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Varga, G.I.B., Csordás, G., Cinege, G., Jankovics, F., Sinka, R., Kurucz, É., Andó, I., Honti, V. (2019). Headcase is a Repressor of Lamellocyte Fate in Drosophila melanogaster.  Genes (Basel) 10(3): E173.
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Research paper

Due to the evolutionary conservation of the regulation of hematopoiesis, Drosophila provides an excellent model organism to study blood cell differentiation and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) maintenance. The larvae of Drosophila melanogaster respond to immune induction with the production of special effector blood cells, the lamellocytes, which encapsulate and subsequently kill the invader. Lamellocytes differentiate as a result of a concerted action of all three hematopoietic compartments of the larva: the lymph gland, the circulating hemocytes, and the sessile tissue. Within the lymph gland, the communication of the functional zones, the maintenance of HSC fate, and the differentiation of effector blood cells are regulated by a complex network of signaling pathways. Applying gene conversion, mutational analysis, and a candidate based genetic interaction screen, we investigated the role of Headcase (Hdc), the homolog of the tumor suppressor HECA in the hematopoiesis of Drosophila. We found that naive loss-of-function hdc mutant larvae produce lamellocytes, showing that Hdc has a repressive role in effector blood cell differentiation. We demonstrate that hdc genetically interacts with the Hedgehog and the Decapentaplegic pathways in the hematopoietic niche of the lymph gland. By adding further details to the model of blood cell fate regulation in the lymph gland of the larva, our findings contribute to the better understanding of HSC maintenance.

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PMC6470581 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Genes (Basel)
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