The yeast type V myosin, Myo2, and the lethal giant larvae homologue, Sro7, are important players in polarized exocytosis. This paper article characterizes the role of Myo2 both in recruiting Sro7 to sites of polarized growth and in negatively regulating a Sec4-dependent vesicle-clustering activity of Sro7.
Lgl family members play an important role in the regulation of cell polarity in eukaryotic cells. The yeast homologues Sro7 and Sro77 are thought to act downstream of the Rab GTPase Sec4 to promote soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor adaptor protein receptor (SNARE) function in post-Golgi transport. In this article, we characterize the interaction between Sro7 and the type V myosin Myo2 and show that this interaction is important for two distinct aspects of Sro7 function. First, we show that this interaction plays a positive role in promoting the polarized localization of Sro7 to sites of active growth. Second, we find evidence that Myo2 negatively regulates Sro7 function in vesicle clustering. Mutants in either Myo2 or Sro7 that are defective for this interaction show hypersensitivity to Sro7 overexpression, which results in Sec4-dependent accumulation of large groups of vesicles in the cytoplasm. This suggests that Myo2 serves a dual function, to both recruit Sro7 to secretory vesicles and inhibit its Rab-dependent tethering activity until vesicles reach the plasma membrane. Thus Sro7 appears to coordinate the spatial and temporal nature of both Rab-dependent tethering and SNARE-dependent membrane fusion of exocytic vesicles with the plasma membrane.
Kin1 and Kin2 are Saccharomyces cerevisiae counterparts of Par-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans kinase essential for the establishment of polarity in the one cell embryo. Here, we present evidence for a novel link between Kin1, Kin2, and the secretory machinery of the budding yeast. We isolated KIN1 and KIN2 as suppressors of a mutant form of Rho3, a Rho-GTPase acting in polarized trafficking. Genetic analysis suggests that KIN1 and KIN2 act downstream of the Rab-GTPase Sec4, its exchange factor Sec2, and several components of the vesicle tethering complex, the Exocyst. We show that Kin1 and Kin2 physically interact with the t-SNARE Sec9 and the Lgl homologue Sro7, proteins acting at the final stage of exocytosis. Structural analysis of Kin2 reveals that its catalytic activity is essential for its function in the secretory pathway and implicates the conserved 42-amino acid tail at the carboxy terminal of the kinase in autoinhibition. Finally, we find that Kin1 and Kin2 induce phosphorylation of t-SNARE Sec9 in vivo and stimulate its release from the plasma membrane. In summary, we report the finding that yeast Par-1 counterparts are associated with and regulate the function of the exocytic apparatus via phosphorylation of Sec9.
Rab guanosine triphosphatases regulate intracellular membrane traffic by binding specific effector proteins. The yeast Rab Sec4p plays multiple roles in the polarized transport of post-Golgi vesicles to, and their subsequent fusion with, the plasma membrane, suggesting the involvement of several effectors. Yet, only one Sec4p effector has been documented to date: the exocyst protein Sec15p. The exocyst is an octameric protein complex required for tethering secretory vesicles, which is a prerequisite for membrane fusion. In this study, we describe the identification of a second Sec4p effector, Sro7p, which is a member of the lethal giant larvae tumor suppressor family. Sec4-GTP binds to Sro7p in cell extracts as well as to purified Sro7p, and the two proteins can be coimmunoprecipitated. Furthermore, we demonstrate the formation of a ternary complex of Sec4-GTP, Sro7p, and the t-SNARE Sec9p. Genetic data support our conclusion that Sro7p functions downstream of Sec4p and further imply that Sro7p and the exocyst share partially overlapping functions, possibly in SNARE regulation.
Lgl (lethal giant larvae) plays an important role in cell polarity. Atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) binds to and phosphorylates Lgl, and the phosphorylation negatively regulates Lgl activity. In this study, we identify p32 as a novel Lgl binding protein that directly binds to a domain on mammalian Lgl2 (mLgl2), which contains the aPKC phosphorylation site. p32 also binds to PKCζ, and the three proteins form a transient ternary complex. When p32 is bound, PKCζ is stimulated to phosphorylate mLgl2 more efficiently. p32 overexpression in Madin–Darby canine kidney cells cultured in a 3D matrix induces an expansion of the actin-enriched apical membrane domain and disrupts cell polarity. Addition of PKCζ inhibitor blocks apical actin accumulation, which is rescued by p32 overexpression. p32 knockdown by short hairpin RNA also induces cell polarity defects. Collectively, our data indicate that p32 is a novel regulator of cell polarity that forms a complex with mLgl2 and aPKC and enhances aPKC activity.
