Ruth Brain

London Research Institute, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (4)34.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The Hippo signaling pathway acts via the Yorkie (Yki)/Yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator family to control tissue growth in both Drosophila and mammals [1-3]. Yki/YAP drives tissue growth by activating target gene transcription, but how it does so remains unclear. Here we identify Mask as a novel cofactor for Yki/YAP. We show that Drosophila Mask forms a complex with Yki and its binding partner, Scalloped (Sd), on target-gene promoters and is essential for Yki to drive transcription of target genes and tissue growth. Furthermore, the stability and subcellular localization of both Mask and Yki is coregulated in response to various stimuli. Finally, Mask proteins are functionally conserved between Drosophila and humans and are coexpressed with YAP in a wide variety of human stem/progenitor cells and tumors.
    Current biology: CB 01/2013; · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial tissues are composed of polarized cells with distinct apical and basolateral membrane domains. In the Drosophila ovarian follicle cell epithelium, apical membranes are specified by Crumbs (Crb), Stardust (Sdt), and the aPKC-Par6-cdc42 complex. Basolateral membranes are specified by Lethal giant larvae (Lgl), Discs large (Dlg), and Scribble (Scrib). Apical and basolateral determinants are known to act in a mutually antagonistic fashion, but it remains unclear how this interaction generates polarity. We have built a computer model of apicobasal polarity that suggests that the combination of positive feedback among apical determinants plus mutual antagonism between apical and basal determinants is essential for polarization. In agreement with this model, in vivo experiments define a positive feedback loop in which Crb self-recruits via Crb-Crb extracellular domain interactions, recruitment of Sdt-aPKC-Par6-cdc42, aPKC phosphorylation of Crb, and recruitment of Expanded (Ex) and Kibra (Kib) to prevent endocytic removal of Crb from the plasma membrane. Lgl antagonizes the operation of this feedback loop, explaining why apical determinants do not normally spread into the basolateral domain. Once Crb is removed from the plasma membrane, it undergoes recycling via Rab11 endosomes. Our results provide a dynamic model for understanding how epithelial polarity is maintained in Drosophila follicle cells.
    Current biology: CB 05/2012; 22(12):1116-22. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Salvador (Sav)/Warts (Wts)/Hippo (Hpo) (SWH) network controls tissue growth by inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis. The core of the pathway consists of a MST and LATS family kinase cascade that ultimately phosphorylates and inactivates the YAP/Yorkie (Yki) transcription coactivator. The FERM domain proteins Merlin (Mer) and Expanded (Ex) represent one mode of upstream regulation controlling pathway activity. Here, we identify Kibra as a member of the SWH network. Kibra, which colocalizes and associates with Mer and Ex, also promotes the Mer/Ex association. Furthermore, the Kibra/Mer association is conserved in human cells. Finally, Kibra complexes with Wts and kibra depletion in tissue culture cells induces a marked reduction in Yki phosphorylation without affecting the Yki/Wts interaction. We suggest that Kibra is part of an apical scaffold that promotes SWH pathway activity.
    Developmental Cell 02/2010; 18(2):300-8. · 12.86 Impact Factor