Journal Article
Cho, E, Irvine KD.  2004.  Action of fat, four-jointed, dachsous and dachs in distal-to-proximal wing signaling. Development. 131:4489-500. AbstractWebsite
In the Drosophila wing, distal cells signal to proximal cells to induce the expression of Wingless, but the basis for this distal-to-proximal signaling is unknown. Here, we show that three genes that act together during the establishment of tissue polarity, fat, four-jointed and dachsous, also influence the expression of Wingless in the proximal wing. fat is required cell autonomously by proximal wing cells to repress Wingless expression, and misexpression of Wingless contributes to proximal wing overgrowth in fat mutant discs. Four-jointed and Dachsous can influence Wingless expression and Fat localization non-autonomously, consistent with the suggestion that they influence signaling to Fat-expressing cells. We also identify dachs as a gene that is genetically required downstream of fat, both for its effects on imaginal disc growth and for the expression of Wingless in the proximal wing. Our observations provide important support for the emerging view that Four-jointed, Dachsous and Fat function in an intercellular signaling pathway, identify a normal role for these proteins in signaling interactions that regulate growth and patterning of the proximal wing, and identify Dachs as a candidate downstream effector of a Fat signaling pathway.
Sun, G, Irvine KD.  2013.  Ajuba Family Proteins Link JNK to Hippo Signaling.. Science signaling. 6:ra81. AbstractWebsite
Wounding, apoptosis, or infection can trigger a proliferative response in neighboring cells to replace damaged tissue. Studies in Drosophila have implicated c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent activation of Yorkie (Yki) as essential to regeneration-associated growth, as well as growth associated with neoplastic tumors. Yki is a transcriptional coactivator that is inhibited by Hippo signaling, a conserved pathway that regulates growth. We identified a conserved mechanism by which JNK regulated Hippo signaling. Genetic studies in Drosophila identified Jub (also known as Ajuba LIM protein) as required for JNK-mediated activation of Yki and showed that Jub contributed to wing regeneration after wounding and to tumor growth. Biochemical studies revealed that JNK promoted the phosphorylation of Ajuba family proteins in both Drosophila and mammalian cells. Binding studies in mammalian cells indicated that JNK increased binding between the Ajuba family proteins LIMD1 or WTIP and LATS1, a kinase within the Hippo pathway that inhibits the Yki homolog YAP. Moreover, JNK promoted binding of LIMD1 and LATS1 through direct phosphorylation of LIMD1. These results identify Ajuba family proteins as a conserved link between JNK and Hippo signaling, and imply that JNK increases Yki and YAP activity by promoting the binding of Ajuba family proteins to Warts and LATS.
Irvine, KD, Rauskolb C.  2001.  Boundaries in development: formation and function. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology. 17:189-214. AbstractWebsite
Developing organisms may contain billions of cells destined to differentiate in numerous different ways. One strategy organisms use to simplify the orchestration of development is the separation of cell populations into distinct functional units. Our expanding knowledge of boundary formation and function in different systems is beginning to reveal general principles of this process. Fields of cells are subdivided by the interpretation of morphogen gradients, and these subdivisions are then maintained and refined by local cell-cell interactions. Sharp and stable separation between cell populations requires special mechanisms to keep cells segregated, which in many cases appear to involve the regulation of cell affinity. Once cell populations become distinct, specialized cells are often induced along the borders between them. These boundary cells can then influence the patterning of surrounding cells, which can result in progressively finer subdivisions of a tissue. Much has been learned about the signaling pathways that establish boundaries, but a key challenge for the future remains to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that actually keep cell populations separated.
Irvine, KD, Wieschaus E.  1994.  Cell intercalation during Drosophila germband extension and its regulation by pair-rule segmentation genes. Development (Cambridge, England). 120:827-41. AbstractWebsite
After the onset of gastrulation, the Drosophila germband undergoes a morphological change in which its length along the anterior-posterior axis increases over two-and-a-half fold while its width along the dorsal-ventral axis simultaneously narrows. The behavior of individual cells during germband extension was investigated by epi-illumination and time-lapse video microscopy of living embryos. Cells intercalate between their dorsal and ventral neighbors during extension, increasing the number of cells along the anterior-posterior axis while decreasing the number of cells along the dorsal-ventral axis. Mutations that reduce segmental subdivision of the embryo along the anterior-posterior axis decrease both germband extension and its associated cell intercalation. In contrast, cell intercalation and germband extension are still detected in embryos that lack dorsal-ventral polarity. Characterization of germband extension and cell intercalation in mutant embryos with altered segmentation gene expression indicates that these processes are regionally autonomous and are dependent upon the establishment of striped expression patterns for certain pair-rule genes. Based on these observations, we propose a model for germband extension in which cell intercalation results from the establishment of adhesive differences between stripes of cells by pair-rule genes.