The exocyst complex localizes to distinct foci at the plasma membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana cells. Their localization at the plasma membrane is insensitive to BFA treatment but is decreased in an exocyst-subunit mutant. In turn, exocyst-subunit mutants show decreased exocytosis.
The exocyst complex, an effector of Rho and Rab GTPases, is believed to function as an exocytotic vesicle tether at the plasma membrane before soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex formation. Exocyst subunits localize to secretory-active regions of the plasma membrane, exemplified by the outer domain of Arabidopsis root epidermal cells. Using variable-angle epifluorescence microscopy, we visualized the dynamics of exocyst subunits at this domain. The subunits colocalized in defined foci at the plasma membrane, distinct from endocytic sites. Exocyst foci were independent of cytoskeleton, although prolonged actin disruption led to changes in exocyst localization. Exocyst foci partially overlapped with vesicles visualized by VAMP721 v-SNARE, but the majority of the foci represent sites without vesicles, as indicated by electron microscopy and drug treatments, supporting the concept of the exocyst functioning as a dynamic particle. We observed a decrease of SEC6–green fluorescent protein foci in an exo70A1 exocyst mutant. Finally, we documented decreased VAMP721 trafficking to the plasma membrane in exo70A1 and exo84b mutants. Our data support the concept that the exocyst-complex subunits dynamically dock and undock at the plasma membrane to create sites primed for vesicle tethering.
Rho GTPases are important regulators of polarity in eukaryotic cells. In yeast they are involved in regulating the docking and fusion of secretory vesicles with the cell surface. Our analysis of a Rho3 mutant that is unable to interact with the Exo70 subunit of the exocyst reveals a normal polarization of the exocyst complex as well as other polarity markers. We also find that there is no redundancy between the Rho3–Exo70 and Rho1–Sec3 pathways in the localization of the exocyst. This suggests that Rho3 and Cdc42 act to polarize exocytosis by activating the exocytic machinery at the membrane without the need to first recruit it to sites of polarized growth. Consistent with this model, we find that the ability of Rho3 and Cdc42 to hydrolyze GTP is not required for their role in secretion. Moreover, our analysis of the Sec3 subunit of the exocyst suggests that polarization of the exocyst may be a consequence rather than a cause of polarized exocytosis.
ETOC: Lgl1 interacts directly with NMII-A, inhibiting its filament assembly. It excludes NMII-A from the cell leading edge. Depletion of Lgl1 affects the size and number of focal adhesions, cell polarity, and the rate of migrating cells. These results indicate that Lgl1 regulates the polarity of migrating cells by controlling NMII-A filament assembly.
The Drosophila tumor suppressor Lethal (2) giant larvae (Lgl) regulates the apical–basal polarity in epithelia and asymmetric cell division. However, little is known about the role of Lgl in cell polarity in migrating cells. In this study we show direct physiological interactions between the mammalian homologue of Lgl (Lgl1) and the nonmuscle myosin II isoform A (NMII-A). We demonstrate that Lgl1 and NMII-A form a complex in vivo and provide data that Lgl1 inhibits NMII-A filament assembly in vitro. Furthermore, depletion of Lgl1 results in the unexpected presence of NMII-A in the cell leading edge, a region that is not usually occupied by this protein, suggesting that Lgl1 regulates the cellular localization of NMII-A. Finally, we show that depletion of Lgl1 affects the size and number of focal adhesions, as well as cell polarity, membrane dynamics, and the rate of migrating cells. Collectively these findings indicate that Lgl1 regulates the polarity of migrating cells by controlling the assembly state of NMII-A, its cellular localization, and focal adhesion assembly.
The exocyst -- an octameric protein complex mediating vesicle tethering at the plasma membrane for exocytosis -- is a downstream effector of the Rab proteins Rab8 and Rab11, which are key regulators of membrane trafficking from the trans-Golgi network and recycling endosome to the plasma membrane. Rab11 and Rab8 coordinate their actions via Rabin8, the guanine nucleotide exchange factor of Rab8. A cascade of protein-protein interactions involving the Rabs and the exocyst complex couples the generation of secretory vesicles at donor compartments to their docking and fusion at the plasma membrane. Here, we discuss recent work implicating Rab proteins and the exocyst in primary ciliogenesis and epithelial lumenogenesis. In addition, we discuss early work in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which provided initial insight into the molecular mechanisms of polarized exocytosis.
