The neurofibromatosis-2 homologue, Merlin, and the tumor suppressor expanded function together in Drosophila to regulate cell proliferation and differentiation.
ABSTRACT Neurofibromatosis-2 is an inherited disorder characterized by the development of benign schwannomas and other Schwann-cell-derived tumors associated with the central nervous system. The Neurofibromatosis-2 tumor suppressor gene encodes Merlin, a member of the Protein 4.1 superfamily most closely related to Ezrin, Radixin and Moesin. This discovery suggested a novel function for Protein 4.1 family members in the regulation of cell proliferation; proteins in this family were previously thought to function primarily to link transmembrane proteins to underlying cortical actin. To understand the basic cellular functions of Merlin, we are investigating a Drosophila Neurofibromatosis-2 homologue, Merlin. Loss of Merlin function in Drosophila results in hyperplasia of the affected tissue without significant disruptions in differentiation. Similar phenotypes have been observed for mutations in another Protein 4.1 superfamily member in Drosophila, expanded. Because of the phenotypic and structural similarities between Merlin and expanded, we asked whether Merlin and Expanded function together to regulate cell proliferation. In this study, we demonstrate that recessive loss of function of either Merlin or expanded can dominantly enhance the phenotypes associated with mutations in the other. Consistent with this genetic interaction, we determined that Merlin and Expanded colocalize in Drosophila tissues and cells, and physically interact through a conserved N-terminal region of Expanded, characteristic of the Protein 4.1 family, and the C-terminal domain of Merlin. Loss of function of both Merlin and expanded in clones revealed that these proteins function to regulate differentiation in addition to proliferation in Drosophila. Further genetic analyses suggest a role for Merlin and Expanded specifically in Decapentaplegic-mediated differentiation events. These results indicate that Merlin and Expanded function together to regulate proliferation and differentiation, and have implications for understanding the functions of other Protein 4.1 superfamily members.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Dennis Lajeunesse, Mar 30, 2015
SourceAvailable from: Changqing Li
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ABSTRACT: Coordinated multicellular growth during development is achieved by the sensing of spatial and nutritional boundaries. The conserved Hippo (Hpo) signaling pathway has been proposed to restrict tissue growth by perceiving mechanical constraints through actin cytoskeleton networks. The actin-associated LIM proteins Zyxin (Zyx) and Ajuba (Jub) have been linked to the control of tissue growth via regulation of Hpo signaling, but the study of Zyx has been hampered by a lack of genetic tools. We generated a zyx mutant in Drosophila using TALEN endonucleases and used this to show that Zyx antagonizes the FERM-domain protein Expanded (Ex) to control tissue growth, eye differentiation, and F-actin accumulation. Zyx membrane targeting promotes the interaction between the transcriptional co-activator Yorkie (Yki) and the transcription factor Scalloped (Sd), leading to activation of Yki target gene expression and promoting tissue growth. Finally, we show that Zyx's growth-promoting function is dependent on its interaction with the actin-associated protein Enabled (Ena) via a conserved LPPPP motif and is antagonized by Capping Protein (CP). Our results show that Zyx is a functional antagonist of Ex in growth control and establish a link between actin filament polymerization and Yki activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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ABSTRACT: Deregulation of the evolutionarily conserved Hippo pathway has been implicated in abnormal development of animals and in several types of cancer. One mechanism of Hippo pathway regulation is achieved by controlling the stability of its regulatory components. However, the executive E3 ligases that are involved in this process, and how the process is regulated, remain poorly defined. In this study, we identify, through a genetic candidate screen, the SCF(Slmb) E3 ligase as a novel negative regulator of the Hippo pathway in Drosophila imaginal tissues via mediation of the degradation of Expanded (Ex). Mechanistic study shows that Slmb-mediated degradation of Ex is inhibited by the Hippo signaling. Considering the fact that Hippo signaling suppresses the transcription of ex, we propose that the Hippo pathway employs a double security mechanism to ensure fine-tuned homeostasis during development.Cell Research advance online publication 19 December 2014; doi:10.1038/cr.2014.166.Cell Research 12/2014; DOI:10.1038/cr.2014.166 · 11.98 Impact Factor