Kim, J, Irvine KD, Carroll SB.  1995.  Cell recognition, signal induction, and symmetrical gene activation at the dorsal-ventral boundary of the developing Drosophila wing. Cell. 82:795-802. AbstractWebsite
Appendage formation in insects and vertebrates depends upon signals from both the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral (DV) axes. In Drosophila, wing formation is organized symmetrically around the DV boundary of the growing wing imaginal disc and requires interactions between dorsal and ventral cells. Compartmentalization of the wing disc, dorsal cell behavior, and the expression of two dorsally expressed putative signaling molecules, fringe (fng) and Serrate (Ser), are regulated by the apterous selector gene. Here, we demonstrate that fng and Ser have distinct roles in a novel cell recognition and signal induction process. fng serves as a boundary-determining molecule such that Ser is induced wherever cells expressing fng and cells not expressing fng are juxtaposed. Ser in turn triggers the expression of genes involved in wing growth and patterning on both sides of the DV boundary.
Sun, S, Irvine KD.  2016.  Cellular Organization and Cytoskeletal Regulation of the Hippo Signaling Network.. Trends in cell biology. 26(9):694-704. Abstract
The Hippo signaling network integrates diverse upstream signals to control cell fate decisions and regulate organ growth. Recent studies have provided new insights into the cellular organization of Hippo signaling, its relationship to cell-cell junctions, and how the cytoskeleton modulates Hippo signaling. Cell-cell junctions serve as platforms for Hippo signaling by localizing scaffolding proteins that interact with core components of the pathway. Interactions of Hippo pathway components with cell-cell junctions and the cytoskeleton also suggest potential mechanisms for the regulation of the pathway by cell contact and cell polarity. As our understanding of the complexity of Hippo signaling increases, a future challenge will be to understand how the diverse inputs into the pathway are integrated and to define their respective contributions in vivo.
Okajima, T, Xu A, Lei L, Irvine KD.  2005.  Chaperone activity of protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 promotes notch receptor folding. Science. 307:1599-603. AbstractWebsite
Notch proteins are receptors for a conserved signaling pathway that affects numerous cell fate decisions. We found that in Drosophila, Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (OFUT1), an enzyme that glycosylates epidermal growth factor-like domains of Notch, also has a distinct Notch chaperone activity. OFUT1 is an endoplasmic reticulum protein, and its localization was essential for function in vivo. OFUT1 could bind to Notch, was required for the trafficking of wild-type Notch out of the endoplasmic reticulum, and could partially rescue defects in secretion and ligand binding associated with Notch point mutations. This ability of OFUT1 to facilitate folding of Notch did not require its fucosyltransferase activity. Thus, a glycosyltransferase can bind its substrate in the endoplasmic reticulum to facilitate normal folding.
Mao, Y, Mulvaney J, Zakaria S, Yu T, Morgan K M, Allen S, Basson AM, Francis-West P, Irvine KD.  2011.  Characterization of a Dchs1 mutant mouse reveals requirements for Dchs1-Fat4 signaling during mammalian development. Development (Cambridge, England). 138:947-57. AbstractWebsite
The Drosophila Dachsous and Fat proteins function as ligand and receptor, respectively, for an intercellular signaling pathway that regulates Hippo signaling and planar cell polarity. Although gene-targeted mutations in two mammalian Fat genes have been described, whether mammals have a Fat signaling pathway equivalent to that in Drosophila, and what its biological functions might be, have remained unclear. Here, we describe a gene-targeted mutation in a murine Dachsous homolog, Dchs1. Analysis of the phenotypes of Dchs1 mutant mice and comparisons with Fat4 mutant mice identify requirements for these genes in multiple organs, including the ear, kidney, skeleton, intestine, heart and lung. Dchs1 and Fat4 single mutants and Dchs1 Fat4 double mutants have similar phenotypes throughout the body. In some cases, these phenotypes suggest that Dchs1-Fat4 signaling influences planar cell polarity. In addition to the appearance of cysts in newborn kidneys, we also identify and characterize a requirement for Dchs1 and Fat4 in growth, branching and cell survival during early kidney development. Dchs1 and Fat4 are predominantly expressed in mesenchymal cells in multiple organs, and mutation of either gene increases protein staining for the other. Our analysis implies that Dchs1 and Fat4 function as a ligand-receptor pair during murine development, and identifies novel requirements for Dchs1-Fat4 signaling in multiple organs.
