Microarray analysis to identify Egfr-responsive genes
ABSTRACT: The highly conserved Epidermal Growth Factor-receptor (Egfr) pathway is required in all animals for normal development and homeostasis; consequently, aberrant Egfr signaling is implicated in a number of diseases. Genetic analysis of Drosophila melanogaster Egfr has contributed significantly to understanding this conserved pathway and has led to the discovery of new components and targets. Here we used microarray analysis of Drosophila third instar wing discs, in which Egfr signaling was perturbed, to identify new Egfr-responsive genes. Upregulated transcripts included five known targets suggesting the approach was valid. We investigated the function of 29 previously uncharacterized genes, which had pronounced responses. The Egfr pathway is important for wing-vein patterning and using reverse genetic analysis we identified five genes that showed venation defects. Three of these genes are expressed in vein primordia and all showed transcriptional changes in response to altered Egfr activity consistent with being targets of the pathway. Genetic interactions with Egfr further linked two of the genes, Sulfated (Sulf1), an endosulfatase gene, and CG4096, an ADAMTS (A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase with ThromboSpondin motifs) gene, to the pathway. Sulf1 showed a strong genetic interaction with the neuregulin-like ligand vein (vn) and may influence binding of Vn to heparan-sulfated proteoglycans (HSPGs). Genetic evidence also shows that CG4096 functions by modulating activity of the Egfr ligands. The substrate(s) and how ligand activity is affected are unknown, but interestingly vertebrate EGF ligands are regulated by a related ADAMTS protein. We conclude Sulf1 and CG4096 are negative feedback regulators of Egfr signaling that function in the extracellular space to influence ligand activity. 3 replicates each of wing disc samples in which EGFR dominant negative (EGFR-DN) or EGFR activated (EGFR-TOP) transgenes were expressed with the 71B-Gal4 driver.
Project description:The highly conserved epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) pathway is required in all animals for normal development and homeostasis; consequently, aberrant Egfr signaling is implicated in a number of diseases. Genetic analysis of Drosophila melanogaster Egfr has contributed significantly to understanding this conserved pathway and led to the discovery of new components and targets. Here we used microarray analysis of third instar wing discs, in which Egfr signaling was perturbed, to identify new Egfr-responsive genes. Upregulated transcripts included five known targets, suggesting the approach was valid. We investigated the function of 29 previously uncharacterized genes, which had pronounced responses. The Egfr pathway is important for wing-vein patterning and using reverse genetic analysis we identified five genes that showed venation defects. Three of these genes are expressed in vein primordia and all showed transcriptional changes in response to altered Egfr activity consistent with being targets of the pathway. Genetic interactions with Egfr further linked two of the genes, Sulfated (Sulf1), an endosulfatase gene, and CG4096, an A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase with ThromboSpondin motifs (ADAMTS) gene, to the pathway. Sulf1 showed a strong genetic interaction with the neuregulin-like ligand vein (vn) and may influence binding of Vn to heparan-sulfated proteoglycans (HSPGs). How Drosophila Egfr activity is modulated by CG4096 is unknown, but interestingly vertebrate EGF ligands are regulated by a related ADAMTS protein. We suggest Sulf1 and CG4096 are negative feedback regulators of Egfr signaling that function in the extracellular space to influence ligand activity.
Project description:The acquisition of flight contributed to the success of insects and winged forms are present in most orders. Key to understanding the origin of wings will be knowledge of the earliest postembryonic events promoting wing outgrowth. The Drosophila melanogaster wing is intensely studied as a model appendage, and yet little is known about the beginning of wing outgrowth. Vein (Vn) is a neuregulin-like ligand for the EGF receptor (Egfr), which is necessary for global development of the early Drosophila wing disc. vn is not expressed in the embryonic wing primordium and thus has to be induced de novo in the nascent larval wing disc. We find that Decapentaplegic (Dpp), a Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) family member, provides the instructive signal for initiating vn expression. The signaling involves paracrine communication between two epithelia in the early disc. Once initiated, vn expression is amplified and maintained by autocrine signaling mediated by the E-twenty six (ETS)-factor PointedP2 (PntP2). This interplay of paracrine and autocrine signaling underlies the spatial and temporal pattern of induction of Vn/Egfr target genes and explains both body wall development and wing outgrowth. It is possible this gene regulatory network governing expression of an EGF ligand is conserved and reflects a common origin of insect wings.
