaining experiments revealed that the protein products of both rt and tw genes colocalize within Drosophila cells where they reside in the ER subcellular compartment. In situ hybridization analysis showed that both genes have essentially overlapping patterns of expression throughout most of embryogenesis (stages 8-17), while only the rt transcript is present at early embryonic stages (5 and 6), suggesting its maternal origin. Finally, we analyzed the genetic interactions between rt and tw using several mutant alleles, RNAi, and ectopic expression approaches. Our data suggest that the two Drosophila O-mannosyltransferase genes, rt and tw, have nonredundant functions within the same developmental cascade and that their activities are required simultaneously for possibly the same biochemical process. Our results establish the possibility of using Drosophila as a model system for studying molecular and genetic mechanisms of protein O-mannosylation during development.

published proceedings

  • Genetics

author list (cited authors)

  • Lyalin, D., Koles, K., Roosendaal, S. D., Repnikova, E., Van Wechel, L., & Panin, V. M.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Lyalin, Dmitry||Koles, Kate||Roosendaal, Sigrid D||Repnikova, Elena||Van Wechel, Laura||Panin, Vladislav M

publication date

  • January 2006