A comparative study of pointed and yan expression reveals new complexity to the transcriptional networks downstream of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling

Jean François Boisclair Lachance, Nicolás Peláez, Justin J. Cassidy, Jemma L. Webber, Ilaria Rebay*, Richard W. Carthew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The biochemical regulatory network downstream of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling is controlled by two opposing ETS family members: the transcriptional activator Pointed (Pnt) and the transcriptional repressor Yan. A bistable switch model has been invoked to explain how pathway activation can drive differentiation by shifting the system from a high-Yan/low-Pnt activity state to a low-Yan/high-Pnt activity state. Although the model explains yan and pnt loss-of-function phenotypes in several different cell types, how Yan and Pointed protein expression dynamics contribute to these and other developmental transitions remains poorly understood. Toward this goal we have used a functional GFP-tagged Pnt transgene (Pnt-GFP) to perform a comparative study of Yan and Pnt protein expression throughout Drosophila development. Consistent with the prevailing model of the Pnt-Yan network, we found numerous instances where Pnt-GFP and Yan adopt a mutually exclusive pattern of expression. However we also observed many examples of co-expression. While some co-expression occurred in cells where RTK signaling is presumed low, other co-expression occurred in cells with high RTK signaling. The instances of co-expressed Yan and Pnt-GFP in tissues with high RTK signaling cannot be explained by the current model, and thus they provide important contexts for future investigation of how context-specific differences in RTK signaling, network topology, or responsiveness to other signaling inputs, affect the transcriptional response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume385
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2014

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • EGFR signaling
  • ETS transcription factor
  • Embryo
  • Gene regulation
  • Imaginal discs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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