Drosophila glypicans Dally and Dally-like are essential regulators for JAK/STAT signaling and Unpaired distribution in eye development.
ABSTRACT: The highly conserved janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is a well-known signaling system that is involved in many biological processes. In Drosophila, this signaling cascade is activated by ligands of the Unpaired (Upd) family. Therefore, the regulation of Upd distribution is one of the key issues in controlling the JAK/STAT signaling activity and function. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are macromolecules that regulate the distribution of many ligand proteins including Wingless, Hedgehog and Decapentaplegic (Dpp). Here we show that during Drosophila eye development, HSPGs are also required in normal Upd distribution and JAK/STAT signaling activity. Loss of HSPG biosynthesis enzyme Brother of tout-velu (Botv), Sulfateless (Sfl), or glypicans Division abnormally delayed (Dally) and Dally-like protein (Dlp) led to reduced levels of extracellular Upd and reduction in JAK/STAT signaling activity. Overexpression of dally resulted in the accumulation of Upd and up-regulation of the signaling activity. Luciferase assay also showed that Dally promotes JAK/STAT signaling activity, and is dependent on its heparin sulfate chains. These data suggest that Dally and Dlp are essential for Upd distribution and JAK/STAT signaling activity.
Project description:In Drosophila, ligands of the Unpaired (Upd) family activate the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway. The JAK/STAT pathway controls many developmental events, including multiple functions in the ovary. These include an early role in the germarium for specification of stalk cells and a later role in the vitellarium to pattern the follicular epithelium surrounding each cyst. In this latter role, graded JAK/STAT activation specifies three distinct anterior follicular cell fates, suggesting that Upd is a morphogen in this system. Consistent with the JAK/STAT activation pattern in the vitellarium, Upd forms a concentration gradient on the apical surface of the follicular epithelium with a peak at its source, the polar cells. Like many morphogens, signaling and distribution of Upd are regulated by the heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) Dally and Dally-like. Mutations in these glypican genes and in heparan sulfate biosynthetic genes result in disruption of JAK/STAT signaling, loss or abnormal formation of the stalk and significant reduction in the accumulation of extracellular Upd. Conversely, forced expression of Dally causes ectopic accumulation of Upd in follicular cells. Furthermore, biochemical studies reveal that Upd and Dally bind each other on the surface of the cell membrane. Our findings demonstrate that Drosophila glypicans regulate formation of the follicular gradient of the Upd morphogen, Upd. Furthermore, we establish the follicular epithelium as a new model for morphogen signaling in complex organ development.
Project description:Previous studies in Drosophila have shown that heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are involved in both breathless (btl)- and heartless (htl)-mediated FGF signaling during embryogenesis. However, the mechanism(s) by which HSPGs control Btl and Htl signaling is unknown. Here we show that dally-like (dlp, a Drosophila glypican) mutant embryos exhibit severe defects in tracheal morphogenesis and show a reduction in btl-mediated FGF signaling activity. However, htl-dependent mesodermal cell migration is not affected in dlp mutant embryos. Furthermore, expression of Dlp, but not other Drosophila HSPGs, can restore effectively the tracheal morphogenesis in dlp embryos. Rescue experiments in dlp embryos demonstrate that Dlp functions only in Bnl/FGF receiving cells in a cell-autonomous manner, but is not essential for Bnl/FGF expression cells. To further dissect the mechanism(s) of Dlp in Btl signaling, we analyzed the role of Dlp in Btl-mediated air sac tracheoblast formation in wing discs. Mosaic analysis experiments show that removal of HSPG activity in FGF-producing or other surrounding cells does not affect tracheoblasts migration, while HSPG mutant tracheoblast cells fail to receive FGF signaling. Together, our results argue strongly that HSPGs regulate Btl signaling exclusively in FGF-receiving cells as co-receptors, but are not essential for the secretion and distribution of the FGF ligand. This mechanism is distinct from HSPG functions in morphogen distribution, and is likely a general paradigm for HSPG functions in FGF signaling in Drosophila.
