Intrinsic activity of the Lin-12 and Notch intracellular domains in vivo.
ABSTRACT The lin-12 gene of C. elegans and the Notch gene of D. melanogaster encode structurally related transmembrane proteins that mediate intercellular signaling. We show that truncated forms of these proteins consisting of only the intracellular domains cause cell fate transformations associated with constitutive activity in their respective organisms. This activity does not depend on endogenous gene function. Our results indicate that the intracellular domains of Lin-12 and Notch have intrinsic activity and that the principal role of the extracellular domains in the intact proteins is to regulate this activity. Our results also suggest that equivalent truncated forms of lin-12/Notch family members in vertebrates, including known oncogenes, are similarly active.
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ABSTRACT: When exposed to nutrient challenge, organisms have to adapt their physiology in order to balance reproduction with adult fitness. In mammals, ovarian follicles enter a massive growth phase during which they become highly dependent on gonadotrophic factors and nutrients. Somatic tissues play a crucial role in integrating these signals, controlling ovarian follicle atresia and eventually leading to the selection of a single follicle for ovulation. We used Drosophila follicles as a model to study the effect of starvation on follicle maturation. Upon starvation, Drosophila vitellogenic follicles adopt an 'atresia-like' behavior, in which some slow down their development whereas others enter degeneration. The mitotic-to-endocycle (M/E) transition is a critical step during Drosophila oogenesis, allowing the entry of egg chambers into vitellogenesis. Here, we describe a specific and transient phase during M/E switching that is paused upon starvation. The Insulin pathway induces the pausing of the M/E switch, blocking the entry of egg chambers into vitellogenesis. Pausing of the M/E switch involves a previously unknown crosstalk between FoxO, Cut and Notch that ensures full reversion of the process and rapid resumption of oogenesis upon refeeding. Our work reveals a novel genetic mechanism controlling the extent of the M/E switch upon starvation, thus integrating metabolic cues with development, growth and reproduction.Journal of Cell Science 07/2014; · 5.33 Impact Factor
Article: Introduction to Notch Signaling[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Notch signaling is probably the most widely used intercellular communication pathway. The Notch mutant in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster was isolated about 100 years ago at the dawn of genetics. Since then, research on Notch and its related genes in flies, worms, mice, and human has led to the establishment of an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway, the Notch signaling pathway. In the past few decades, molecular cloning of the Notch signaling components as well as genetic, cell biological, biochemical, structural, and bioinformatic approaches have uncovered the basic molecular logic of the pathway. In addition, genetic screens and systems approaches have led to the expansion of the list of genes that interact and fine-tune the pathway in a context specific manner. Furthermore, recent human genetic and genomic studies have led to the discovery that Notch plays a role in numerous diseases such as congenital disorders, stroke, and especially cancer. Pharmacological studies are actively pursuing key components of the pathway as drug targets for potential therapy. In this chapter, we will provide a brief historical overview of Notch signaling research and discuss the basic principles of Notch signaling, focusing on the unique features of this pathway when compared to other signaling pathways. Further studies to understand and manipulate Notch signaling in vivo in model organisms and in clinical settings will require a combination of a number of different approaches that are discussed throughout this book.Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 09/2014; 1187:1-14. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Drosophila polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (dmPTB or hephaestus) plays an important role during embryogenesis. A loss of function mutation, heph03429, results in varied defects in embryonic developmental processes, leading to embryonic lethality. However, the suite of molecular functions that are disrupted in the mutant remains unknown. We have used an unbiased high throughput sequencing approach to identify transcripts that are misregulated in this mutant. Misregulated transcripts show evidence of significantly altered patterns of splicing (exon skipping, 5' and 3' splice site switching), alternative 5' ends, and mRNA level changes (up and down regulation). These findings are independently supported by reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and in situ hybridization. We show that a group of genes, such as Zerknüllt, z600 and screw are among the most upregulated in the mutant and have been functionally linked to dorso-ventral patterning and/or dorsal closure processes. Thus, loss of dmPTB function results in specific misregulated transcripts, including those that provide the missing link between the loss of dmPTB function and observed developmental defects in embryogenesis. This study provides the first comprehensive repertoire of genes affected in vivo in the heph mutant in Drosophila and offers insight into the role of dmPTB during embryonic development.PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e98585. · 3.53 Impact Factor