Lethal giant larvae (Lgl) plays a critical role in establishment of cell polarity in epithelial cells. While Frizzled/Dsh signaling has been implicated in the regulation of the localization and activity of Lgl, it remains unclear whether specific Wnt ligands are involved. Here we show that Wnt5a triggers the release of Lgl from the cell cortex into the cytoplasm with the concomitant decrease in Lgl stability. The observed changes in Lgl localization were independent of atypical PKC (aPKC), which is known to influence Lgl distribution. In ectodermal cells, both Wnt5a and Lgl triggered morphological and molecular changes characteristic of apical constriction, whereas depletion of their functions prevented endogenous and ectopic bottle cell formation. Furthermore, Lgl RNA partially rescued bottle cell formation in embryos injected with a dominant negative Wnt5a construct. These results suggest a molecular link between Wnt5a and Lgl that is essential for apical constriction during vertebrate gastrulation.
Lgl; Wnt5a; apical constriction; bottle cell; Xenopus
The Sec6 subunit of the multisubunit exocyst tethering complex interacts with the Sec1/Munc18 protein Sec1 and with the t-SNARE Sec9. Assembly of the exocyst upon vesicle arrival at sites of secretion is proposed to release Sec9 for SNARE complex assembly and to recruit Sec1 for interaction with SNARE complexes to facilitate fusion.
Trafficking of protein and lipid cargo through the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells is mediated by membrane-bound vesicles. Secretory vesicle targeting and fusion require a conserved multisubunit protein complex termed the exocyst, which has been implicated in specific tethering of vesicles to sites of polarized exocytosis. The exocyst is directly involved in regulating soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor (NSF) attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes and membrane fusion through interactions between the Sec6 subunit and the plasma membrane SNARE protein Sec9. Here we show another facet of Sec6 function—it directly binds Sec1, another SNARE regulator, but of the Sec1/Munc18 family. The Sec6–Sec1 interaction is exclusive of Sec6–Sec9 but compatible with Sec6–exocyst assembly. In contrast, the Sec6–exocyst interaction is incompatible with Sec6–Sec9. Therefore, upon vesicle arrival, Sec6 is proposed to release Sec9 in favor of Sec6–exocyst assembly and to simultaneously recruit Sec1 to sites of secretion for coordinated SNARE complex formation and membrane fusion.
The exocyst complex is essential for many exocytic events, by tethering vesicles at the plasma membrane for fusion. In fission yeast, polarized exocytosis for growth relies on the combined action of the exocyst at cell poles and myosin-driven transport along actin cables. We report here the identification of fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Sec3 protein, which we identified through sequence homology of its PH-like domain. Like other exocyst subunits, sec3 is required for secretion and cell division. Cells deleted for sec3 are only conditionally lethal and can proliferate when osmotically stabilized. Sec3 is redundant with Exo70 for viability and for the localization of other exocyst subunits, suggesting these components act as exocyst tethers at the plasma membrane. Consistently, Sec3 localizes to zones of growth independently of other exocyst subunits but depends on PIP2 and functional Cdc42. FRAP analysis shows that Sec3, like all other exocyst subunits, localizes to cell poles largely independently of the actin cytoskeleton. However, we show that Sec3, Exo70 and Sec5 are transported by the myosin V Myo52 along actin cables. These data suggest that the exocyst holocomplex, including Sec3 and Exo70, is present on exocytic vesicles, which can reach cell poles by either myosin-driven transport or random walk.
The exocyst complex plays a critical role in targeting and tethering vesicles to specific sites of the plasma membrane. These events are crucial for polarized delivery of membrane components to the cell surface, which is critical for cell motility and division. Though Rho GTPases are involved in regulating actin dynamics and membrane trafficking, their role in exocyst-mediated vesicle targeting is not very clear. Herein, we present evidence that depletion of GEF-H1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rho proteins, affects vesicle trafficking. Interestingly, we found that GEF-H1 directly binds to exocyst component Sec5 in a Ral GTPase-dependent manner. This interaction promotes RhoA activation, which then regulates exocyst assembly/localization and exocytosis. Taken together, our work defines a mechanism for RhoA activation in response to RalA-Sec5 signaling and involvement of GEF-H1/RhoA pathway in the regulation of vesicle trafficking.