Mani, M, Goyal S, Irvine KD, Shraiman BI.  2013.  Collective polarization model for gradient sensing via Dachsous-Fat intercellular signaling.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. AbstractWebsite
Dachsous-Fat signaling via the Hippo pathway influences proliferation during Drosophila development, and some of its mammalian homologs are tumor suppressors, highlighting its role as a universal growth regulator. The Fat/Hippo pathway responds to morphogen gradients and influences the in-plane polarization of cells and orientation of divisions, linking growth with tissue patterning. Remarkably, the Fat pathway transduces a growth signal through the polarization of transmembrane complexes that responds to both morphogen level and gradient. Dissection of these complex phenotypes requires a quantitative model that provides a systematic characterization of the pathway. In the absence of detailed knowledge of molecular interactions, we take a phenomenological approach that considers a broad class of simple models, which are sufficiently constrained by observations to enable insight into possible mechanisms. We predict two modes of local/cooperative interactions among Fat-Dachsous complexes, which are necessary for the collective polarization of tissues and enhanced sensitivity to weak gradients. Collective polarization convolves level and gradient of input signals, reproducing known phenotypes while generating falsifiable predictions. Our construction of a simplified signal transduction map allows a generalization of the positional value model and emphasizes the important role intercellular interactions play in growth and patterning of tissues.
Okajima, T, Reddy BVVG, Matsuda T, Irvine KD.  2008.  Contributions of chaperone and glycosyltransferase activities of O-fucosyltransferase 1 to Notch signaling. BMC Biology. 6:1. AbstractWebsite
BACKGROUND: O-fucosyltransferase1 (OFUT1) is a conserved ER protein essential for Notch signaling. OFUT1 glycosylates EGF domains, which can then be further modified by the N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase Fringe. OFUT1 also possesses a chaperone activity that promotes the folding and secretion of Notch. Here, we investigate the respective contributions of these activities to Notch signaling in Drosophila. RESULTS: We show that expression of an isoform lacking fucosyltransferase activity, Ofut1R245A, rescues the requirement for Ofut1 in embryonic neurogenesis. Lack of requirement for O-fucosylation is further supported by the absence of embryonic phenotypes in Gmd mutants, which lack all forms of fucosylation. Requirements for O-fucose during imaginal development were evaluated by characterizing clones of cells expressing only Ofut1R245A. These clones phenocopy fringe mutant clones, indicating that the absence of O-fucose is functionally equivalent to the absence of elongated O-fucose. CONCLUSION: Our results establish that Notch does not need to be O-fucosylated for fringe-independent Notch signaling in Drosophila; the chaperone activity of OFUT1 is sufficient for the generation of functional Notch.
Sun, G, Irvine KD.  2014.  Control of growth during regeneration.. Current topics in developmental biology. 108:95-120. AbstractWebsite
Regeneration is a process by which organisms replace damaged or amputated organs to restore normal body parts. Regeneration of many tissues or organs requires proliferation of stem cells or stem cell-like blastema cells. This regenerative growth is often initiated by cell death pathways induced by damage. The executors of regenerative growth are a group of growth-promoting signaling pathways, including JAK/STAT, EGFR, Hippo/YAP, and Wnt/β-catenin. These pathways are also essential to developmental growth, but in regeneration, they are activated in distinct ways and often at higher strengths, under the regulation by certain stress-responsive signaling pathways, including JNK signaling. Growth suppressors are important in termination of regeneration to prevent unlimited growth and also contribute to the loss of regenerative capacity in nonregenerative organs. Here, we review cellular and molecular growth regulation mechanisms induced by organ damage in several models with different regenerative capacities.
