What's new in edition 85 |
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:
- Ajuba LIM protein
The Hippo signaling network controls organ growth through YAP family transcription factors, including the Drosophila Yorkie protein. YAP activity is responsive to both biochemical and biomechanical cues, with one key input being tension within the F-actin cytoskeleton. Several potential mechanisms for biomechanical regulation of YAP proteins have been described, including tension-dependent recruitment of Ajuba family proteins, which inhibit kinases that inactivate YAP proteins, to adherens junctions (AJ). This study investigated the mechanism by which the Drosophila Ajuba family protein, Ajuba LIM protein (Jub) is recruited to adherens junctions, and the contribution of this recruitment to the regulation of Yorkie. Alpha-catenin is identifed as the mechanotransducer responsible for tension-dependent recruitment of Jub by identifying a region of α-catenin that associates with Jub, and by identifying a region, which when deleted, allows constitutive, tension-independent recruitment of Jub. Increased Jub recruitment to alpha-catenin is associated with increased Yorkie activity and wing growth, even in the absence of increased cytoskeletal tension. These observations establish alpha-catenin as a multi-functional mechanotransducer and confirm Jub recruitment to alpha-catenin as a key contributor to biomechanical regulation of Hippo signaling (Alegot, 2019).
- ALG-2 interacting protein X
Abscission is the final step of cytokinesis that involves the cleavage of the intercellular bridge connecting the two daughter cells. Recent studies have given novel insight into the spatiotemporal regulation and molecular mechanisms controlling abscission in cultured yeast and human cells. The mechanisms of abscission in living metazoan tissues are however not well understood. This study shows that ALIX and the ESCRT-III component Shrub are required for completion of abscission during Drosophila female germline stem cell (fGSC) division. Loss of ALIX or Shrub function in fGSCs leads to delayed abscission and the consequent formation of stem cysts in which chains of daughter cells remain interconnected to the fGSC via midbody rings and fusome. ALIX and Shrub interact and that they co-localize at midbody rings and midbodies during cytokinetic abscission in fGSCs. Mechanistically, this study shows that the direct interaction between ALIX and Shrub is required to ensure cytokinesis completion with normal kinetics in fGSCs. It is concluded that ALIX and ESCRT-III coordinately control abscission in Drosophila fGSCs and that their complex formation is required for accurate abscission timing in GSCs in vivo (Eikenes, 2015).
- Dual oxidase
Caspases are best characterized for their function in apoptosis. However, they also have non-apoptotic functions such as apoptosis-induced proliferation (AiP), where caspases release mitogens for compensatory proliferation independently of their apoptotic role. This study reports that the unconventional myosin, Myo1D, which is known for its involvement in left/right development, is an important mediator of AiP in Drosophila. Mechanistically, Myo1D translocates the initiator caspase Dronc to the basal side of the plasma membrane of epithelial cells where Dronc promotes the activation of the NADPH-oxidase Duox for reactive oxygen species generation and AiP in a non-apoptotic manner. It is proposed that the basal side of the plasma membrane constitutes a non-apoptotic compartment for caspases. Finally, Myo1D promotes tumor growth and invasiveness of the neoplastic scrib Ras(V12) model. Together, these studies have identified a new function of Myo1D for AiP and tumorigenesis and reveal a mechanism by which cells sequester apoptotic caspases in a non-apoptotic compartment at the plasma membrane (Amcheslavsky, 2018).
- Motif 1 Binding Protein
Despite an abundance of new studies about topologically associating domains (TADs), the role of genetic information in TAD formation is still not fully understood. This study used HiCExplorer to annotate >2800 high-resolution (570 bp) TAD boundaries in Drosophila melanogaster. Eight DNA motifs enriched at boundaries were identified, including a motif bound by the M1BP protein, and two new boundary motifs. In contrast to mammals, the CTCF motif is only enriched on a small fraction of boundaries flanking inactive chromatin while most active boundaries contain the motifs bound by the M1BP or Beaf-32 proteins. Boundaries can be accurately predicted using only the motif sequences at open chromatin sites. It is proposed that DNA sequence guides the genome architecture by allocation of boundary proteins in the genome. Finally, an interactive online database is presented to access and explore the spatial organization of fly, mouse and human genomes (Ramirez, 2018).
