What's new in edition 80 |
Gene sites new with this edition
The Interactive Fly was first released July/August 1996, with updates provided at approximately one month intervals, through September 1997 (edition 13). Updating quarterly started with edition 14. With edition 40, the Interactive Fly began to schedule updates three times a year: fall, winter and spring.
- Gene sites new with this edition of the Interactive Fly:
- ADP ribosylation factor at 79F
Pruning, whereby neurons eliminate their exuberant neurites, is central
for the maturation of the nervous system. In Drosophila, sensory neurons, ddaCs, selectively prune their larval dendrites without
affecting their axons during metamorphosis. However, it is unknown whether
the secretory pathway plays a role in dendrite pruning. This study shows
that the small GTPase Arf1, an important regulator of secretory pathway, is specifically required for dendrite pruning of ddaC/D/E sensory neurons but dispensable for apoptosis of ddaF neurons. Analyses of the GTP and GDP-locked forms of Arf1 indicate that the cycling of Arf1 between GDP-bound and GTP-bound forms is essential for dendrite pruning. Sec71
was identified as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Arf1 that
preferentially interacts with its GDP-bound form. Like Arf1, Sec71 is also
important for dendrite pruning, but not apoptosis, of sensory neurons.
Arf1 and Sec71 are interdependent for their localizations on Golgi.
Finally, Sec71/Arf1-mediated trafficking process is a prerequisite for Rab5-dependent
endocytosis to facilitate endocytosis and degradation of the cell adhesion molecule Neuroglian (Wang, 2017).
- Chromatin-linked adaptor for MSL proteins
Heterogametic species require chromosome-wide gene regulation to compensate for differences in sex chromosome gene dosage. In Drosophila melanogaster, transcriptional output from the single male X-chromosome is equalized to that of XX females by recruitment of the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex, which increases transcript levels of active genes 2-fold. The MSL complex contains several protein components and two non-coding RNA on the X (roX) RNAs that are transcriptionally activated by the MSL complex. Targeting of the MSL complex to the X-chromosome has been shown to be dependent on the Chromatin-linked adapter for MSL proteins (CLAMP) zinc finger protein. To better understand CLAMP function, the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system was used to generate a frameshift mutation in the clamp gene that eliminates expression of the CLAMP protein. clamp null females were found to die at the third instar larval stage, while almost all clamp null males die at earlier developmental stages. Moreover, it was found that in clamp null females roX gene expression is activated, whereas in clamp null males roX gene expression is reduced. Therefore, CLAMP regulates roX abundance in a sex-specific manner. These results provide new insights into sex-specific gene regulation by an essential transcription factor (Urban, 2017).
Homeostatic signaling systems are thought to interface with other forms of plasticity to ensure flexible yet stable levels of neurotransmission. The role of neurotransmitter receptors in this process, beyond mediating neurotransmission itself, is not known. Through a forward genetic screen, the Drosophila kainate-type ionotropic glutamate receptor subunit DKaiR1D was identified as being required for the retrograde, homeostatic potentiation of synaptic strength. DKaiR1D is necessary in presynaptic motor neurons, localized near active zones, and confers robustness to the calcium sensitivity of baseline synaptic transmission. Acute pharmacological blockade of DKaiR1D disrupts homeostatic plasticity, indicating that this receptor is required for the expression of this process, distinct from developmental roles. Finally, this study demonstrates that calcium permeability through DKaiR1D is necessary for baseline synaptic transmission, but not for homeostatic signaling. It is proposed that DKaiR1D is a glutamate autoreceptor that promotes robustness to synaptic strength and plasticity with active zone specificity (Kiragasi, 2017).
- Neprilysin 4
Insulin and IGF signaling are critical to numerous developmental and physiological processes, with perturbations being pathognomonic of various diseases, including diabetes. Although the functional roles of the respective signaling pathways have been extensively studied, the control of insulin production and release is only partially understood. This study shows that in Drosophila expression of insulin-like peptides is regulated by neprilysin activity. Concomitant phenotypes of altered expression of the metallopeptidase neprilysin, included impaired food intake, reduced body size, and characteristic changes in the metabolite composition. Ectopic expression of a catalytically inactive mutant did not elicit any of the phenotypes, which confirms abnormal peptide hydrolysis as a causative factor. A screen for corresponding substrates of the neprilysin identified distinct peptides that regulate insulin-like peptide expression, feeding behavior, or both. The high functional conservation of neprilysins and their substrates renders the characterized principles applicable to numerous species, including higher eukaryotes and humans (Hallier, 2016).