Irvine, KD, Harvey KF.  2015.  Control of organ growth by patterning and hippo signaling in Drosophila.. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. 7 AbstractWebsite
Control of organ size is of fundamental importance and is controlled by genetic, environmental, and mechanical factors. Studies in many species have pointed to the existence of both organ-extrinsic and -intrinsic size-control mechanisms, which ultimately must coordinate to regulate organ size. Here, we discuss organ size control by organ patterning and the Hippo pathway, which both act in an organ-intrinsic fashion. The influence of morphogens and other patterning molecules couples growth and patterning, whereas emerging evidence suggests that the Hippo pathway controls growth in response to mechanical stimuli and signals emanating from cell-cell interactions. Several points of cross talk have been reported between signaling pathways that control organ patterning and the Hippo pathway, both at the level of membrane receptors and transcriptional regulators. However, despite substantial progress in the past decade, key questions in the growth-control field remain, including precisely how and when organ patterning and the Hippo pathway communicate to control size, and whether these communication mechanisms are organ specific or general. In addition, elucidating mechanisms by which organ-intrinsic cues, such as patterning factors and the Hippo pathway, interface with extrinsic cues, such as hormones to control organ size, remain unresolved.
Oh, H, Irvine KD.  2011.  Cooperative Regulation of Growth by Yorkie and Mad through bantam. Developmental Cell. 20:109-22. AbstractWebsite
The Dpp and Fat-Hippo signaling pathways both regulate growth in Drosophila. Dpp is a BMP family ligand and acts via a Smad family DNA-binding transcription factor, Mad. Fat-Hippo signaling acts via a non-DNA-binding transcriptional coactivator protein, Yorkie. Here, we show that these pathways are directly interlinked. They act synergistically to promote growth, in part via regulation of the microRNA gene bantam, and their ability to promote growth is mutually dependent. Yorkie and Mad physically bind each other, and we identify a 410 bp minimal enhancer of bantam that responds to Yorkie:Mad in vivo and in cultured cells, and show that both Yorkie and Mad associate with this enhancer in vivo. Our results indicate that in promoting the growth of Drosophila tissues, Fat-Hippo and Dpp signaling contribute distinct subunits of a shared transcriptional activation complex, Yorkie:Mad.
Ambegaonkar, AA, Irvine KD.  2015.  Coordination of planar cell polarity pathways through Spiny legs. eLife. 4:pii:e09946.
Rauskolb, C, Sun S, Sun G, Pan Y, Irvine KD.  2014.  Cytoskeletal Tension Inhibits Hippo Signaling through an Ajuba-Warts Complex.. Cell. 158:143-156. AbstractWebsite
Mechanical forces have been proposed to modulate organ growth, but a molecular mechanism that links them to growth regulation in vivo has been lacking. We report that increasing tension within the cytoskeleton increases Drosophila wing growth, whereas decreasing cytoskeletal tension decreases wing growth. These changes in growth can be accounted for by changes in the activity of Yorkie, a transcription factor regulated by the Hippo pathway. The influence of myosin activity on Yorkie depends genetically on the Ajuba LIM protein Jub, a negative regulator of Warts within the Hippo pathway. We further show that Jub associates with α-catenin and that its localization to adherens junctions and association with α-catenin are promoted by cytoskeletal tension. Jub recruits Warts to junctions in a tension-dependent manner. Our observations delineate a mechanism that links cytoskeletal tension to regulation of Hippo pathway activity, providing a molecular understanding of how mechanical forces can modulate organ growth.
Mao, Y, Rauskolb C, Cho E, Hu W-L, Hayter H, Minihan G, Katz FN, Irvine KD.  2006.  Dachs: an unconventional myosin that functions downstream of Fat to regulate growth, affinity and gene expression in Drosophila. Development (Cambridge, England). 133:2539-51. AbstractWebsite
The dachs gene was first identified almost a century ago based on its requirements for appendage growth, but has been relatively little studied. Here, we describe the phenotypes of strong dachs mutations, report the cloning of the dachs gene, characterize the localization of Dachs protein, and investigate the relationship between Dachs and the Fat pathway. Mutation of dachs reduces, but does not abolish, the growth of legs and wings. dachs encodes an unconventional myosin that preferentially localizes to the membrane of imaginal disc cells. dachs mutations suppress the effects of fat mutations on gene expression, cell affinity and growth in imaginal discs. Dachs protein localization is influenced by Fat, Four-jointed and Dachsous, consistent with its genetic placement downstream of fat. However, dachs mutations have only mild tissue polarity phenotypes, and only partially suppress the tissue polarity defects of fat mutants. Our results implicate Dachs as a crucial downstream component of a Fat signaling pathway that influences growth, affinity and gene expression during development.
