Lines is required for normal operation of Wingless, Hedgehog and Notch pathways during wing development.
ABSTRACT: The regulatory Lines/Drumstick/Bowl gene network is implicated in the integration of patterning information at several stages during development. Here, we show that during Drosophila wing development, Lines prevents Bowl accumulation in the wing primordium, confining its expression to the peripodial epithelium. In cells that lack lines or over-expressing Drumstick, Bowl stabilization is responsible for alterations such as dramatic overgrowths and cell identity changes in the proximodistal patterning owing to aberrant responses to signaling pathways. The complex phenotypes are explained by Bowl repressing the Wingless pathway, the earliest effect seen. In addition, Bowl sequesters the general co-repressor Groucho from repressor complexes functioning in the Notch pathway and in Hedgehog expression, leading to ectopic activity of their targets. Supporting this model, elimination of the Groucho interaction domain in Bowl prevents the activation of the Notch and Hedgehog pathways, although not the repression of the Wingless pathway. Similarly, the effects of ectopic Bowl are partially rescued by co-expression of either Hairless or Master of thickveins, co-repressors that act with Groucho in the Notch and Hedgehog pathways, respectively. We conclude that by preventing Bowl accumulation in the wing, primordial Lines permits the correct balance of nuclear co-repressors that control the activity of the Wingless, Notch and Hedgehog pathways.
Project description:The growth and patterning of Drosophila wing and notum primordia depend on their subdivision into progressively smaller domains by secreted signals that emanate from localized sources termed organizers. While the mechanisms that organize the wing primordium have been studied extensively, those that organize the notum are incompletely understood. The genes odd-skipped (odd), drumstick (drm), sob, and bowl comprise the odd-skipped family of C(2)H(2) zinc finger genes, which has been implicated in notum growth and patterning. Here we show that drm, Bowl, and eyegone (eyg), a gene required for notum patterning, accumulate in nested domains in the anterior notum. Ectopic drm organized the nested expression of these anterior notum genes and downregulated the expression of posterior notum genes. The cell-autonomous induction of Bowl and Eyg required bowl, while the non-autonomous effects were independent of bowl. The homeodomain protein Bar is expressed along the anterior border of the notum adjacent to cells expressing the Notch (N) ligand Delta (Dl). bowl was required to promote Bar and repress Dl expression to pattern the anterior notum in a cell-autonomous manner, while lines acted antagonistically to bowl posterior to the Bowl domain. Our data suggest that the odd-skipped genes act at the anterior notum border to organize the notum anterior-posterior (AP) axis using both autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms.
Project description:Cell fate is determined by the coordinated activity of different pathways, including the conserved Notch pathway. Activation of Notch results in the transcription of Notch targets that are otherwise silenced by repressor complexes. In Drosophila, the repressor complex comprises the transcription factor Suppressor of Hairless (Su(H)) bound to the Notch antagonist Hairless (H) and the general co-repressors Groucho (Gro) and C-terminal binding protein (CtBP). The latter two are shared by different repressors from numerous pathways, raising the possibility that they are rate-limiting. We noted that the overexpression during wing development of H mutants HdNT and HLD compromised in Su(H)-binding induced ectopic veins. On the basis of the role of H as Notch antagonist, overexpression of Su(H)-binding defective H isoforms should be without consequence, implying different mechanisms but repression of Notch signaling activity. Perhaps excess H protein curbs general co-repressor availability. Supporting this model, nearly normal wings developed upon overexpression of H mutant isoforms that bound neither Su(H) nor co-repressor Gro and CtBP. Excessive H protein appeared to sequester general co-repressors, resulting in specific vein defects, indicating their limited availability during wing vein development. In conclusion, interpretation of overexpression phenotypes requires careful consideration of possible dominant negative effects from interception of limiting factors.
Project description:Hairless (H) is the major antagonist within the Notch signalling pathway of Drosophila melanogaster. By binding to Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)] and two co-repressors, H induces silencing of Notch target genes in the absence of Notch signals. We have applied genomic engineering to create several new H alleles. To this end the endogenous H locus was replaced with an attP site by homologous recombination, serving as a landing platform for subsequent site directed integration of different H constructs. This way we generated a complete H knock out allele HattP, reintroduced a wild type H genomic and a cDNA-construct (Hgwt, Hcwt) as well as two constructs encoding H proteins defective of Su(H) binding (HLD, HiD). Phenotypes regarding viability, bristle and wing development were recorded, and the expression of Notch target genes wingless and cut was analysed in mutant wing discs or in mutant cell clones. Moreover, genetic interactions with Notch (N5419) and Delta (DlB2) mutants were addressed. Overall, phenotypes were largely as expected: both HLD and HiD were similar to the HattP null allele, indicating that most of H activity requires the binding of Su(H). Both rescue constructs Hgwt and Hcwt were homozygous viable without phenotype. Unexpectedly, the hemizygous condition uncovered that they were not identical to the wild type allele: notably Hcwt showed a markedly reduced activity, suggesting the presence of as yet unidentified regulatory or stabilizing elements in untranslated regions of the H gene. Interestingly, Hgwt homozygous cells expressed higher levels of H protein, perhaps unravelling gene-by-environment interactions.