Identification of signals for systemic adaption of hormonal regulation would help to understand the crosstalk between cells and environmental cues contributing to growth, metabolic homeostasis and development. Physiological states are controlled by precise pulsatile hormonal release, including endocrine steroids in human and ecdysteroids in insects. This study shows in Drosophila that regulation of genes that control biosynthesis and signaling of the steroid hormone ecdysone, a central regulator of developmental progress, depends on the extracellular matrix protein Obstructor-A (Obst-A). Ecdysone is produced by the prothoracic gland (PG), where sensory neurons projecting axons from the brain integrate stimuli for endocrine control. By defining the extracellular surface, Obst-A promotes morphogenesis and axonal growth in the PG. This process requires Obst-A-matrix reorganization by Clathrin/Wurst-mediated endocytosis. Wurst (Wus) is a transmembrane protein essential for clathrin-mediated endocytosis. These data identifies the extracellular matrix as essential for endocrine ring gland function, which coordinates physiology, axon morphogenesis, and developmental programs. As Obst-A and Wurst homologs are found among all arthropods, it is proposed that this mechanism is evolutionary conserved (Pesch, 2018).
- Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase
Calcium homeostasis in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum is required for correct processing and trafficking of transmembrane proteins, and defects in protein trafficking can impinge on cell signaling pathways. This study shows that mutations in the endoplasmic reticulum calcium pump SERCA disrupt Wingless signaling by sequestering Armadillo/beta-catenin away from the signaling pool. Armadillo remains bound to E-cadherin, which is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum when calcium levels there are reduced. Using hypomorphic and null SERCA alleles in combination with the loss of the plasma membrane calcium channel Orai allowed definition of three distinct thresholds of endoplasmic reticulum calcium. Wingless signaling is sensitive to even a small reduction, while Notch and Hippo signaling are disrupted at intermediate levels, and elimination of SERCA function results in apoptosis. These differential and opposing effects on three oncogenic signaling pathways may complicate the use of SERCA inhibitors as cancer therapeutics (Suisse, 2019).
Seipin, the gene that causes Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy type 2 (BSCL2), is important for adipocyte differentiation and lipid homeostasis. Previous studies in Drosophila revealed that Seipin promotes ER calcium homeostasis through the Ca(2+)-ATPase SERCA, but little is known about the events downstream of perturbed ER calcium homeostasis that lead to decreased lipid storage in Drosophila dSeipin mutants. This study shows that glycolytic metabolites accumulate and the downstream mitochondrial TCA cycle is impaired in dSeipin mutants. The impaired TCA cycle further leads to a decreased level of citrate, a critical component of lipogenesis. Mechanistically, Seipin/SERCA-mediated ER calcium homeostasis is important for maintaining mitochondrial calcium homeostasis. Reduced mitochondrial calcium in dSeipin mutants affects the TCA cycle and mitochondrial function. The lipid storage defects in dSeipin mutant fat cells can be rescued by replenishing mitochondrial calcium or by restoring the level of citrate through genetic manipulations or supplementation with exogenous metabolites. Together, these results reveal that Seipin promotes adipose tissue lipid storage via calcium-dependent mitochondrial metabolism (Ding, 2018).