We have identified a pair of related yeast proteins, Sro7p and Sro77p, based on their ability to bind to the plasma membrane SNARE (SNARE) protein, Sec9p. These proteins show significant similarity to the Drosophila tumor suppressor, lethal giant larvae and to the neuronal syntaxin–binding protein, tomosyn. SRO7 and SRO77 have redundant functions as loss of both gene products leads to a severe cold-sensitive growth defect that correlates with a severe defect in exocytosis. We show that similar to Sec9, Sro7/77 functions in the docking and fusion of post-Golgi vesicles with the plasma membrane. In contrast to a previous report, we see no defect in actin polarity under conditions where we see a dramatic effect on secretion. This demonstrates that the primary function of Sro7/77, and likely all members of the lethal giant larvae family, is in exocytosis rather than in regulating the actin cytoskeleton. Analysis of the association of Sro7p and Sec9p demonstrates that Sro7p directly interacts with Sec9p both in the cytosol and in the plasma membrane and can associate with Sec9p in the context of a SNAP receptor complex. Genetic analysis suggests that Sro7 and Sec9 function together in a pathway downstream of the Rho3 GTPase. Taken together, our studies suggest that members of the lethal giant larvae/tomosyn/Sro7 family play an important role in polarized exocytosis by regulating SNARE function on the plasma membrane.
exocytosis; SNARE complex; cell polarity; tumor suppressor; tomosyn
The exocyst is an octameric protein complex, which mediates the tethering of post-Golgi secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane prior to exocytic fusion. The exocyst assembles by side-by-side packing of rod-shaped subunits composed of helical bundles. The targeting of secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane involves direct interactions of the exocyst with PI(4,5)P2. In addition, a number of small GTP-binding proteins interact with components of the exocyst and regulate the assembly, localization, and function of this complex. Here we review the recent advances in the field, focusing on the function of the exocyst in polarized exocytosis.
The exocyst is a multi-protein complex essential for exocytosis and plasma membrane remodeling. The assembly of the exocyst complex mediates the tethering of post-Golgi secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane prior to fusion. Elucidating the mechanisms regulating exocyst assembly is important for the understanding of exocytosis. Here we show that the exocyst component Exo70 is a direct substrate of the Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2). ERK1/2 phosphorylation enhances the binding of Exo70 to other exocyst components and promotes the assembly the exocyst complex in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling. We further demonstrate that ERK1/2 regulates exocytosis as blocking ERK1/2 signaling by a chemical inhibitor or the expression of an Exo70 mutant defective in ERK1/2 phosphorylation inhibited exocytosis. In tumor cells, blocking Exo70 phosphorylation inhibits matrix metalloproteinase secretion and invadopodia formation. ERK1/2 phosphorylation of Exo70 may thus coordinate exocytosis with other cellular events in response to growth factor signaling.
ERK1/2; exocyst; Exo70; vesicle tethering; exocytosis; EGF; invadopodia
The exocyst is an octameric protein complex implicated in tethering post-Golgi secretory vesicles at the plasma membrane in preparation for fusion. However, it is not clear how the exocyst is targeted to and physically associates with specific domains of the plasma membrane and how its functions are regulated at those regions. We demonstrate that the N terminus of the exocyst component Sec3 directly interacts with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. In addition, we have identified key residues in Sec3 that are critical for its binding to the guanosine triphosphate–bound form of Cdc42. Genetic analyses indicate that the dual interactions of Sec3 with phospholipids and Cdc42 control its function in yeast cells. Disrupting these interactions not only blocks exocytosis and affects exocyst polarization but also leads to defects in cell morphogenesis. We propose that the interactions of Sec3 with phospholipids and Cdc42 play important roles in exocytosis and polarized cell growth.
