Drosophila Jak/STAT Signaling: Regulation and Relevance in Human Cancer and Metastasis.
ABSTRACT: Over the past three-decades, Janus kinase (Jak) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling has emerged as a paradigm to understand the involvement of signal transduction in development and disease pathology. At the molecular level, cytokines and interleukins steer Jak/STAT signaling to transcriptional regulation of target genes, which are involved in cell differentiation, migration, and proliferation. Jak/STAT signaling is involved in various types of blood cell disorders and cancers in humans, and its activation is associated with carcinomas that are more invasive or likely to become metastatic. Despite immense information regarding Jak/STAT regulation, the signaling network has numerous missing links, which is slowing the progress towards developing drug therapies. In mammals, many components act in this cascade, with substantial cross-talk with other signaling pathways. In Drosophila, there are fewer pathway components, which has enabled significant discoveries regarding well-conserved regulatory mechanisms. Work across species illustrates the relevance of these regulators in humans. In this review, we showcase fundamental Jak/STAT regulation mechanisms in blood cells, stem cells, and cell motility. We examine the functional relevance of key conserved regulators from Drosophila to human cancer stem cells and metastasis. Finally, we spotlight less characterized regulators of Drosophila Jak/STAT signaling, which stand as promising candidates to be investigated in cancer biology. These comparisons illustrate the value of using Drosophila as a model for uncovering the roles of Jak/STAT signaling and the molecular means by which the pathway is controlled.
Project description: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:Dysregulated JAK/STAT signaling has been implicated in the molecular pathogenesis of gastric cancer. However, downstream effectors of STAT signaling that facilitate gastric carcinogenesis remain to be explored. We previously identified the Drosophila ortholog of human GRAMD1B in our genome-wide RNAi screen to identify novel components of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway in Drosophila. Here, we examined the involvement of GRAMD1B in JAK/STAT-associated gastric carcinogenesis. We found that GRAMD1B expression is positively regulated by JAK/STAT signaling and GRAMD1B inhibition decreases STAT3 levels, suggesting the existence of a positive feedback loop. Consistently, GRAMD1B and JAK/STAT signaling acted synergistically to promote gastric cancer cell survival by upregulating the expression of the anti-apoptotic molecule Bcl-xL. Interestingly, our immunohistochemical analysis for GRAMD1B revealed a gradual loss of cytoplasmic staining but an increase in the nuclear accumulation of GRAMD1B, as gastric tissue becomes malignant. GRAMD1B expression levels were also found to be significantly associated with clinicopathological features of the gastric cancer patients, particularly the tumor grades and lymph node status. Moreover, GRAMD1B and pSTAT3 (Tyr705) showed a positive correlation in gastric tissues, thereby confirming the existence of a close link between these two signaling molecules in vivo. This new knowledge about JAK/STAT-GRAMD1B regulation deepens our understanding of JAK/STAT signaling in gastric carcinogenesis and provides a foundation for the development of novel biomarkers in gastric cancer.
Project description:Regulation of stem cells depends on both tissue-specific transcriptional regulators and changes in chromatin organization, yet the coordination of these events in endogenous niches is poorly understood. In the Drosophila testis, local JAK-STAT signaling maintains germline and somatic stem cells (GSCs and cyst progenitor cells, or CPCs) in a single niche. Here we show that epigenetic regulation via the nucleosome-remodeling factor (NURF) complex ensures GSC and CPC maintenance by positively regulating JAK-STAT signaling, thereby preventing premature differentiation. Conversely, NURF is not required in early differentiating daughter cells of either lineage. Because three additional ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers (ACF, CHRAC, and dMi-2/NuRD) are dispensable for stem cell maintenance in the testis, epigenetic regulation of stem cells within this niche may rely primarily on NURF. Thus, local signals cooperate with specific chromatin-remodeling complexes in intact niches to coordinately regulate a common set of target genes to prevent premature stem cell differentiation.