Mao, Y, Kuta A, Crespo-Enriquez I, Whiting D, Martin T, Mulvaney J, Irvine KD, Francis-West P.  2016.  Dchs1-Fat4 regulation of polarized cell behaviours during skeletal morphogenesis.. Nature communications. 7:11469. Abstract
Skeletal shape varies widely across species as adaptation to specialized modes of feeding and locomotion, but how skeletal shape is established is unknown. An example of extreme diversity in the shape of a skeletal structure can be seen in the sternum, which varies considerably across species. Here we show that the Dchs1-Fat4 planar cell polarity pathway controls cell orientation in the early skeletal condensation to define the shape and relative dimensions of the mouse sternum. These changes fit a model of cell intercalation along differential Dchs1-Fat4 activity that drives a simultaneous narrowing, thickening and elongation of the sternum. Our results identify the regulation of cellular polarity within the early pre-chondrogenic mesenchyme, when skeletal shape is established, and provide the first demonstration that Fat4 and Dchs1 establish polarized cell behaviour intrinsically within the mesenchyme. Our data also reveal the first indication that cell intercalation processes occur during ventral body wall elongation and closure.
Cho, E, Feng Y, Rauskolb C, Maitra S, Fehon RG, Irvine KD.  2006.  Delineation of a Fat tumor suppressor pathway. Nature Genetics. 38:1142-50. AbstractWebsite
Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster of the protocadherins Dachsous and Fat suggest that they act as ligand and receptor, respectively, for an intercellular signaling pathway that influences tissue polarity, growth and gene expression, but the basis for signaling downstream of Fat has remained unclear. Here, we characterize functional relationships among D. melanogaster tumor suppressors and identify the kinases Discs overgrown and Warts as components of a Fat signaling pathway. fat, discs overgrown and warts regulate a common set of downstream genes in multiple tissues. Genetic experiments position the action of discs overgrown upstream of the Fat pathway component dachs, whereas warts acts downstream of dachs. Warts protein coprecipitates with Dachs, and Warts protein levels are influenced by fat, dachs and discs overgrown in vivo, consistent with its placement as a downstream component of the pathway. The tumor suppressors Merlin, expanded, hippo, salvador and mob as tumor suppressor also share multiple Fat pathway phenotypes but regulate Warts activity independently. Our results functionally link what had been four disparate groups of D. melanogaster tumor suppressors, establish a basic framework for Fat signaling from receptor to transcription factor and implicate Warts as an integrator of multiple growth control signals.
Anderson, KV, Irvine KD.  2009.  Developmental biology moves forward in the 21st century. Current opinion in genetics & development. 19:299-301.Website
Pan, Y, Heemskerk I, Ibar C, Shraiman BI, Irvine KD.  2016.  Differential growth triggers mechanical feedback that elevates Hippo signaling.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Abstract
Mechanical stress can influence cell proliferation in vitro, but whether it makes a significant contribution to growth control in vivo, and how it is modulated and experienced by cells within developing tissues, has remained unclear. Here we report that differential growth reduces cytoskeletal tension along cell junctions within faster-growing cells. We propose a theoretical model to explain the observed reduction of tension within faster-growing clones, supporting it by computer simulations based on a generalized vertex model. This reduced tension modulates a biomechanical Hippo pathway, decreasing recruitment of Ajuba LIM protein and the Hippo pathway kinase Warts, and decreasing the activity of the growth-promoting transcription factor Yorkie. These observations provide a specific mechanism for a mechanical feedback that contributes to evenly distributed growth, and we show that genetically suppressing mechanical feedback alters patterns of cell proliferation in the developing Drosophila wing. By providing experimental support for the induction of mechanical stress by differential growth, and a molecular mechanism linking this stress to the regulation of growth in developing organs, our results confirm and extend the mechanical feedback hypothesis.
