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1.  The H3K27me3 Demethylase dUTX Is a Suppressor of Notch- and Rb-Dependent Tumors in Drosophila▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;30(10):2485-2497.
Trimethylated lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3) is an epigenetic mark for gene silencing and can be demethylated by the JmjC domain of UTX. Excessive H3K27me3 levels can cause tumorigenesis, but little is known about the mechanisms leading to those cancers. Mutants of the Drosophila H3K27me3 demethylase dUTX display some characteristics of Trithorax group mutants and have increased H3K27me3 levels in vivo. Surprisingly, dUTX mutations also affect H3K4me1 levels in a JmjC-independent manner. We show that a disruption of the JmjC domain of dUTX results in a growth advantage for mutant cells over adjacent wild-type tissue due to increased proliferation. The growth advantage of dUTX mutant tissue is caused, at least in part, by increased Notch activity, demonstrating that dUTX is a Notch antagonist. Furthermore, the inactivation of Retinoblastoma (Rbf in Drosophila) contributes to the growth advantage of dUTX mutant tissue. The excessive activation of Notch in dUTX mutant cells leads to tumor-like growth in an Rbf-dependent manner. In summary, these data suggest that dUTX is a suppressor of Notch- and Rbf-dependent tumors in Drosophila melanogaster and may provide a model for UTX-dependent tumorigenesis in humans.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01633-09
PMCID: PMC2863695  PMID: 20212086
2.  The Drosophila tumor suppressors Expanded and Merlin differentially regulate cell cycle exit, apoptosis, and Wingless signaling 
Developmental biology  2006;304(1):102-115.
Mutations that inactivate either merlin (mer) or expanded (ex) result in increased cell growth and proliferation in Drosophila. Both Mer and Ex are members of the Band 4.1 protein superfamily, and, based on analyses of mer ex double mutants, they are proposed to function together in at least a partially redundant manner upstream of the Hippo (Hpo) and Warts (Wts) proteins to regulate cell growth and division. By individually analyzing ex and mer mutant phenotypes, we have found important qualitative and quantitative differences in the ways Mer and Ex function to regulate cell proliferation and cell survival. Though both mer and ex restrict cell and tissue growth, ex clones exhibit delayed cell cycle exit in the developing eye, while mer clones do not. Conversely, loss of mer substantially compromises normal developmental apoptosis in the pupal retina, while loss of ex has only mild effects. Finally, ex has a role in regulating Wingless protein levels in the eye that is not obviously shared by either mer or hpo. Taken together, our data suggest that Mer and Ex differentially regulate multiple downstream pathways.
doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.12.021
PMCID: PMC1924969  PMID: 17258190
merlin; expanded; wingless; hippo; apoptosis; tumor suppressor; cell cycle

Results 1-2 (2)