Project description:How several signaling pathways are coordinated to generate complex organs through regulation of tissue growth and patterning is a fundamental question in developmental biology. The larval trachea of Drosophila is composed of differentiated functional cells and groups of imaginal tracheoblasts that build the adult trachea during metamorphosis. Air sac primordium cells (ASP) are tracheal imaginal cells that form the dorsal air sacs that supply oxygen to the flight muscles of the Drosophila adult. The ASP emerges from the tracheal branch that connects to the wing disc by the activation of both Bnl-FGF/Btl and EGFR signaling pathways. Together, these pathways promote cell migration and proliferation. In this study we demonstrate that Vein (vn) is the EGF ligand responsible for the activation of the EGFR pathway in the ASP. We also find that the Bnl-FGF/Btl pathway regulates the expression of vn through the transcription factor PointedP2 (PntP2). Furthermore, we show that the FGF target gene escargot (esg) attenuates EGFR signaling at the tip cells of the developing ASP, reducing their mitotic rate to allow proper migration. Altogether, our results reveal a link between Bnl-FGF/Btl and EGFR signaling and provide novel insight into how the crosstalk of these pathways regulates migration and growth.
Project description:Cell differentiation in developing tissues is controlled by a small set of signaling pathways, which must coordinate the timing and levels of activation to ensure robust and precise outcomes. Highly coordinated activation of signaling pathways can result from cross-regulatory interactions in multi-pathway networks. Here we explore the dynamics and function of pathway coordination between the EGFR and DPP pathways during Drosophila wing-vein differentiation. We show that simultaneous activation of both the EGFR and DPP pathways must be maintained for vein cell differentiation and that above-threshold ectopic activation of either pathway is sufficient to drive vein cell differentiation outside the proveins. The joint activation of the EGFR and DPP signaling systems is ensured by a positive feedback loop, in which the two pathways stimulate each other at the level of ligand production.
Project description:Notch signalling regulates a multitude of differentiation processes during Drosophila development. For example, Notch activity is required for proper wing vein differentiation which is hampered in mutants of either the receptor Notch, the ligand Delta or the antagonist Hairless. Moreover, the Notch pathway is involved in several aspects of Drosophila oogenesis as well. We have identified Drosophila Cyclin G (CycG) as a molecular interaction partner of Hairless, the major antagonist in the Notch signalling pathway, in vitro and in vivo. Loss of CycG was shown before to cause female sterility and to disturb the architecture of the egg shell. Nevertheless, Notch dependent processes during oogenesis appeared largely unaffected in cycG mutant egg chambers. Loss of CycG modified the dominant wing phenotypes of Notch, Delta and Hairless mutants. Whereas the Notch loss of function phenotype was ameliorated by a loss of CycG, the phenotypes of either Notch gain of function or of Delta or Hairless loss of function were enhanced. In contrast, loss of CycG had only a minor effect on the wing vein phenotype of mutants affecting the EGFR signalling pathway emphasizing the specificity of the interaction of CycG and Notch pathway members.
Project description:The pattern of the Drosophila melanogaster adult wing is heavily influenced by the expression of proteins that dictate cell fate decisions between intervein and vein during development. dSRF (Blistered) expression in specific regions of the larval wing disc promotes intervein cell fate, whereas EGFR activity promotes vein cell fate. Here, we report that the chromatin-organizing protein CAP-D3 acts to dampen dSRF levels at the anterior/posterior boundary in the larval wing disc, promoting differentiation of cells into the anterior crossvein. CAP-D3 represses KNOT expression in cells immediately adjacent to the anterior/posterior boundary, thus blocking KNOT-mediated repression of EGFR activity and preventing cell death. Maintenance of EGFR activity in these cells depresses dSRF levels in the neighboring anterior crossvein progenitor cells, allowing them to differentiate into vein cells. These findings uncover a novel transcriptional regulatory network influencing Drosophila wing vein development, and are the first to identify a Condensin II subunit as an important regulator of EGFR activity and cell fate determination in vivo.