The exocyst is an evolutionarily conserved octameric protein complex that tethers post-Golgi secretory vesicles at the plasma membrane for exocytosis. To elucidate the mechanism of vesicle tethering, it is important to understand how the exocyst physically associates with the plasma membrane (PM). In this study, we report that the mammalian exocyst subunit Exo70 associates with the PM through its direct interaction with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2). Furthermore, we have identified key conserved residues at the C-terminus of Exo70 that are crucial for the interaction of Exo70 with PI(4,5)P2. Disrupting Exo70-PI(4,5)P2 interaction abolished the membrane association of Exo70. We have also found that wild-type Exo70 but not the PI(4,5)P2-binding–deficient Exo70 mutant is capable of recruiting other exocyst components to the PM. Using the ts045 vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein trafficking assay, we demonstrate that Exo70-PI(4,5)P2 interaction is critical for the docking and fusion of post-Golgi secretory vesicles, but not for their transport to the PM.
Specification of the anteroposterior (AP) axis in Drosophila oocytes requires proper organization of the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton. The establishment and regulation of cytoskeletal polarity remain poorly understood, however. Here, we show important roles for the tumor suppressor Lethal (2) giant larvae (Lgl) and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) in regulating microtubule polarity and setting up the AP axis of the oocyte. Lgl in the germline cells regulates the localization of axis-specifying morphogens. aPKC phosphorylation of Lgl restricts Lgl activity to the oocyte posterior, thereby dividing the cortex into different domains along the AP axis. Active Lgl promotes the formation of actin-rich projections at the oocyte cortex and the posterior enrichment of the serine/threonine kinase Par-1, a key step for oocyte polarization. Our studies suggest that Lgl and its phosphorylation by aPKC may form a conserved regulatory circuitry in polarization of various cell types.
Lethal (2) giant larvae (Lgl); Atypical protein kinase C (aPKC); Oocyte polarity; Par-1; Microtubule; Oogenesis; Drosophila
The exocyst is an essential protein complex required for targeting and fusion of secretory vesicles to sites of exocytosis at the plasma membrane. To study the function of the exocyst complex, we performed a structure-based mutational analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae exocyst subunit Sec6p. Two “patches” of highly conserved residues are present on the surface of Sec6p; mutation of either patch does not compromise protein stability. Nevertheless, replacement of SEC6 with the patch mutants results in severe temperature-sensitive growth and secretion defects. At nonpermissive conditions, although trafficking of secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane is unimpaired, none of the exocyst subunits are polarized. This is consistent with data from other exocyst temperature-sensitive mutants, which disrupt the integrity of the complex. Surprisingly, however, these patch mutations result in mislocalized exocyst complexes that remain intact. Our results indicate that assembly and polarization of the exocyst are functionally separable events, and that Sec6p is required to anchor exocyst complexes at sites of secretion.
The exocyst complex is an evolutionarily conserved multisubunit protein complex implicated in tethering secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane. Originally identified two decades ago in budding yeast, investigations using several different eukaryotic systems have since made great progress toward determination of the overall structure and organization of the eight exocyst subunits. Studies point to a critical role for the complex as a spatiotemporal regulator through the numerous protein and lipid interactions of its subunits, although a molecular understanding of exocyst function has been challenging to elucidate. Recent progress demonstrates that the exocyst is also important for additional trafficking steps and cellular processes beyond exocytosis, with links to development and disease. In this review, we discuss current knowledge of exocyst architecture, assembly, regulation and its roles in a variety of cellular trafficking pathways.
Invadopodia are actin-based membrane protrusions formed at contact sites between invasive tumor cells and the extracellular matrix with matrix proteolytic activity. Actin regulatory proteins participate in invadopodia formation, whereas matrix degradation requires metalloproteinases (MMPs) targeted to invadopodia. In this study, we show that the vesicle-tethering exocyst complex is required for matrix proteolysis and invasion of breast carcinoma cells. We demonstrate that the exocyst subunits Sec3 and Sec8 interact with the polarity protein IQGAP1 and that this interaction is triggered by active Cdc42 and RhoA, which are essential for matrix degradation. Interaction between IQGAP1 and the exocyst is necessary for invadopodia activity because enhancement of matrix degradation induced by the expression of IQGAP1 is lost upon deletion of the exocyst-binding site. We further show that the exocyst and IQGAP1 are required for the accumulation of cell surface membrane type 1 MMP at invadopodia. Based on these results, we propose that invadopodia function in tumor cells relies on the coordination of cytoskeletal assembly and exocytosis downstream of Rho guanosine triphosphatases.
