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Development. 2001 Dec;128(23):4737-46.

Notch-Delta signaling induces a transition from mitotic cell cycle to endocycle in Drosophila follicle cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, J591, HSB, Seattle, WA 98195-7350, USA.

Abstract

In many developmental processes, polyploid cells are generated by a variation of the normal cell cycle called the endocycle in which cells increase their genomic content without dividing. How the transition from the normal mitotic cycle to endocycle is regulated is poorly understood. We show that the transition from mitotic cycle to endocycle in the Drosophila follicle cell epithelium is regulated by the Notch pathway. Loss of Notch function in follicle cells or its ligand Delta function in the underlying germline disrupts the normal transition of the follicle cells from mitotic cycle to endocycle, mitotic cycling continues, leading to overproliferation of these cells. The regulation is at the transcriptional level, as Su(H), a downstream transcription factor in the pathway, is also required cell autonomously in follicle cells for proper transitioning to the endocycle. One target of Notch and Su(H) is likely to be the G2/M cell cycle regulator String, a phosphatase that activates Cdc2 by dephosphorylation. String is normally repressed in the follicle cells just before the endocycle transition, but is expressed when Notch is inactivated. Analysis of the activity of String enhancer elements in follicle cells reveals the presence of an element that promotes expression of String until just before the onset of polyploidy in wild-type follicle cells but well beyond this stage in Notch mutant follicle cells. This suggests that it may be the target of the endocycle promoting activity of the Notch pathway. A second element that is insensitive to Notch regulation promotes String expression earlier in follicle cell development, which explains why Notch, while active at both stages, represses String only at the mitotic cycle-endocycle transition.

PMID:
11731454
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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