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Parra, A.S., Johnston, C.A. (2020). Mud Loss Restricts Yki-Dependent Hyperplasia in Drosophila Epithelia.  J. Dev. Biol. 8(4): E34.
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Research paper

Tissue development demands precise control of cell proliferation and organization, which is achieved through multiple conserved signaling pathways and protein complexes in multicellular animals. Epithelia are a ubiquitous tissue type that provide diverse functions including physical protection, barrier formation, chemical exchange, and secretory activity. However, epithelial cells are also a common driver of tumorigenesis; thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms that control their growth dynamics is important in understanding not only developmental mechanisms but also disease. One prominent pathway that regulates epithelial growth is the conserved Hippo/Warts/Yorkie network. Hippo/Warts inactivation, or activating mutations in Yorkie that prevent its phosphorylation (e.g., YkiS168A), drive hyperplastic tissue growth. We recently reported that loss of Mushroom body defect (Mud), a microtubule-associated protein that contributes to mitotic spindle function, restricts YkiS168A-mediated growth in Drosophila imaginal wing disc epithelia. Here we show that Mud loss alters cell cycle progression and triggers apoptosis with accompanying Jun kinase (JNK) activation in YkiS168A-expressing discs. To identify additional molecular insights, we performed RNAseq and differential gene expression profiling. This analysis revealed that Mud knockdown in YkiS168A-expressing discs resulted in a significant downregulation in expression of core basement membrane (BM) and extracellular matrix (ECM) genes, including the type IV collagen gene viking. Furthermore, we found that YkiS168A-expressing discs accumulated increased collagen protein, which was reduced following Mud knockdown. Our results suggest that ECM/BM remodeling can limit untoward growth initiated by an important driver of tumor growth and highlight a potential regulatory link with cytoskeleton-associated genes.

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PMC7768408 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    J. Dev. Biol.
    Journal of developmental biology
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