30 research outputs found

    Mechanism of tumor‐suppressive cell competition in flies

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    Oncogenic mutations often trigger antitumor cellular response such as induction of apoptosis or cellular senescence. Studies in the last decade have identified the presence of the third guardian against mutation‐induced tumorigenesis, namely “cell competition.” Cell competition is a context‐dependent cell elimination whereby cells with higher fitness eliminate neighboring cells with lower fitness by inducing cell death. While oncogene‐induced apoptosis or oncogene‐induced senescence acts as a cell‐autonomous tumor suppressor, cell competition protects the tissue from tumorigenesis via cell‐cell communication. For instance, in Drosophila epithelium, oncogenic cells with cell polarity mutations overproliferate and develop into tumors on their own but are eliminated from the tissue when surrounded by wild‐type cells. Genetic studies in flies have unraveled that such tumor‐suppressive cell competition is regulated by at least three mechanisms: direct cell‐cell interaction between polarity‐deficient cells and wild‐type cells, secreted factors from epithelial cells, and systemic factors from distant organs. Molecular manipulation of tumor‐suppressive cell competition could provide a novel therapeutic strategy against human cancers

    Cell-cell interactions that drive tumorigenesis in Drosophila

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    Cell-cell interactions within tumour microenvironment play crucial roles in tumorigenesis. Genetic mosaic techniques available in Drosophila have provided a powerful platform to study the basic principles of tumour growth and progression via cell-cell communications. This led to the identification of oncogenic cell-cell interactions triggered by endocytic dysregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, cell polarity defects, or Src activation in Drosophila imaginal epithelia. Such oncogenic cooperations can be caused by interactions among epithelial cells, mesenchymal cells, and immune cells. Moreover, microenvironmental factors such as nutrients, local tissue structures, and endogenous growth signalling activities critically affect tumorigenesis. Dissecting various types of oncogenic cell-cell interactions at the single-cell level in Drosophila will greatly increase our understanding of how tumours progress in living animals

    Sas-Ptp10D shapes germ-line stem cell niche by facilitating JNK-mediated apoptosis

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    卵幹細胞ニッチの形づくりが卵幹細胞の数と卵産生能を決めることを解明. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2023-04-04.The function of the stem cell system is supported by a stereotypical shape of the niche structure. In Drosophila ovarian germarium, somatic cap cells form a dish-like niche structure that allows only two or three germ-line stem cells (GSCs) reside in the niche. Despite extensive studies on the mechanism of stem cell maintenance, the mechanisms of how the dish-like niche structure is shaped and how this structure contributes to the stem cell system have been elusive. Here, we show that a transmembrane protein Stranded at second (Sas) and its receptor Protein tyrosine phosphatase 10D (Ptp10D), effectors of axon guidance and cell competition via epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) inhibition, shape the dish-like niche structure by facilitating c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-mediated apoptosis. Loss of Sas or Ptp10D in gonadal apical cells, but not in GSCs or cap cells, during the pre-pupal stage results in abnormal shaping of the niche structure in the adult, which allows excessive, four to six GSCs reside in the niche. Mechanistically, loss of Sas-Ptp10D elevates Egfr signaling in the gonadal apical cells, thereby suppressing their naturally-occurring JNK-mediated apoptosis that is essential for the shaping of the dish-like niche structure by neighboring cap cells. Notably, the abnormal niche shape and resulting excessive GSCs lead to diminished egg production. Our data propose a concept that the stereotypical shaping of the niche structure optimizes the stem cell system, thereby maximizing the reproductive capacity

    Epithelial cell-turnover ensures robust coordination of tissue growth in Drosophila ribosomal protein mutants

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    体の成長と組織の成長の速度を調節する仕組みをハエで解明 --進化のメカニズムに関わる可能性--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2021-01-29.Highly reproducible tissue development is achieved by robust, time-dependent coordination of cell proliferation and cell death. To study the mechanisms underlying robust tissue growth, we analyzed the developmental process of wing imaginal discs in Drosophila Minute mutants, a series of heterozygous mutants for a ribosomal protein gene. Minute animals show significant developmental delay during the larval period but develop into essentially normal flies, suggesting there exists a mechanism ensuring robust tissue growth during abnormally prolonged developmental time. Surprisingly, we found that both cell death and compensatory cell proliferation were dramatically increased in developing wing pouches of Minute animals. Blocking the cell-turnover by inhibiting cell death resulted in morphological defects, indicating the essential role of cell-turnover in Minute wing morphogenesis. Our analyses showed that Minute wing discs elevate Wg expression and JNK-mediated Dilp8 expression that causes developmental delay, both of which are necessary for the induction of cell-turnover. Furthermore, forced increase in Wg expression together with developmental delay caused by ecdysone depletion induced cell-turnover in the wing pouches of non-Minute animals. Our findings suggest a novel paradigm for robust coordination of tissue growth by cell-turnover, which is induced when developmental time axis is distorted

