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Gene Review

sns  -  sticks and stones

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: 43-49, CG12495, CG13752, CG13753, CG13754, ...
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Disease relevance of sns

  • Embryos mutant for D-gsc gastrulate normally but show disrupted invagination in the SNS primordium and lack one specific SNS ganglion [1].

High impact information on sns

  • The Drosophila sticks-and-stones (sns) locus was identified on the basis of its mutant phenotype, the complete absence of body wall muscles and corresponding presence of unfused myoblasts [2].
  • Identification of the SNS coding sequence revealed a putative member of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) of cell adhesion molecules [2].
  • Duf and rolling pebbles 7 (Rols7; also known as antisocial) are expressed in founders, whereas sticks and stones (SNS) is present in fcm [3].
  • The two proteins act antagonistically: loss of sns dominantly suppresses the hbs myoblast fusion and visceral mesoderm phenotypes, and enhances Hbs overexpression phenotypes [4].
  • The results reported here indicate that EGFR signaling is also required in a narrow medial domain of the head ectoderm (called 'head midline' in the following) that includes the anlagen of the medial brain, the visual system (optic lobe, larval eye) and the stomatogastric nervous system (SNS) [5].

Biological context of sns

  • During the process of cell fusion at stage 12 SNS expression decreases within the newly formed syncytia that spread out dorsally over the midgut [6].
  • We screened lines from a P-element mutagenesis, selecting those with lacZ reporter gene expression and/or a phenotype in the SNS, associated glia, and garland cells [7].
  • Using several cell-specific markers, the pattern of proliferation, morphogenesis, and neuronal differentiation of the Drosophila larval stomatogastric nervous system (SNS) was analyzed [8].

Anatomical context of sns

  • The formation of syncytia within the visceral musculature of the Drosophila midgut is dependent on duf, sns and mbc [6].
  • Additional rP298-LacZ-expressing cells arise from the posterior tip of the mesoderm, migrate anteriorly and eventually fuse with the remaining SNS-expressing cells, generating the longitudinal muscles [6].
  • Unlike the central and the peripheral nervous systems, the SNS derives from a compact epithelial anlage in which three invagination centers, each giving rise to an invagination fold headed by a tip cell, are generated [9].
  • Fusion from myoblasts to myotubes is dependent on the rolling stone gene (rost) of Drosophila [10].
  • Loss of EGFR signaling results in an almost total absence of optic lobe and larval eye, as well as severe reduction of SNS and medial brain [5].

Other interactions of sns

  • Hibris encodes a protein that is a newly identified member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and has homology to vertebrate Nephrins and Drosophila Sticks-and-Stones [11].
  • Herein, we demonstrate that SNS mediates heterotypic adhesion of S2 cells with Duf/Kirre and IrreC-rst-expressing S2 cells, and colocalizes with these proteins at points of cell contact [12].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of sns

  • Here we show that the development of the SNS is amenable to genetic dissection [7].


  1. Drosophila goosecoid participates in neural development but not in body axis formation. Hahn, M., Jäckle, H. EMBO J. (1996) [Pubmed]
  2. Drosophila SNS, a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily that is essential for myoblast fusion. Bour, B.A., Chakravarti, M., West, J.M., Abmayr, S.M. Genes Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. A positive feedback loop between Dumbfounded and Rolling pebbles leads to myotube enlargement in Drosophila. Menon, S.D., Osman, Z., Chenchill, K., Chia, W. J. Cell Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. The immunoglobulin-like protein Hibris functions as a dose-dependent regulator of myoblast fusion and is differentially controlled by Ras and Notch signaling. Artero, R.D., Castanon, I., Baylies, M.K. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. EGFR signaling is required for the differentiation and maintenance of neural progenitors along the dorsal midline of the Drosophila embryonic head. Dumstrei, K., Nassif, C., Abboud, G., Aryai, A., Aryai, A., Hartenstein, V. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. The formation of syncytia within the visceral musculature of the Drosophila midgut is dependent on duf, sns and mbc. Klapper, R., Stute, C., Schomaker, O., Strasser, T., Janning, W., Renkawitz-Pohl, R., Holz, A. Mech. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Genetic analysis of stomatogastric nervous system development in Drosophila using enhancer trap lines. Forjanic, J.P., Chen, C.K., Jäckle, H., González Gaitán, M. Dev. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Embryonic development of the stomatogastric nervous system in Drosophila. Hartenstein, V., Tepass, U., Gruszynski-Defeo, E. J. Comp. Neurol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  9. Tip cell-derived RTK signaling initiates cell movements in the Drosophila stomatogastric nervous system anlage. González-Gaitán, M., Jäckle, H. EMBO Rep. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Fusion from myoblasts to myotubes is dependent on the rolling stone gene (rost) of Drosophila. Paululat, A., Burchard, S., Renkawitz-Pohl, R. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
  11. Characterization of Drosophila hibris, a gene related to human nephrin. Dworak, H.A., Charles, M.A., Pellerano, L.B., Sink, H. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. SNS: Adhesive properties, localization requirements and ectodomain dependence in S2 cells and embryonic myoblasts. Galletta, B.J., Chakravarti, M., Banerjee, R., Abmayr, S.M. Mech. Dev. (2004) [Pubmed]
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