Project description:In Drosophila melanogaster, specification of wing vein cells and sensory organ precursor (SOP) cells, which later give rise to a bristle, requires EGFR signaling. Here, we show that Pumilio (Pum), an RNA-binding translational repressor, negatively regulates EGFR signaling in wing vein and bristle development. We observed that loss of Pum function yielded extra wing veins and additional bristles. Conversely, overexpression of Pum eliminated wing veins and bristles. Heterozygotes for Pum produced no phenotype on their own, but greatly enhanced phenotypes caused by the enhancement of EGFR signaling. Conversely, over-expression of Pum suppressed the effects of ectopic EGFR signaling. Components of the EGFR signaling pathway are encoded by mRNAs that have Nanos Response Element (NRE)-like sequences in their 3'UTRs; NREs are known to bind Pum to confer regulation in other mRNAs. We show that these NRE-like sequences bind Pum and confer repression on a luciferase reporter in heterologous cells. Taken together, our evidence suggests that Pum functions as a negative regulator of EGFR signaling by directly targeting components of the pathway in Drosophila.
Project description:We characterized the establishment of an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) organizing center (EOC) during leg development in Drosophila melanogaster. Initial EGFR activation occurs in the center of leg discs by expression of the EGFR ligand Vn and the EGFR ligand-processing protease Rho, each through single enhancers, vnE and rhoE, that integrate inputs from Wg, Dpp, Dll and Sp1. Deletion of vnE and rhoE eliminates vn and rho expression in the center of the leg imaginal discs, respectively. Animals with deletions of both vnE and rhoE (but not individually) show distal but not medial leg truncations, suggesting that the distal source of EGFR ligands acts at short-range to only specify distal-most fates, and that multiple additional 'ring' enhancers are responsible for medial fates. Further, based on the cis-regulatory logic of vnE and rhoE we identified many additional leg enhancers, suggesting that this logic is broadly used by many genes during Drosophila limb development.
Project description:The Drosophila glucoside xylosyltransferase Shams xylosylates Notch and inhibits Notch signaling in specific contexts including wing vein development. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying context-specificity of the shams phenotype is not known. Considering the role of Delta-Notch signaling in wing vein formation, we hypothesized that Shams might affect Delta-mediated Notch signaling in Drosophila. Using genetic interaction studies, we find that altering the gene dosage of Delta affects the wing vein and head bristle phenotypes caused by loss of Shams or by mutations in the Notch xylosylation sites. Clonal analysis suggests that loss of shams promotes Delta-mediated Notch activation. Further, Notch trans-activation by ectopically overexpressed Delta shows a dramatic increase upon loss of shams. In agreement with the above in vivo observations, cell aggregation and ligand-receptor binding assays show that shams knock-down in Notch-expressing cells enhances the binding between Notch and trans-Delta without affecting the binding between Notch and trans-Serrate and cell surface levels of Notch. Loss of Shams does not impair the cis-inhibition of Notch by ectopic overexpression of ligands in vivo or the interaction of Notch and cis-ligands in S2 cells. Nevertheless, removing one copy of endogenous ligands mimics the effects of loss shams on Notch trans-activation by ectopic Delta. This favors the notion that trans-activation of Notch by Delta overcomes the cis-inhibition of Notch by endogenous ligands upon loss of shams. Taken together, our data suggest that xylosylation selectively impedes the binding of Notch with trans-Delta without affecting its binding with cis-ligands and thereby assists in determining the balance of Notch receptor's response to cis-ligands vs. trans-Delta during Drosophila development.
Project description:Egfr/Ras signaling promotes vein cell fate specification in the developing Drosophila wing. While the importance of Ras signaling in vein determination has been extensively documented, the mechanisms linking Ras activity to vein differentiation remain unclear. We found that Ras signaling regulates both the levels and subcellular localization of the cell adhesion molecule DE-cadherin/Shotgun (Shg) in the differentiating wing epithelium. High Ras activity in presumptive vein cells directs the apical localization of Shg containing adherens junctions, whereas low Ras activity in intervein cells allows Shg to relocalize basally. These alterations in Shg-mediated adhesion control cell shape changes that are essential for vein morphogenesis. While Decapentaplegic (Dpp) acts downstream of Ras to maintain vein cell identity in the pupal wing, our results indicate that Ras controls Shg localization via a Dpp-independent mechanism. Ras, therefore, regulates both the transcriptional responses necessary for vein cell identity, and the cell adhesive changes that determine vein and intervein cell morphology.