    Tumor elimination by clustered microRNAs miR-306 and miR-79 via noncanonical activation of JNK signaling

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    JNK signaling plays a critical role in both tumor promotion and tumor suppression. Here, we identified clustered microRNAs (miRNAs) miR-306 and miR-79 as novel tumor-suppressor miRNAs that specifically eliminate JNK-activated tumors in Drosophila. While showing only a slight effect on normal tissue growth, miR-306 and miR-79 strongly suppressed growth of multiple tumor models, including malignant tumors caused by Ras activation and cell polarity defects. Mechanistically, these miRNAs commonly target the mRNA of an E3 ubiquitin ligase ring finger protein 146 (RNF146). We found that RNF146 promotes degradation of tankyrase (Tnks), an ADP-ribose polymerase that promotes JNK activation in a noncanonical manner. Thus, downregulation of RNF146 by miR-306 and miR-79 leads to hyper-enhancement of JNK activation. Our data show that, while JNK activity is essential for tumor growth, elevation of miR-306 or miR-79 overactivate JNK signaling to the lethal level via noncanonical JNK pathway and thus eliminate tumors, providing a new miRNA-based strategy against cancer

    Cell competition is driven by Xrp1-mediated phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α

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    生体から不良細胞を除去する「細胞競合」の仕組みの一端を解明 --不良細胞は小胞体ストレス応答機構を使ってタンパク質合成量を低下させ除去される--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2021-12-08.Cell competition is a context-dependent cell elimination via cell-cell interaction whereby unfit cells (‘losers’) are eliminated from the tissue when confronted with fitter cells (‘winners’). Despite extensive studies, the mechanism that drives loser’s death and its physiological triggers remained elusive. Here, through a genetic screen in Drosophila, we find that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress causes cell competition. Mechanistically, ER stress upregulates the bZIP transcription factor Xrp1, which promotes phosphorylation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2α via the kinase PERK, leading to cell elimination. Surprisingly, our genetic data show that different cell competition triggers such as ribosomal protein mutations or RNA helicase Hel25E mutations converge on upregulation of Xrp1, which leads to phosphorylation of eIF2α and thus causes reduction in global protein synthesis and apoptosis when confronted with wild-type cells. These findings not only uncover a core pathway of cell competition but also open the way to understanding the physiological triggers of cell competition

    Non-autonomous overgrowth by oncogenic niche cells: Cellular cooperation and competition in tumorigenesis

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    Tumor progression is classically viewed as the Darwinian evolution of subclones that sequentially acquire genetic mutations and autonomously overproliferate. However, growing evidence suggests that tumor microenvironment and subclone heterogeneity contribute to non-autonomous tumor progression. Recent Drosophila studies revealed a common mechanism by which clones of genetically altered cells trigger non-autonomous overgrowth. Such "oncogenic niche cells" (ONCs) do not overgrow but instead stimulate neighbor overgrowth and metastasis. Establishment of ONCs depends on competition and cooperation between heterogeneous cell populations. This review characterizes diverse ONCs identified in Drosophila and describes the genetic basis of non-autonomous tumor progression. Similar mechanisms may contribute to mammalian cancer progression and recurrence

    JNK and Yorkie drive tumor progression by generating polyploid giant cells in Drosophila

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    Epithelial cancer tissues often possess polyploid giant cells, which are thought to be highly oncogenic. However, the mechanisms by which polyploid giant cells are generated in tumor tissues and how such cells contribute to tumor progression remain elusive. We previously noticed in Drosophila imaginal epithelium that cells mutant for the endocytic gene rab5 exhibit enlarged nuclei. Here we find that mutations in endocytic ‘neoplastic tumor-suppressor’ genes, such as rab5, vps25, erupted, or avalanche result in generation of polyploid giant cells. Genetic analyses on rab5-defective cells reveal that cooperative activation of JNK and Yorkie generates polyploid giant cells via endoreplication. Mechanistically, Yorkie-mediated upregulation of Diap1 cooperates with JNK to downregulate the G2/M cyclin CycB, thereby inducing endoreplication. Interestingly, malignant tumors induced by Ras activation and cell polarity defect also consist of polyploid giant cells, which are generated by JNK and Yorkie-mediated downregulation of CycB. Strikingly, elimination of polyploid giant cells from such malignant tumors by blocking endoreplication strongly suppressed tumor growth and metastatic behavior. Our observations suggest that JNK and Yorkie, two oncogenic proteins activated in many types of human cancers, cooperatively drive tumor progression by generating oncogenic polyploid giant cells