Mei-P26 regulates microRNAs and cell growth in the Drosophila ovarian stem cell lineage.
ABSTRACT Drosophila neuroblasts and ovarian stem cells are well characterized models for stem cell biology. In both cell types, one daughter cell self-renews continuously while the other undergoes a limited number of divisions, stops to proliferate mitotically and differentiates. Whereas neuroblasts segregate the Trim-NHL (tripartite motif and Ncl-1, HT2A and Lin-41 domain)-containing protein Brain tumour (Brat) into one of the two daughter cells, ovarian stem cells are regulated by an extracellular signal from the surrounding stem cell niche. After division, one daughter cell looses niche contact. It undergoes 4 transit-amplifying divisions to form a cyst of 16 interconnected cells that reduce their rate of growth and stop to proliferate mitotically. Here we show that the Trim-NHL protein Mei-P26 (refs 7, 8) restricts growth and proliferation in the ovarian stem cell lineage. Mei-P26 expression is low in stem cells but is strongly induced in 16-cell cysts. In mei-P26 mutants, transit-amplifying cells are larger and proliferate indefinitely leading to the formation of an ovarian tumour. Like brat, mei-P26 regulates nucleolar size and can induce differentiation in Drosophila neuroblasts, suggesting that these genes act through the same pathway. We identify Argonaute-1, a component of the RISC complex, as a common binding partner of Brat and Mei-P26, and show that Mei-P26 acts by inhibiting the microRNA pathway. Mei-P26 and Brat have a similar domain composition that is also found in other tumour suppressors and might be a defining property of a new family of microRNA regulators that act specifically in stem cell lineages.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Drosophila ovary is a tissue rich in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Many of the regulatory factors are proteins identified via genetic screens. The more recent discovery of microRNAs, which in other animals and tissues appear to regulate translation of a large fraction of all mRNAs, raised the possibility that they too might act during oogenesis. However, there has been no direct demonstration of microRNA-dependent translational repression in the ovary. Here, quantitative analyses of transcript and protein levels of transgenes with or without synthetic miR-312 binding sites show that the binding sites do confer translational repression. This effect is dependent on the ability of the cells to produce microRNAs. By comparison with microRNA-dependent translational repression in other cell types, the regulated mRNAs and the protein factors that mediate repression were expected to be enriched in sponge bodies, subcellular structures with extensive similarities to the P bodies found in other cells. However, no such enrichment was observed. Our results reveal the variety of post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that operate in the Drosophila ovary, and have implications for the mechanisms of miRNA-dependent translational control used in the ovary.PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(3):e4669. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Posttranslational modification of Argonautes and their role in small RNA-mediated gene regulation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: Shortly after their discovery, repertoires of miRNA were identified, together with proteins involved in their biogenesis and action. It is now obvious that miRNA-mediated gene regulation itself is regulated at multiple levels. Identifying the regulatory mechanisms that underpin small RNA homeostasis by modulation of their biogenesis and action has become a key issue, which can be partly resolved by identifying mediators of Argonautes turnover. An emerging theme in the control of Argonaute stability and activity is through posttranslational modifications, which are the focus of this review.Silence. 09/2011; 2:5.
Article: Genome-wide analysis of the maternal-to-zygotic transition in Drosophila primordial germ cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) vast changes in the embryonic transcriptome are produced by a combination of two processes: elimination of maternally provided mRNAs and synthesis of new transcripts from the zygotic genome. Previous genome-wide analyses of the MZT have been restricted to whole embryos. Here we report the first such analysis for primordial germ cells (PGCs), the progenitors of the germ-line stem cells. We purified PGCs from Drosophila embryos, defined their proteome and transcriptome, and assessed the content, scale and dynamics of their MZT. Transcripts encoding proteins that implement particular types of biological functions group into nine distinct expression profiles, reflecting coordinate control at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. mRNAs encoding germ-plasm components and cell-cell signaling molecules are rapidly degraded while new transcription produces mRNAs encoding the core transcriptional and protein synthetic machineries. The RNA-binding protein Smaug is essential for the PGC MZT, clearing transcripts encoding proteins that regulate stem cell behavior, transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. Computational analyses suggest that Smaug and AU-rich element binding proteins function independently to control transcript elimination. The scale of the MZT is similar in the soma and PGCs. However, the timing and content of their MZTs differ, reflecting the distinct developmental imperatives of these cell types. The PGC MZT is delayed relative to that in the soma, likely because relief of PGC-specific transcriptional silencing is required for zygotic genome activation as well as for efficient maternal transcript clearance.Genome biology 02/2012; 13(2):R11. · 6.63 Impact Factor