Cover article in Feb 1, 2009 issue of Development from Julie Merkle (Laura Lee Lab)

The article, “no poles encodes a predicted E3 ubiquitin ligase required for early embryonic development of Drosophila,” was also featured in Development’s In This Issue section (only available with subscription). Julie found that syncytial embryos derived from no poles (nopo) mutant females undergo mitotic arrest with aberrant spindles, and these defects are due to triggering of the Centrosome Inactivation Pathway, a Chk2-mediated response to DNA damage or incomplete replication. She further showed that NOPO interacts with Bendless, an E2 Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, and embryos derived from bendless females undergo a nopo-like mitotic arrest during the syncytial divisions.