Project description:The non-visual ß-arrestins are cytosolic proteins highly conserved across species that participate in a variety of signalling events, including plasma membrane receptor degradation, recycling, and signalling, and that can also act as scaffolding for kinases such as MAPK and Akt/PI3K. In Drosophila melanogaster, there is only a single non-visual ß-arrestin, encoded by kurtz, whose function is essential for neuronal activity. We have addressed the participation of Kurtz in signalling during the development of the imaginal discs, epithelial tissues requiring the activity of the Hedgehog, Wingless, EGFR, Notch, Insulin, and TGF? pathways. Surprisingly, we found that the complete elimination of kurtz by genetic techniques has no major consequences in imaginal cells. In contrast, the over-expression of Kurtz in the wing disc causes a phenotype identical to the loss of Hedgehog signalling and prevents the expression of Hedgehog targets in the corresponding wing discs. The mechanism by which Kurtz antagonises Hedgehog signalling is to promote Smoothened internalization and degradation in a clathrin- and proteosomal-dependent manner. Intriguingly, the effects of Kurtz on Smoothened are independent of Gprk2 activity and of the activation state of the receptor. Our results suggest fundamental differences in the molecular mechanisms regulating receptor turnover and signalling in vertebrates and invertebrates, and they could provide important insights into divergent evolution of Hedgehog signalling in these organisms.
Project description:Transcriptional repressors function primarily by recruiting co-repressors, which are accessory proteins that antagonize transcription by modifying chromatin structure. Although a repressor could function by recruiting just a single co-repressor, many can recruit more than one, with Drosophila Brinker (Brk) recruiting the co-repressors CtBP and Groucho (Gro), in addition to possessing a third repression domain, 3R. Previous studies indicated that Gro is sufficient for Brk to repress targets in the wing, questioning why it should need to recruit CtBP, a short-range co-repressor, when Gro is known to be able to function over longer distances. To resolve this we have used genomic engineering to generate a series of brk mutants that are unable to recruit Gro, CtBP and/or have 3R deleted. These reveal that although the recruitment of Gro is necessary and can be sufficient for Brk to make an almost morphologically wild-type fly, it is insufficient during oogenesis, where Brk must utilize CtBP and 3R to pattern the egg shell appropriately. Gro insufficiency during oogenesis can be explained by its downregulation in Brk-expressing cells through phosphorylation downstream of EGFR signaling.
Project description:Central to embryonic development is the generation of molecular asymmetries across fields of undifferentiated cells. The Drosophila wing imaginal disc provides a powerful system with which to understand how such asymmetries are generated and how they contribute to formation of a complex structure. Early in development, the wing primordium is subdivided into a thin layer of peripodial epithelium (PE) and an apposing thickened layer of pseudostratified columnar epithelium (CE), known as the disc proper (DP). The DP gives rise to the wing blade, hinge and dorsal mesothorax, whereas the PE makes only a minor contribution to the ventral hinge and pleura. The mechanisms that generate this major asymmetry and its contribution to wing development are poorly understood. The Lines protein destabilizes the nuclear protein Bowl in ectodermal structures. Here, we show that Bowl accumulates in the PE from early stages of wing development and is absent from the DP. Broad inhibition of Bowl in the PE resulted in the replacement of the PE with a mirror image duplication of the DP. The failure to generate the PE severely compromised wing growth and the formation of the notum. Conversely, the activation of bowl in the DP (by removal or inhibition of lines function) resulted in the transformation of the DP into PE. Thus, we provide evidence that bowl and lines act as a binary switch to subdivide the wing primordium into PE and DP, and assign crucial roles for this asymmetry in wing growth and patterning.
