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Development. 2004 Feb;131(4):775-86. Epub 2004 Jan 14.

Drosophila dMyc is required for ovary cell growth and endoreplication.

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  • 1Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C-0930, Austin, TX 78712-0253, USA.

Abstract

Although the Myc oncogene has long been known to play a role in many human cancers, the mechanisms that mediate its effects in both normal cells and cancer cells are not fully understood. We have initiated a genetic analysis of the Drosophila homolog of the Myc oncoprotein (dMyc), which is encoded by the dm locus. We carried out mosaic analysis to elucidate the functions of dMyc in the germline and somatic cells of the ovary during oogenesis, a process that involves cell proliferation, differentiation and growth. Germline and somatic follicle cells mutant for dm exhibit a profound decrease in their ability to grow and to carry out endoreplication, a modified cell cycle in which DNA replication occurs in the absence of cell division. In contrast to its dramatic effects on growth and endoreplication, dMyc is dispensable for the mitotic division cycles of both germline and somatic components of the ovary. Surprisingly, despite their impaired ability to endoreplicate, dm mutant follicle cells appeared to carry out chorion gene amplification normally. Furthermore, in germline cysts in which the dm mutant cells comprised only a subset of the 16-cell cluster, we observed strictly cell-autonomous growth defects. However, in cases in which the entire germline cyst or the whole follicular epithelium was mutant for dm, the growth of the entire follicle, including the wild-type cells, was delayed. This observation indicates the existence of a signaling mechanism that acts to coordinate the growth rates of the germline and somatic components of the follicle. In summary, dMyc plays an essential role in promoting the rapid growth that must occur in both the germline and the surrounding follicle cells for oogenesis to proceed.

PMID:
14724122
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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