Vps13 is required for timely removal of nurse cell corpses

Anita I E Faber, Marianne van der Zwaag, Hein Schepers, Ellie Eggens-Meijer, Bart Kanon, Carmen IJsebaart, Jeroen Kuipers, Ben N G Giepmans, Raimundo Freire, Nicola A Grzeschik, Catherine Rabouille, Ody C M Sibon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


Programmed cell death and consecutive removal of cellular remnants is essential for development. During late stages of Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis, the small somatic follicle cells that surround the large nurse cells, promote non-apoptotic nurse cell death, subsequently engulf them, and contribute to the timely removal of nurse cell corpses. Here we identify a role for Vps13 in the timely removal of nurse cell corpses downstream of developmental programmed cell death. Vps13 is an evolutionary conserved peripheral membrane protein associated with membrane contact sites and lipid transfer. Vps13 is expressed in late nurse cells and persistent nurse cell remnants are observed when Vps13 is depleted from nurse cells but not from follicle cells. Microscopic analysis revealed enrichment of Vps13 in close proximity to the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum in nurse cells undergoing degradation. Ultrastructural analysis uncovered the presence of an underlying Vps13-dependent membranous structure in close association with the plasma membrane. The newly identified structure and function suggests the presence of a Vps13-dependent process required for complete degradation of bulky remnants of dying cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191759
Number of pages15
Issue number20
Early online date29-Sept-2020
Publication statusPublished - 29-Oct-2020


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