What's new in edition 88 |
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:
- Carrier of Wingless
The first Wnt signaling ligand discovered, Drosophila Wingless (Wg; Wnt1 in mammals), plays critical roles in neuromuscular junction (NMJ) development, regulating synaptic architecture and function. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), consisting of a core protein with heparan sulfate (HS) glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains, bind to Wg ligands to control both extracellular distribution and intercellular signaling function. Drosophila HSPGs previously shown to regulate Wg trans-synaptic signaling at the NMJ include the glypican Dally-like Protein (Dlp) and perlecan Terribly Reduced Optic Lobes (Trol). This study investigated synaptogenic functions of the most recently described Drosophila HSPG, secreted Carrier of Wingless (Cow), which directly binds Wg in the extracellular space. At the glutamatergic NMJ, Cow secreted from the presynaptic motor neuron was found to act to limit synaptic architecture and neurotransmission strength. In cow null mutants, this study found increased synaptic bouton number and elevated excitatory current amplitudes, phenocopying presynaptic Wg overexpression. cow null mutants exhibit an increased number of glutamatergic synapses and increased synaptic vesicle (SV) fusion frequency based both on GCaMP imaging and electrophysiology recording. Membrane-tethered Wg prevents cow null defects in NMJ development, indicating that Cow mediates secreted Wg signaling. It has been shown previously that the secreted Wg deacylase Notum restricts Wg signaling at the NMJ. This study shows that Cow and Notum work through the same pathway to limit synaptic development. It is concluded Cow acts cooperatively with Notum to coordinate neuromuscular synapse structural and functional differentiation via negative regulation of Wg trans-synaptic signaling within the extracellular synaptomatrix (Kopke, 2020).
Wound closure in the Drosophila larval epidermis mainly involves non-proliferative, endocyling epithelial cells. Consequently, it is largely mediated by cell growth and migration. Both cell growth and migration in Drosophila require the co-chaperone-encoding gene cdc37. Larvae lacking cdc37 in the epidermis failed to close wounds, and the cells of the epidermis failed to change cell shape and polarize. Likewise, wound-induced cell growth was significantly reduced, and correlated with a reduction in the size of the cell nucleus. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, which is essential for wound closure, was not typically activated in injured cdc37 knockdown larvae. In addition, JNK, Hep, Mkk4, and Tak1 protein levels were reduced, consistent with previous reports showing that Cdc37 is important for the stability of various client kinases. Protein levels of the integrin beta subunit and its wound-induced protein expression were also reduced, reflecting the disruption of JNK activation, which is crucial for expression of integrin beta during wound closure. These results are consistent with a role of Cdc37 in maintaining the stability of the JNK pathway kinases, thus mediating cell growth and migration during Drosophila wound healing (Lee, 2019).
Collective cell migration is involved in various developmental and pathological processes, including the dissemination of various cancer cells. During Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis, a group of cells called border cells migrate collectively toward the oocyte. This study shows that members of the Arf family of small GTPases and some of their regulators are required for normal border cell migration. Notably, it was found that the ArfGAP Drongo and its GTPase-activating function are essential for the initial detachment of the border cell cluster from the basal lamina. Drongo controls the localization of the myosin phosphatase Flapwing in order to regulate myosin II activity at the back of the cluster. Moreover, toward the class III Arf, Drongo acts antagonistically to the guanine exchange factor Steppke. Overall, this work describes a mechanistic pathway that promotes the local actomyosin contractility necessary for border cell detachment (Zeledon, 2019).
At the Drosophila neuromuscular junction,
inhibition of postsynaptic glutamate receptors activates retrograde
signaling that precisely increases presynaptic neurotransmitter release
to restore baseline synaptic strength. However, the nature of the
underlying postsynaptic induction process remains enigmatic. In this
study a forward genetic screen is described to discover factors in the
postsynaptic compartment necessary to generate retrograde homeostatic
signaling. This approach identified insomniac
(inc), a putative adaptor for the Cullin-3 (Cul3) ubiquitin
ligase complex, which together with Cul3 is essential for normal sleep
regulation. Interestingly, it was found that Inc and Cul3 rapidly
accumulate at postsynaptic compartments following acute receptor
inhibition and are required for a local increase in mono-ubiquitination. Finally, it was
shown that Peflin,
a Ca(2+)-regulated Cul3 co-adaptor, is necessary for homeostatic
communication, suggesting a relationship between Ca(2+) signaling and
control of Cul3/Inc activity in the postsynaptic compartment. This study
suggests that Cul3/Inc-dependent mono-ubiquitination, compartmentalized
at postsynaptic densities, gates retrograde signaling and provides an
intriguing molecular link between the control of sleep and homeostatic
plasticity at synapses (Kikuma, 2019).