- Prefoldin 2
Prefoldin is a molecular chaperone complex that regulates tubulin function in mitosis. This study shows that Prefoldin depletion results in disruption of neuroblast polarity, leading to neuroblast overgrowth in Drosophila larval brains. Interestingly, co-depletion of Prefoldin and Partner of Inscuteable (Pins) leads to the formation of gigantic brains with severe neuroblast overgrowth, despite that Pins depletion alone results in smaller brains with partially disrupted neuroblast polarity. This study shows that Prefoldin acts synergistically with Pins to regulate asymmetric division of both neuroblasts and Intermediate Neural Progenitors (INPs). Surprisingly, co-depletion of Prefoldin and Pins also induces dedifferentiation of INPs back into neuroblasts, while depletion either Prefoldin or Pins alone is insufficient to do so. Furthermore, knocking down either α-tubulin or β-tubulin in pins- mutant background results in INP dedifferentiation back into neuroblasts, leading to the formation of ectopic neuroblasts. Overexpression of α-tubulin suppresses neuroblast overgrowth observed in prefoldin pins double mutant brains. These data elucidate an unexpected function of Prefoldin and Pins in synergistically suppressing dedifferentiation of INPs back into neural stem cells (Zhang, 2016).
Transverse (T)-tubules make-up a specialized network of tubulated muscle cell membranes involved in excitation-contraction coupling for power
of contraction. Little is known about how T-tubules maintain highly
organized structures and contacts throughout the contractile system
despite the ongoing muscle remodeling that occurs with muscle atrophy,
damage and aging. This study uncovered an essential role for autophagy
in T-tubule remodeling with genetic screens of a developmentally regulated
remodeling program in Drosophila abdominal muscles. It was shown
that autophagy is both upregulated with and required for progression
through T-tubule disassembly stages. Along with known mediators of
autophagosome-lysosome fusion, the screens uncover an unexpected shared
role for Rab2
with a broadly conserved function in autophagic clearance. Rab2 localizes
to autophagosomes and binds to HOPS complex members, (Jiang, 2014; Takáts, 2014) suggesting a direct
role in autophagosome tethering/fusion. Together, the high membrane flux
with muscle remodeling permits unprecedented analysis both of T-tubule
dynamics and fundamental trafficking mechanisms (Fujita, 2017).
- Rab3 interacting molecule
The strength of synaptic connections varies significantly and is a key determinant of communication within neural circuits. Mechanistic insight into presynaptic factors that establish and modulate neurotransmitter release properties is crucial to understanding synapse strength, circuit function, and neural plasticity. Drosophila Fife, a Piccolo-RIM homolog. has been shown to regulate neurotransmission and motor behavior through an unknown mechanism. This study demonstrates that Fife localizes and interacts with RIM (Rab3 interacting molecule) at the active zone cytomatrix to promote neurotransmitter release. Loss of Fife results in the severe disruption of active zone cytomatrix architecture and molecular organization. Through electron tomographic and electrophysiological studies, a decrease was found in the accumulation of release-ready synaptic vesicles and their release probability caused by impaired coupling to Ca2+ channels. Finally, Fife was found to be essential for the homeostatic modulation of neurotransmission. It is proposed that Fife organizes active zones to create synaptic vesicle release sites within nanometer distance of Ca2+ channel clusters for reliable and modifiable neurotransmitter release (Bruckner 2016).
The small GTPase Rab5 promotes recruitment of the
Ccz1-Mon1 guanosine exchange complex to endosomes to activate Rab7, which facilitates endosome maturation and fusion with lysosomes. How these factors function during autophagy is incompletely understood. This study shows that autophagosomes accumulate due to impaired fusion with lysosomes upon loss of the Ccz1-Mon1-Rab7 module in starved Drosophila fat cells. In contrast, autophagosomes generated in Rab5 null mutant cells normally fuse with lysosomes during the starvation response. Consistent with that, Rab5 is dispensable for the Ccz1-Mon1-dependent recruitment of Rab7 to PI3P-positive autophagosomes, which are generated by the action of the Atg14-containing Vps34 PI3 kinase complex. Finally, Rab5 was found to be required for proper lysosomal function. Thus, the Ccz1-Mon1-Rab7 module is required for autophagosome-lysosome fusion, whereas Rab5 loss interferes with a later step of autophagy: the breakdown of autophagic cargo within lysosomes (Hegedus, 2016).
date revised: 2 September 2017
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