Drosophila Anillin is unequally required during asymmetric cell divisions of the PNS.
During Drosophila embryogenesis, timely and orderly asymmetric cell divisions ensure the correct number of each cell type that make up the sensory organs of the larval PNS. We report a role of scraps, Drosophila Anillin, during these divisions. Anillin, a constitutive member of the contractile ring is essential for cytokinesis in Drosophila and vertebrates. During embryogenesis we find that zygotically transcribed scraps is required specifically for the unequal cell divisions, those in which cytokinesis occurs in an "off-centred" manner, of the pIIb and pIIIb neuronal precursor cells, but not the equal cell divisions of the lineage related precursor cells. Complementation and genetic rescue studies demonstrate this effect results from zygotic scraps and leads to polyploidy, ectopic mitosis, and loss of the neuronal precursor daughter cells. The net result of which is the formation of incomplete sense organs and embryonic lethality.DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.02.060