Project description:Gene regulatory networks have been conserved during evolution. The Drosophila wing and the vertebrate hindbrain share the gene network involved in the establishment of the boundary between dorsal and ventral compartments in the wing and adjacent rhombomeres in the hindbrain. A positive feedback-loop between boundary and non-boundary cells and mediated by the activities of Notch and Wingless/Wnt-1 leads to the establishment of a Notch dependent organizer at the boundary. By means of a Systems Biology approach that combines mathematical modeling and both in silico and in vivo experiments in the Drosophila wing primordium, we modeled and tested this regulatory network and present evidence that a novel property, namely refractoriness to the Wingless signaling molecule, is required in boundary cells for the formation of a stable dorsal-ventral boundary. This new property has been validated in vivo, promotes mutually exclusive domains of Notch and Wingless activities and confers stability to the dorsal-ventral boundary. A robustness analysis of the regulatory network complements our results and ensures its biological plausibility.
Project description:Repressors are frequently deployed to limit the transcriptional response to signalling pathways. For example, several co-repressors interact directly with the DNA-binding protein CSL and are proposed to keep target genes silenced in the absence of Notch activity. However, the scope of their contributions remains unclear. To investigate co-repressor activity in the context of this well defined signalling pathway, we have analysed the genome-wide binding profile of the best-characterized CSL co-repressor in Drosophila, Hairless, and of a second CSL interacting repressor, SMRTER. As predicted there was significant overlap between Hairless and its CSL DNA-binding partner, both in Kc cells and in wing discs, where they were predominantly found in chromatin with active enhancer marks. However, while the Hairless complex was widely present at some Notch regulated enhancers in the wing disc, no binding was detected at others, indicating that it is not essential for silencing per se. Further analysis of target enhancers confirmed differential requirements for Hairless. SMRTER binding significantly overlapped with Hairless, rather than complementing it, and many enhancers were apparently co-bound by both factors. Our analysis indicates that the actions of Hairless and SMRTER gate enhancers to Notch activity and to Ecdysone signalling respectively, to ensure that the appropriate levels and timing of target gene expression are achieved.
Project description:Fine-tuned Notch and Hedgehog signalling pathways via attenuators and dampers have long been recognized as important mechanisms to ensure the proper size and differentiation of many organs and tissues. This notion is further supported by identification of mutations in these pathways in human cancer cells. However, although it is common that the Notch and Hedgehog pathways influence growth and patterning within the same organ through the establishment of organizing regions, the cross-talk between these two pathways and how the distinct organizing activities are integrated during growth is poorly understood. Here, in an unbiased genetic screen in the Drosophila melanogaster eye, we found that tumour-like growth was provoked by cooperation between the microRNA miR-7 and the Notch pathway. Surprisingly, the molecular basis of this cooperation between miR-7 and Notch converged on the silencing of Hedgehog signalling. In mechanistic terms, miR-7 silenced the interference hedgehog (ihog) Hedgehog receptor, while Notch repressed expression of the brother of ihog (boi) Hedgehog receptor. Tumourigenesis was induced co-operatively following Notch activation and reduced Hedgehog signalling, either via overexpression of the microRNA or through specific down-regulation of ihog, hedgehog, smoothened, or cubitus interruptus or via overexpression of the cubitus interruptus repressor form. Conversely, increasing Hedgehog signalling prevented eye overgrowth induced by the microRNA and Notch pathway. Further, we show that blocking Hh signal transduction in clones of cells mutant for smoothened also enhance the organizing activity and growth by Delta-Notch signalling in the wing primordium. Together, these findings uncover a hitherto unsuspected tumour suppressor role for the Hedgehog signalling and reveal an unanticipated cooperative antagonism between two pathways extensively used in growth control and cancer.
Project description:Wnt/beta-catenin signaling controls animal development and tissue homeostasis, and is also an important cancer pathway. Pygopus (Pygo) is a conserved nuclear Wnt signaling component that is essential for Wingless-induced transcription throughout Drosophila development. It associates with Armadillo/beta-catenin and T cell factor (TCF) through the Legless/BCL9 adaptor, but its molecular function in TCF-mediated transcription is unknown. Here, we use a groucho-null allele to show that Groucho represses Wingless target genes during Drosophila development. Interestingly, groucho pygo double-mutants revealed that Pygo is not obligatory for transcriptional and phenotypic Wingless signaling outputs if the interaction between Groucho and Drosophila TCF is compromised genetically. Pygo function is also non-essential for Wingless outputs in the absence of other transcriptional antagonists of Wingless signaling. This indicates an anti-repressor function of Pygo: we propose that Pygo predisposes Drosophila TCF target genes for rapid Wingless-induced transcription, or that it protects them against premature shut-down.