Project description:In the past decades, studies of the Janus kinases (JAKs) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) signaling have uncovered highly conserved programs linking cytokine signaling to the regulation of essential cellular mechanisms such as proliferation, invasion, survival, inflammation and immunity. Inhibitors of the JAK/STAT pathway are used for treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. Aberrant JAK/STAT signaling has been identified to contribute to cancer progression and metastatic development. Targeting of JAK/STAT pathway is currently one of the most promising therapeutic strategies in prostate cancer (PCa), hematopoietic malignancies and sarcomas. Notably, newly identified regulators of JAK/STAT signaling, the non-coding RNAs transcripts and their role as important targets and potential clinical biomarkers are highlighted in this review. In addition to the established role of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway in traditional cytokine signaling the non-coding RNAs add yet another layer of hidden regulation and function. Understanding the crosstalk of non-coding RNA with JAK/STAT signaling in cancer is of critical importance and may result in better patient stratification not only in terms of prognosis but also in the context of therapy.
Project description:The adult intestinal homeostasis is tightly controlled by proper proliferation and differentiation of intestinal stem cells. The JAK/STAT (Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription) signaling pathway is essential for the regulation of adult stem cell activities and maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. Currently, it remains largely unknown how JAK/STAT signaling activities are regulated in these processes. Here we have identified windpipe (wdp) as a novel component of the JAK/STAT pathway. We demonstrate that Wdp is positively regulated by JAK/STAT signaling in Drosophila adult intestines. Loss of wdp activity results in the disruption of midgut homeostasis under normal and regenerative conditions. Conversely, ectopic expression of Wdp inhibits JAK/STAT signaling activity. Importantly, we show that Wdp interacts with the receptor Domeless (Dome), and promotes its internalization for subsequent lysosomal degradation. Together, these data led us to propose that Wdp acts as a novel negative feedback regulator of the JAK/STAT pathway in regulating intestinal homeostasis.
Project description:The JAK/STAT pathway has pleiotropic roles in animal development, and its aberrant activation is implicated in multiple human cancers. JAK/STAT signaling effects have been attributed largely to direct transcriptional regulation by STAT of specific target genes that promote tumor cell proliferation or survival. We show here in a Drosophila melanogaster hematopoietic tumor model, however, that JAK overactivation globally disrupts heterochromatic gene silencing, an epigenetic tumor suppressive mechanism. This disruption allows derepression of genes that are not direct targets of STAT, as evidenced by suppression of heterochromatin-mediated position effect variegation. Moreover, mutations in the genes encoding heterochromatin components heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) and Su(var)3-9 enhance tumorigenesis induced by an oncogenic JAK kinase without affecting JAK/STAT signaling. Consistently, JAK loss of function enhances heterochromatic gene silencing, whereas overexpressing HP1 suppresses oncogenic JAK-induced tumors. These results demonstrate that the JAK/STAT pathway regulates cellular epigenetic status and that globally disrupting heterochromatin-mediated tumor suppression is essential for tumorigenesis induced by JAK overactivation.
Project description:Appropriate regulation of signal transduction pathways is essential for normal development and is often disrupted in disease. Therefore, many regulatory mechanisms and feedback loops have evolved to ensure appropriate signalling. One mechanism previously suggested to modulate a range of signal transduction pathways involves the internalisation and destruction of transmembrane receptors by the endocytic trafficking machinery. Strikingly, a recent report has suggested that the endocytic trafficking of the Drosophila JAK-STAT pathway receptor Domeless (Dome) does not act to downregulate pathway activity, but rather is necessary for in vivo signalling. Here, we examine this relationship to address the interaction of Drosophila JAK-STAT pathway signalling and endocytic trafficking. We show that Dome is trafficked through clathrin-mediated endocytosis and a directed RNAi screen identified several components of the endocytic machinery as negative regulators of pathway signalling. We demonstrate that Dome signals both from the plasma membrane and internalised vesicles and show, using knockdown experiments, that endocytic components negatively regulate JAK-STAT signalling in vivo. As such, disruption in endocytic trafficking represents a potent negative regulator of the disease relevant JAK-STAT signalling cascade.
