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Identification of new components of the polarity pathway in drosophila


Research objectives and content
The control of cellular polarity is one of the least understood aspects of development la Drosophila, like in all insects ia general the right stablishment of planar polarity in epithelial cells leads to the existence of regular arrays of bristles and hairs in wings, legs and body in genmal and the precise spatial arrangement of ammatidia in the adult eye. Little is known about the genes controlling such process. Mutations ia genes like dsh and RhoA, and genetic interactions among them, suggested the existence of a Fz/RhoA signaling for for the stablishment of polarity, which could have some analogies to the JNK signaling pathway partially dissected for a very different process occurring during Drosophila development, dorsal closure. This cascade would be also equivalent to the yeast pheromone signaling pathway and to the SRF activation pathway in vertebrate cells. The main objectives of this project are:1. To determine whether the known components of the JNK pathway involved in dorsal closure have a role in the establishment of tissue polarity.For this' we wil analyze the effect of loss of function of these genes in the adult eye and in the wing, to check whether we can detect a disruption of the regular arrangement of ommatidia or bristles in the mutant tissue.2. Identification of new components involved in polarity signaling.To do this we will perform a genetic screen looking for external modification of the gain of function phenotype of the small GTPase Racl (in which polarity is affected). We will use a collection of P lethal insertions to look for lines which dominantly interact with the tester stock These lines will represent mutant alleles of potential members of the polarity pathway, which can represent new alleles of already known genes, and also novel loci. The molecular characterization of the latter ones will be also persued.
Tranining content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
As a result of this work we will try to define and characterize all the components of this pathway and to understand the mechanisms underlying the process of cellular polaryzation in general. It will also be interesting to establish the common features existing between this pathway and the ones previously described in yeast and vertebrates.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


Universitat de Valencia (Estudi General)
50,C/ Doctor Moliner
46100 Valencia