Activation of the rab GTPase, Sec4p, by its exchange factor, Sec2p, is needed for polarized transport of secretory vesicles to exocytic sites and for exocytosis. A small region in the C-terminal half of Sec2p regulates its localization. Loss of this region results in temperature-sensitive growth and the depolarized accumulation of secretory vesicles. Here, we show that Sec2p associates with the exocyst, an octameric effector of Sec4p involved in tethering secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane. Specifically, the exocyst subunit Sec15p directly interacts with Sec2p. This interaction normally occurs on secretory vesicles and serves to couple nucleotide exchange on Sec4p to the recruitment of the Sec4p effector. The mislocalization of Sec2p mutants correlates with dramatically enhanced binding to the exocyst complex. We propose that Sec2p is normally released from the exocyst after vesicle tethering so that it can recycle onto a new round of vesicles. The mislocalization of Sec2p mutants results from a failure to be released from Sec15p, blocking this recycling pathway.
The exocyst complex tethers post-Golgi secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane prior to docking and fusion. In this study, we identify Sec3, the missing component of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe exocyst complex (SpSec3). SpSec3 shares many properties with its orthologs, and its mutants are rescued by human Sec3/EXOC1. Although involved in exocytosis, SpSec3 does not appear to mark the site of exocyst complex assembly at the plasma membrane. It does, however, mark the sites of actin cytoskeleton recruitment and controls the organization of all three yeast actin structures: the actin cables, endocytic actin patches and actomyosin ring. Specifically, SpSec3 physically interacts with For3 and sec3 mutants have no actin cables as a result of a failure to polarize this nucleating formin. SpSec3 also interacts with actin patch components and sec3 mutants have depolarized actin patches of reduced endocytic capacity. Finally, the constriction and disassembly of the cytokinetic actomyosin ring is compromised in these sec3 mutant cells. We propose that a role of SpSec3 is to spatially couple actin machineries and their independently polarized regulators. As a consequence of its dual role in secretion and actin organization, Sec3 appears as a major co-ordinator of cell morphology in fission yeast.
actin; endocytosis; exocyst; morphology; Schizosaccharomyces pombe
Drosophila lethal giant larvae (lgl) is a tumour suppressor gene whose function in establishing apical-basal cell polarity as well as in exerting proliferation control in epithelial tissues is conserved between flies and mammals. Individuals bearing lgl null mutations show a gradual loss of tissue architecture and an extended larval life in which cell proliferation never ceases and no differentiation occurs, resulting in prepupal lethality. When tissues from those individuals are transplanted into adult normal recipients, a subset of cells, possibly the cancer stem units, are again able to proliferate and give rise to metastases which migrate to distant sites killing the host. This phenotype closely resembles that of mammalian epithelial cancers, in which loss of cell polarity is one of the hallmarks of a malignant, metastatic behaviour associated with poor prognosis. Lgl protein shares with its human counterpart Human giant larvae-1 (Hugl-1) significant stretches of sequence similarity that we demonstrated to translate into a complete functional conservation, pointing out a role in cell proliferation control and tumorigenesis also for the human homologue. The functional conservation and the power of fly genetics, that allows the researcher to manipulate the fly genome at a level of precision that exceeds that of any other multicellular genetic system, make this Drosophila mutant a very suitable model in which to investigate the mechanisms underlying epithelial tumour formation, progression and metastatisation. In this review, we will summarise the results obtained in these later years using this model for the study of cancer biology. Moreover, we will discuss how recent advances in developmental genetics techniques have succeeded in enhancing the similarities between fly and human tumorigenesis, giving Drosophila a pivotal role in the study of such a complex genetic disease.
Lethal giant larvae; tumour suppressor; Drosophila; Hugl-1; epithelial cancers; animal model.
Exocytosis is the major mechanism by which new membrane components are delivered to the cell surface. In most, if not all, eukaryotic cells this is also a highly spatially regulated process that is tightly coordinated with the overall polarity of a cell. The Rho/Cdc42 family of GTPases and the lethal giant larvae/Sro7 family are two highly conserved families of proteins which appear to have dual functions both in cell polarity and exocytosis. Analysis of their functions has begun to unravel the coordination between these processes and propose a model for polarized vesicle docking and fusion at the site of asymmetric cell growth.
Rho GTPases; Lgl; exocytosis; cell polarity