- Ionotropic receptor 21a
Mosquitoes transmit pathogens that kill >700,000 people annually. These insects use body heat to locate and feed on warm-blooded hosts, but the molecular basis of such behavior is unknown. This study identified Ionotropic receptor IR21a, a receptor conserved throughout insects, as a key mediator of heat seeking in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. Although Ir21a mediates heat avoidance in Drosophila, it drives heat seeking and heat-stimulated blood feeding in Anopheles. At a cellular level, Ir21a is essential for the detection of cooling, suggesting that during evolution mosquito heat seeking relied on cooling-mediated repulsion. These data indicate that the evolution of blood feeding in Anopheles involves repurposing an ancestral thermoreceptor from non-blood-feeding Diptera (Greppi, 2020).
- maternal gene required for meiosis
Temporal patterning is a seminal method of expanding neuronal diversity. This study has unravel a mechanism decoding neural stem cell temporal gene expression and transforming it into discrete neuronal fates. This mechanism is characterized by hierarchical gene expression. First, Drosophila neuroblasts express opposing temporal gradients of RNA-binding proteins, Imp and Syp. These proteins promote or inhibit chinmo translation, yielding a descending neuronal gradient. Together, first and second-layer temporal factors define a temporal expression window of BTB-zinc finger nuclear protein, Mamo. The precise temporal induction of Mamo is achieved via both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. Finally, Mamo is essential for the temporally defined, terminal identity of alpha'/beta' mushroom body neurons and identity maintenance. This study describes a straightforward paradigm of temporal fate specification where diverse neuronal fates are defined via integrating multiple layers of gene regulation. The neurodevelopmental roles of orthologous/related mammalian genes suggest a fundamental conservation of this mechanism in brain development (Liu, 2019).
- Nucleoporin 93kD-1
Interactions between the genome and the nuclear pore complex (NPC) have been implicated in multiple gene regulatory processes, but the underlying logic of these interactions remains poorly defined. This study reports high-resolution chromatin binding maps of two core components of the NPC, Nup107 and Nup93, in Drosophila cells. This investigation uncovered differential binding of these NPC subunits, where Nup107 preferentially targets active genes while Nup93 associates primarily with Polycomb-silenced regions. Comparison to Lamin-associated domains (LADs) revealed that NPC binding sites can be found within LADs, demonstrating a linear binding of the genome along the nuclear envelope. Importantly, this study identified a functional role of Nup93 in silencing of Polycomb target genes and in spatial folding of Polycomb domains. These findings lend to a model where different nuclear pores bind different types of chromatin via interactions with specific NPC sub-complexes, and a subset of Polycomb domains is stabilized by interactions with Nup93 (Gozalo, 2019).
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a continuous cell-wide membrane network. Network formation has been associated with proteins producing membrane curvature and fusion, such as reticulons and atlastin. Regulated network fragmentation, occurring in different physiological contexts, is less understood. This study finds that the ER has an embedded fragmentation mechanism based upon the ability of reticulon to produce fission of elongating network branches. In Drosophila, Rtnl1-facilitated fission is counterbalanced by atlastin-driven fusion, with the prevalence of Rtnl1 leading to ER fragmentation. Ectopic expression of Drosophila reticulon in COS-7 cells reveals individual fission events in dynamic ER tubules. Consistently, in vitro analyses show that reticulon produces velocity-dependent constriction of lipid nanotubes leading to stochastic fission via a hemifission mechanism. Fission occurs at elongation rates and pulling force ranges intrinsic to the ER, thus suggesting a principle whereby the dynamic balance between fusion and fission controlling organelle morphology depends on membrane motility (Espadas, 2019).
Promoting axon regeneration in the central and peripheral nervous system is of clinical importance in neural injury and neurodegenerative diseases. Both pro- and anti-regeneration factors are being identified. Previous work has shown that the Rtca mediated RNA repair/splicing pathway restricts axon regeneration by inhibiting the nonconventional splicing of Xbp1 mRNA under cellular stress. However, the downstream effectors remain unknown. Through transcriptome profiling this study has shown that the tubulin polymerization-promoting protein (TPPP) ringmaker/ringer is dramatically increased in Rtca-deficient Drosophila sensory neurons, which is dependent on Xbp1. Ringer is expressed in sensory neurons before and after injury, and is cell-autonomously required for axon regeneration. While loss of ringer abolishes the regeneration enhancement in Rtca mutants, its overexpression is sufficient to promote regeneration both in the peripheral and central nervous system. Ringer maintains microtubule stability/dynamics with the microtubule-associated protein Futsch/MAP1B, which is also required for axon regeneration. Furthermore, ringer lies downstream from and is negatively regulated by the microtubule-associated deacetylase HDAC6, which functions as a regeneration inhibitor. Taken together, these findings suggest that Ringer acts as a hub for microtubule regulators that relays cellular status information, such as cellular stress, to the integrity of microtubules in order to instruct neuroregeneration (Monahan Vargas, 2020).