- SLC22A family member
The mechanisms that constrain memory formation are
of special interest because they provide insights into the brain's
memory management systems and potential avenues for correcting cognitive
disorders. RNAi knockdown in the Drosophila mushroom body neurons (MBn) of a
newly discovered memory suppressor gene, Solute Carrier
DmSLC22A, a member of the organic cation transporter family,
enhances olfactory memory
expression, while overexpression inhibits it. The protein localizes to
the dendrites of the MBn, surrounding the presynaptic terminals of
cholinergic afferent fibers from projection neurons (Pn). Cell-based
expression assays show that this plasma membrane protein transports
cholinergic compounds with the highest affinity among several in vitro
substrates. Feeding flies choline or inhibiting acetylcholinesterase in
Pn enhances memory, an effect blocked by overexpression of the
transporter in the MBn. The data argue that DmSLC22A is a memory
suppressor protein that limits memory formation by helping to terminate
cholinergic neurotransmission at the Pn:MBn synapse (Gai, 2016).
- Suppressor of Under-Replication
Eukaryotic DNA replicates asynchronously, with discrete genomic loci replicating during different
stages of S phase. Drosophila larval tissues undergo endoreplication without cell division, and the
latest replicating regions occasionally fail to complete endoreplication, resulting in
underreplicated domains of polytene chromosomes. This study shows that linker histone H1 is required for the underreplication (UR) phenomenon
in Drosophila salivary glands. H1 directly interacts with the
Suppressor of UR (SUUR) protein and is
required for SUUR binding to chromatin in vivo. These observations implicate H1 as a critical factor
in the formation of underreplicated regions and an upstream effector of SUUR. It was also
demonstrated that the localization of H1 in chromatin changes profoundly during the endocycle. At
the onset of endocycle S (endo-S) phase, H1 is heavily and specifically loaded into late replicating
genomic regions and is then redistributed during the course of endoreplication. The data suggest
that cell cycle-dependent chromosome occupancy of H1 is governed by several independent processes.
In addition to the ubiquitous replication-related disassembly and reassembly of chromatin, H1 is
deposited into chromatin through a novel pathway that is replication-independent, rapid, and
locus-specific. This cell cycle-directed dynamic localization of H1 in chromatin may play an
important role in the regulation of DNA replication timing (Andreyeva, 2017).
The molecular mechanisms influencing healthspan are unclear but mitochondrial function, resistance to oxidative stress and proteostasis are recurring themes. Tumor necrosis factor Receptor Associated Protein 1 (TRAP1), the mitochondrial analog of Hsp75, regulates levels of reactive oxygen species in vitro and is found expressed at higher levels in tumor cells where it is thought to play a pro-survival role. While TRAP1-directed compartmentalized protein folding is a promising target for cancer therapy, its role at the organismal level is unclear. This study reports that overexpression of TRAP1 in Drosophila extends healthspan by enhancing stress resistance, locomotor activity and fertility while depletion of TRAP1 has the opposite effect, with little effect on lifespan under both conditions. In addition, modulating TRAP1 expression promotes the nuclear translocation of homeobox protein Dve and increases expression of genes associated with the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), indicating an activation of this proteostasis pathway. Notably, independent genetic knockdown of components of the UPRmt pathway dampen the enhanced stress resistance observed in TRAP1 overexpression flies. Together these studies suggest that TRAP1 regulates healthspan, potentially through activation of the UPRmt (Baqri, 2014).
The elimination of unfit cells from a tissue is a process known in Drosophila and mammals as cell competition. In a well-studied paradigm 'loser' cells that are heterozygous mutant for a haploinsufficient ribosomal protein gene are eliminated from developing tissues via apoptosis when surrounded by fitter wild-type cells, referred to as 'winner' cells. However, the mechanisms underlying the induction of this phenomenon are not fully understood. This paper reports that a CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein (C/EBP), Xrp1, which is known to help maintaining genomic stability after genotoxic stress, is necessary for the elimination of loser clones in cell competition. In loser cells, Xrp1 is transcriptionally upregulated by an autoregulatory loop and is able to trigger apoptosis - driving cell elimination. Xrp1 acts in the nucleus to regulate the transcription of several genes that have been previously involved in cell competition. It is therefore speculated that Xrp1 might play a fundamental role as a molecular caretaker of the genomic integrity of tissues (Baillon, 2018).
date revised: 4 May 2019
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