Project description:Adult stem cells reside in specialized microenvironments called niches, which provide signals for stem cells to maintain their undifferentiated and self-renewing state. To maintain stem cell quality, several types of stem cells are known to be regularly replaced by progenitor cells through niche competition. However, the cellular and molecular bases for stem cell competition for niche occupancy are largely unknown. Here, we show that two Drosophila members of the glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), Dally and Dally-like (Dlp), differentially regulate follicle stem cell (FSC) maintenance and competitiveness for niche occupancy. Lineage analyses of glypican mutant FSC clones showed that dally is essential for normal FSC maintenance. In contrast, dlp is a hypercompetitive mutation: dlp mutant FSC progenitors often eventually occupy the entire epithelial sheet. RNA interference knockdown experiments showed that Dally and Dlp play both partially redundant and distinct roles in regulating Jak/Stat, Wg, and Hh signaling in FSCs. The Drosophila FSC system offers a powerful genetic model to study the mechanisms by which HSPGs exert specific functions in stem cell replacement and competition.
Project description:The distribution and activities of morphogenic signaling proteins such as Hedgehog (Hh) and Wingless (Wg) depend on heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). HSPGs consist of a core protein with covalently attached heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains. We report that the unmodified core protein of Dally-like (Dlp), an HSPG required for cell-autonomous Hh response in Drosophila embryos, alone suffices to rescue embryonic Hh signaling defects. Membrane tethering but not specifically the glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage characteristic of glypicans is critical for this cell-autonomous activity. Our studies further suggest divergence of the two Drosophila and six mammalian glypicans into two functional families, an activating family that rescues cell-autonomous Dlp function in Hh response and a family that inhibits Hh response. Thus, in addition to the previously established requirement for HSPG GAG chains in Hh movement, these findings demonstrate a positive cell-autonomous role for a core protein in morphogen response in vivo and suggest the conservation of a network of antagonistic glypican activities in the regulation of Hh response.
Project description:Dally-like (Dlp) is a glypican-type heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG), containing a protein core and attached glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains. In Drosophila wing discs, Dlp represses short-range Wingless (Wg) signaling, but activates long-range Wg signaling. Here, we show that Dlp core protein has similar biphasic activity as wild-type Dlp. Dlp core protein can interact with Wg; the GAG chains enhance this interaction. Importantly, we find that Dlp exhibits a biphasic response, regardless of whether its glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage to the membrane can be cleaved. Rather, the transition from signaling activator to repressor is determined by the relative expression levels of Dlp and the Wg receptor, Frizzled (Fz) 2. Based on these data, we propose that the principal function of Dlp is to retain Wg on the cell surface. As such, it can either compete with the receptor or provide ligands to the receptor, depending on the ratios of Wg, Fz2, and Dlp.
Project description:Hedgehog (Hh) acts as a morphogen in various developmental contexts to specify distinct cell fates in a concentration-dependent manner. Hh signaling is regulated by two conserved cell-surface proteins: Ig/fibronectin superfamily member Interference hedgehog (Ihog) and Dally-like (Dlp), a glypican that comprises a core protein and heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains. Here, we show in Drosophila that the Dlp core protein can interact with Hh and is essential for its function in Hh signaling. In wing discs, overexpression of Dlp increases short-range Hh signaling while reducing long-range signaling. By contrast, Ihog has biphasic activity in Hh signaling in cultured cells: low levels of Ihog increase Hh signaling, whereas high levels decrease it. In wing discs, overexpression of Ihog represses high-threshold targets, while extending the range of low-threshold targets, thus showing opposite effects to Dlp. We further show that Ihog and its family member Boi are required to maintain Hh on the cell surface. Finally, Ihog and Dlp have complementary expression patterns in discs. These data led us to propose that Dlp acts as a signaling co-receptor. However, Ihog might not act as a classic co-receptor; rather, it may act as an exchange factor by retaining Hh on the cell surface, but also compete with the receptor for Hh binding.