Adipocytes store nutrients as lipid droplets (LDs), but how they organize their LD stores to balance lipid uptake, storage, and mobilization remains poorly understood. Using Drosophila fat body (FB) adipocytes, this study characterized spatially distinct LD populations that are maintained by different lipid pools. Peripheral LDs (pLDs) were identified that make close contact with the plasma membrane (PM) and are maintained by lipophorin-dependent lipid trafficking. pLDs are distinct from larger cytoplasmic medial LDs (mLDs), which are maintained by FASN1-dependent de novo lipogenesis. Sorting nexin CG or Snazarus (Snz) associates with pLDs and regulates LD homeostasis at ER-PM contact sites. Loss of Snz perturbs pLD organization, whereas Snz over-expression drives LD expansion, triacylglyceride production, starvation resistance, and lifespan extension through a Desaturase 1-dependent pathway. It is proposed that Drosophila adipocytes maintain spatially distinct LD populations, and Snz is identified as a regulator of LD organization and inter-organelle crosstalk (Ugrankar, 2019).
- Suppressor of variegation 2-10
Regulation of transcription is the main mechanism responsible for precise control of gene expression. Whereas the majority of transcriptional regulation is mediated by DNA-binding transcription factors that bind to regulatory gene regions, an elegant alternative strategy employs small RNA guides, Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) to identify targets of transcriptional repression. This study shows that in Drosophila the small ubiquitin-like protein SUMO and the SUMO E3 ligase Su(var)2-10 are required for piRNA-guided deposition of repressive chromatin marks and transcriptional silencing of piRNA targets. Su(var)2-10 links the piRNA-guided target recognition complex to the silencing effector by binding the piRNA/Piwi complex and inducing SUMO-dependent recruitment of the SetDB1/Wde histone methyltransferase effector. It is proposed that in Drosophila, the nuclear piRNA pathway has co-opted a conserved mechanism of SUMO-dependent recruitment of the SetDB1/Wde chromatin modifier to confer repression of genomic parasites (Ninova, 2020a).
- Transport and Golgi organization 1
Exit of secretory cargo from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) takes place at specialized domains called ER exit sites (ERESs). In mammals, loss of TANGO1 and other MIA/cTAGE (melanoma inhibitory activity/cutaneous T cell lymphoma-associated antigen) family proteins prevents ER exit of large cargoes such as collagen. This study shows that Drosophila melanogaster Tango1, the only MIA/cTAGE family member in fruit flies, is a critical organizer of the ERES-Golgi interface. Tango1 rings hold COPII (coat protein II; see Sec23) carriers and Golgi in close proximity at their center. Loss of Tango1, present at ERESs in all tissues, reduces ERES size and causes ERES-Golgi uncoupling, which impairs secretion of not only collagen, but also all other cargoes examined. Further supporting an organizing role of Tango1, its overexpression creates more and larger ERESs. These results suggest that spatial coordination of ERES, carrier, and Golgi elements through Tango1's multiple interactions increases secretory capacity in Drosophila and allows secretion of large cargo (Liu, 2017).
- Transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily M
Egg activation is the process in which mature oocytes are released from developmental arrest and gain competency for embryonic development. In Drosophila and other arthropods, eggs are activated by mechanical pressure in the female reproductive tract, whereas in most other species, eggs are activated by fertilization. Despite the difference in the trigger, Drosophila shares many conserved features with higher vertebrates in egg activation, including a rise of intracellular calcium in response to the trigger. In Drosophila, this calcium rise is initiated by entry of extracellular calcium due to opening of mechanosensitive ion channels and initiates a wave that passes across the egg prior to initiation of downstream activation events. This study combined inhibitor tests, germ-line-specific RNAi knockdown, and germ-line-specific CRISPR/Cas9 knockout to identify the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channel subfamily M (Trpm) as a critical channel that mediates the calcium influx and initiates the calcium wave during Drosophila egg activation. A reduction was observed in the proportion of eggs that hatched from trpm germ-line knockout mutant females, although eggs were able to complete some egg activation events including cell cycle resumption. Since a mouse ortholog of Trpm was recently reported also to be involved in calcium influx during egg activation and in further embryonic development, these results suggest that calcium uptake from the environment via TRPM channels is a deeply conserved aspect of egg activation (Hu, 2019).
date revised: 1 May 2020
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