Project description:To gain a comprehensive view of the changes in host gene expression underlying Zika virus (ZIKV) pathogenesis, we performed whole-genome RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of ZIKV-infected Drosophila adult flies. RNA-seq analysis revealed that ZIKV infection alters several and diverse biological processes, including stress, locomotion, lipid metabolism, imaginal disc morphogenesis and regulation of JAK/STAT signaling. To explore the interaction between ZIKV infection and JAK/STAT signaling regulation, we generated genetic constructs overexpressing ZIKV-specific non-structural proteins NS2A, NS2B, NS4A and NS4B. We found that ectopic expression of non-structural proteins in the developing Drosophila eye significantly restricts growth of the larval and adult eye and correlates with considerable repression of the in vivo JAK/STAT reporter, 10XStat92E-GFP At the cellular level, eye growth defects are associated with reduced rate of proliferation without affecting the overall rate of apoptosis. In addition, ZIKV NS4A genetically interacts with the JAK/STAT signaling components; co-expression of NS4A along with the dominant-negative form of domeless or StatRNAi results in aggravated reduction in eye size, while co-expression of NS4A in HopTuml (also known as hopTum ) mutant background partially rescues the h o p-induced eye overgrowth phenotype. The function of ZIKV NS4A in regulating growth is maintained in the wing, where ZIKV NS4A overexpression in the pouch domain results in reduced growth linked with diminished expression of Notch targets, Wingless (Wg) and Cut, and the Notch reporter, NRE-GFP Thus, our study provides evidence that ZIKV infection in Drosophila results in restricted growth of the developing eye and wing, wherein eye phenotype is induced through regulation of JAK/STAT signaling, whereas restricted wing growth is induced through regulation of Notch signaling. The interaction of ZIKV non-structural proteins with the conserved host signaling pathways further advance our understanding of ZIKV-induced pathogenesis.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Project description:The Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathways are conserved regulators of tissue patterning, morphogenesis, and other cell biological processes. During Drosophila oogenesis, these pathways determine the fates of epithelial follicle cells (FCs). JAK/STAT and EGFR together specify a population of cells called the posterior follicle cells (PFCs), which signal to the oocyte to establish the embryonic axes. In this study, whole genome expression analysis was performed to identify genes activated by JAK/STAT and/or EGFR. We observed that 317 genes were transcriptionally upregulated in egg chambers with ectopic JAK/STAT and EGFR activity in the FCs. The list was enriched for genes encoding extracellular matrix (ECM) components and ECM-associated proteins. We tested 69 candidates for a role in axis establishment using RNAi knockdown in the FCs. We report that the signaling protein Semaphorin 1b becomes enriched in the PFCs in response to JAK/STAT and EGFR. We also identified ADAM metallopeptidase with thrombospondin type 1 motif A (AdamTS-A) as a novel target of JAK/STAT in the FCs that regulates egg chamber shape. AdamTS-A mRNA becomes enriched at the anterior and posterior poles of the egg chamber at stages 6 to 7 and is regulated by JAK/STAT. Altering AdamTS-A expression in the poles or middle of the egg chamber produces rounder egg chambers. We propose that AdamTS-A regulates egg shape by remodeling the basement membrane.
Project description:JAK/STAT pathway plays an important role in invertebrates during virus infection. However the microRNA (miRNA)-mediated regulation of JAK/STAT is not intensively investigated. Viral miRNAs, encoded by virus genome, have emerged as important regulators in the virus-host interactions. In this study, a WSSV (white spot syndrome virus)-encoded miRNA (WSSV-miR-22) was characterized in shrimp during virus infection. The results showed that the viral miRNA could promote WSSV infection in shrimp by targeting the host STAT gene. When the expression of JAK or STAT was knocked down by sequence-specific siRNA, the WSSV copies in shrimp were significantly increased, indicating that the JAK/STAT played positive roles in the antiviral immunity of shrimp. The further findings revealed that TEP1 and TEP2 were the effectors of JAK-STAT signaling pathway. The silencing of TEP1 or TEP2 led to an increase of WSSV copies in shrimp, showing TEP1 and TEP2 were involved in the shrimp immune response against virus infection. Therefore our study presented a novel viral miRNA-mediated JAK/STAT-TEP1/TEP2 signaling pathway in virus infection.