Stolz, A, Haines N, Pich A, Irvine KD, Hokke CH, Deelder AM, Gerardy-Schahn R, Wuhrer M, Bakker H.  2008.  Distinct contributions of beta 4GalNAcTA and beta 4GalNAcTB to Drosophila glycosphingolipid biosynthesis. Glycoconjugate Journal. 25:167-75. AbstractWebsite
Drosophila melanogaster has two beta4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases, beta4GalNAcTA and beta4GalNAcTB, that are able to catalyse the formation of lacdiNAc (GalNAcbeta,4GlcNAc). LacdiNAc is found as a structural element of Drosophila glycosphingolipids (GSLs) suggesting that beta4GalNAcTs contribute to the generation of GSL structures in vivo. Mutations in Egghead and Brainaic, enzymes that generate the beta4GalNAcT trisaccharide acceptor structure GlcNAcbeta,3Manbeta,4GlcbetaCer, are lethal. In contrast, flies doubly mutant for the beta4GalNAcTs are viable and fertile. Here, we describe the structural analysis of the GSLs in beta4GalNAcT mutants and find that in double mutant flies no lacdiNAc structure is generated and the trisaccharide GlcNAcbeta,3Manbeta,4GlcbetaCer accumulates. We also find that phosphoethanolamine transfer to GlcNAc in the trisaccharide does not occur, demonstrating that this step is dependent on prior or simultaneous transfer of GalNAc. By comparing GSL structures generated in the beta4GalNAcT single mutants we show that beta4GalNAcTB is the major enzyme for the overall GSL biosynthesis in adult flies. In beta4GalNAcTA mutants, composition of GSL structures is indistinguishable from wild-type animals. However, in beta4GalNAcTB mutants precursor structures are accumulating in different steps of GSL biosynthesis, without the complete loss of lacdiNAc, indicating that beta4GalNAcTA plays a minor role in generating GSL structures. Together our results demonstrate that both beta4GalNAcTs are able to generate lacdiNAc structures in Drosophila GSL, although with different contributions in vivo, and that the trisaccharide GlcNAcbeta,3Manbeta,4GlcbetaCer is sufficient to avoid the major phenotypic consequences associated with the GSL biosynthetic defects in Brainiac or Egghead.
Irvine, KD, Vogt TF.  1997.  Dorsal-ventral signaling in limb development. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 9:867-76. AbstractWebsite
In both Drosophila wings and vertebrate limbs, signaling between dorsal and ventral cells establishes an organizer that promotes limb formation. Significant progress has been made recently towards characterizing the signaling interactions that occur at the dorsal-ventral limb border. Studies of chicks have indicated that, as in Drosophila, this signaling process requires the participation of Fringe. Studies of Drosophila have indicated that Fringe functions by inhibiting the ability of Notch to be activated by one ligand, Serrate, while potentiating the ability of Notch to be activated by another ligand, Delta. Recent studies of both Drosophila and vertebrates have also shed new light on the signaling activity of the dorsal-ventral boundary limb organizer, and have highlighted how this organizer is maintained by feedback mechanisms with neighboring cells.
Papayannopoulos, V, Tomlinson A, Panin VM, Rauskolb C, Irvine KD.  1998.  Dorsal-ventral signaling in the Drosophila eye. Science. 281:2031-4. AbstractWebsite
The development of the Drosophila eye has served as a model system for investigations of tissue patterning and cell-cell communication; however, early eye development has not been well understood. The results presented here indicate that specialized cells are established along the dorsal-ventral midline of the developing eye by Notch-mediated signaling between dorsal and ventral cells, and that Notch activation at the midline plays an essential role both in promoting the growth of the eye primordia and in regulating eye patterning. These observations imply that the developmental homology between Drosophila wings and vertebrate limbs extends to Drosophila eyes.
Singh, A, Irvine KD.  2012.  Drosophila as a model for understanding development and disease.. Developmental Dynamics. 241:1-2.Website
Mao, Y, Kucuk B, Irvine KD.  2009.  Drosophila lowfat, a novel modulator of Fat signaling. Development (Cambridge, England). 136:3223-33. AbstractWebsite
The Fat-Hippo-Warts signaling network regulates both transcription and planar cell polarity. Despite its crucial importance to the normal control of growth and planar polarity, we have only a limited understanding of the mechanisms that regulate Fat. We report here the identification of a conserved cytoplasmic protein, Lowfat (Lft), as a modulator of Fat signaling. Drosophila Lft, and its human homologs LIX1 and LIX1-like, bind to the cytoplasmic domains of the Fat ligand Dachsous, the receptor protein Fat, and its human homolog FAT4. Lft protein can localize to the sub-apical membrane in disc cells, and this membrane localization is influenced by Fat and Dachsous. Lft expression is normally upregulated along the dorsoventral boundary of the developing wing, and is responsible for elevated levels of Fat protein there. Levels of Fat and Dachsous protein are reduced in lft mutant cells, and can be increased by overexpression of Lft. lft mutant animals exhibit a wing phenotype similar to that of animals with weak alleles of fat, and lft interacts genetically with both fat and dachsous. These studies identify Lft as a novel component of the Fat signaling pathway, and the Lft-mediated elevation of Fat levels as a mechanism for modulating Fat signaling.