Deciphering the Alk signaling pathway in Drosophila
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
In Drosophila melanogaster the visceral mesoderm (VM) develops during embryogenesis in a process where myoblasts become specified to generate two distinct cell types, the founder cells (FCs) and the fusion competent myoblasts (FCMs) that consequently fuses. The cell specification is dependent on cell signaling mediated by the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (Alk) and its ligand Jelly belly (Jeb), how this further sets up different identity programs that drive myoblasts to differentiate into FCs and FCMs is still not well understood.
We have analysed whether the Midkine (MDK)/Pleiotrophin (PTN) homologues in Drosophila, Miple1 and Miple2 activate the Alk RTK in vivo. Earlier results from cell culture experiments suggested that vertebrate MDK/PTN is capable of activating ALK, findings that have become controversial with other studies showing contradictory results. We wanted to use Drosophila that have conserved homologues of both MDK/PTN and ALK, to address the question in vivo. We analysed the contribution of Miple in Alk dependent developmental processes such as visceral mesoderm (VM) specification during embryogenesis and in body size regulation of adult flies. Specification of VM as well as body size are not effected by loss of Miple proteins, and over expression of Miple proteins do not effect VM specification or body size. All together we conclude that there is no evidence that Miple1 or Miple2 can activate Alk in vivo. We found that loss of Miple protein effect the median lifespan of the fly which is reduced, interestingly the over expression of Miple proteins can promote an increased median life span in Drosophila.
We have also analysed how Alk RTK signaling regulates the Gli-like transcription factor Lame duck (Lmd) in vivo on a post-translational level. It has already been reported that Lmd plays an essential role in specification of FCMs in the somatic mesoderm during embryogenesis. We detect Lmd protein exclusively in FCMs of VM in control embryos, but in Alk mutants Lmd protein is present in all cells of VM and opposite to this when Alk is activated in all cells in VM by over expression of Jeb this results in total loss of Lmd protein. This suggests that Alk signaling is regulating Lmd, and we additionally show that Lmd persist in FCMs in mutants where VM is specified but where myoblast fusion do not occur, supporting that Alk activity in FCs is regulating the downregulation of Lmd in FCMs upon fusion.
Finally we have characterised the Rap1GEF C3G in vivo in Drosophila. In cell culture systems, the GTPase Rap1 has been identified to mediate Alk signaling and that this is regulated by the GEF C3G and interestingly the Drosophila C3G is expressed in the FCs of VM. We generated deletion mutants of C3G which exhibit semi-lethality and reduced life span, but no defects in visceral mesoderm development during embryogenesis. Instead we detected distinct phenotypes in somatic muscles of 3rd instar mutant larvae, with detachment and mistargeting of muscles, which effect localisation of integrins. We suggest that Drosophila C3G regulates Rap1 via inside out signaling of integrins which in turn effects cell adhesion in vivo in Drosophila larval muscles.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2015. , 73 p.
Drosophila, Alk, RTK, visceral mesoderm, signal transduction, growth factor, transcription factor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101009ISBN: 978-91-7601-247-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-101009DiVA: diva2:800986
2015-05-05, Hörsal E04, Byggnad 6E, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Shimmi, Osamu, Associate Professor
Palmer, Ruth H., Professor
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