Project description:Decapentaplegic (Dpp), a Drosophila homologue of bone morphogenetic proteins, acts as a morphogen to regulate patterning along the anterior-posterior axis of the developing wing. Previous studies showed that Dally, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, regulates both the distribution of Dpp morphogen and cellular responses to Dpp. However, the molecular mechanism by which Dally affects the Dpp morphogen gradient remains to be elucidated. Here, we characterized activity, stability, and gradient formation of a truncated form of Dpp (Dpp(Delta N)), which lacks a short domain at the N-terminus essential for its interaction with Dally. Dpp(Delta N) shows the same signaling activity and protein stability as wild-type Dpp in vitro but has a shorter half-life in vivo, suggesting that Dally stabilizes Dpp in the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, genetic interaction experiments revealed that Dally antagonizes the effect of Thickveins (Tkv; a Dpp type I receptor) on Dpp signaling. Given that Tkv can downregulate Dpp signaling by receptor-mediated endocytosis of Dpp, the ability of dally to antagonize tkv suggests that Dally inhibits this process. Based on these observations, we propose a model in which Dally regulates Dpp distribution and signaling by disrupting receptor-mediated internalization and degradation of the Dpp-receptor complex.
Project description:Although molecular components of the circadian clock are known, mechanisms that transmit signals from the clock and produce rhythmic behavior are poorly understood. We find that the microRNA miR-279 regulates the JAK/STAT pathway to drive rest:activity rhythms in Drosophila. Overexpression of microRNA miR-279 or miR-279 deletion attenuates rest:activity rhythms. Oscillations of the clock protein PERIOD are normal in pacemaker neurons lacking miR-279, suggesting that miR-279 acts downstream of the clock. We identify the JAK/STAT ligand, Upd, as a target of miR-279 and show that knockdown of Upd rescues the behavioral phenotype of miR-279 mutants. Manipulations of the JAK/STAT pathway also disrupt circadian rhythms. In addition, central clock neurons project in the vicinity of Upd-expressing neurons, providing a possible physical connection by which the central clock could regulate JAK/STAT signaling to control rest:activity rhythms.
Project description:Glypicans are heparan sulfate proteoglycans that modulate the signaling of multiple growth factors active during animal development, and loss of glypican function is associated with widespread developmental abnormalities. Glypicans consist of a conserved, approximately 45-kDa N-terminal protein core region followed by a stalk region that is tethered to the cell membrane by a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor. The stalk regions are predicted to be random coil but contain a variable number of attachment sites for heparan sulfate chains. Both the N-terminal protein core and the heparan sulfate attachments are important for glypican function. We report here the 2.4-Å crystal structure of the N-terminal protein core region of the Drosophila glypican Dally-like (Dlp). This structure reveals an elongated, ?-helical fold for glypican core regions that does not appear homologous to any known structure. The Dlp core protein is required for normal responsiveness to Hedgehog (Hh) signals, and we identify a localized region on the Dlp surface important for mediating its function in Hh signaling. Purified Dlp protein core does not, however, interact appreciably with either Hh or an Hh:Ihog complex.
Project description:Collective cell migration is emerging as a major contributor to normal development and disease. Collective movement of border cells in the Drosophila ovary requires cooperation between two distinct cell types: four to six migratory cells surrounding two immotile cells called polar cells. Polar cells secrete a cytokine, Unpaired (Upd), which activates JAK/STAT signaling in neighboring cells, stimulating their motility. Without Upd, migration fails, causing sterility. Ectopic Upd expression is sufficient to stimulate motility in otherwise immobile cells. Thus regulation of Upd is key. Here we report a limited RNAi screen for nuclear proteins required for border cell migration, which revealed that the gene encoding Tousled-like kinase (Tlk) is required in polar cells for Upd expression without affecting polar cell fate. In the absence of Tlk, fewer border cells are recruited and motility is impaired, similar to inhibition of JAK/STAT signaling. We further show that Tlk in polar cells is required for JAK/STAT activation in border cells. Genetic interactions further confirmed Tlk as a new regulator of Upd/JAK/STAT signaling. These findings shed light on the molecular mechanisms regulating the cooperation of motile and nonmotile cells during collective invasion, a phenomenon that may also drive metastatic cancer.