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Developmental biology

Sgt1 acts via an LKB1/AMPK pathway to establish cortical polarity in larval neuroblasts.


PMID 22248825

Abstract

Drosophila neuroblasts are a model system for studying stem cell self-renewal and the establishment of cortical polarity. Larval neuroblasts generate a large apical self-renewing neuroblast, and a small basal cell that differentiates. We performed a genetic screen to identify regulators of neuroblast self-renewal, and identified a mutation in sgt1 (suppressor-of-G2-allele-of-skp1) that had fewer neuroblasts. We found that sgt1 neuroblasts have two polarity phenotypes: failure to establish apical cortical polarity at prophase, and lack of cortical Scribble localization throughout the cell cycle. Apical cortical polarity was partially restored at metaphase by a microtubule-induced cortical polarity pathway. Double mutants lacking Sgt1 and Pins (a microtubule-induced polarity pathway component) resulted in neuroblasts without detectable cortical polarity and formation of "neuroblast tumors." Mutants in hsp83 (encoding the predicted Sgt1-binding protein Hsp90), LKB1, or AMPKα all show similar prophase apical cortical polarity defects (but no Scribble phenotype), and activated AMPKα rescued the sgt1 mutant phenotype. We propose that an Sgt1/Hsp90-LKB1-AMPK pathway acts redundantly with a microtubule-induced polarity pathway to generate neuroblast cortical polarity, and the absence of neuroblast cortical polarity can produce neuroblast tumors.