Combinatorial use of translational co-factors for cell type-specific regulation during neuronal morphogenesis in Drosophila

Eugenia C. Olesnicky, Balpreet Bhogal, Elizabeth R. Gavis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The translational regulators Nanos (Nos) and Pumilio (Pum) work together to regulate the morphogenesis of dendritic arborization (da) neurons of the Drosophila larval peripheral nervous system. In contrast, Nos and Pum function in opposition to one another in the neuromuscular junction to regulate the morphogenesis and the electrophysiological properties of synaptic boutons. Neither the cellular functions of Nos and Pum nor their regulatory targets in neuronal morphogenesis are known. Here we show that Nos and Pum are required to maintain the dendritic complexity of da neurons during larval growth by promoting the outgrowth of new dendritic branches and the stabilization of existing dendritic branches, in part by regulating the expression of cut and head involution defective. Through an RNA interference screen we uncover a role for the translational co-factor Brain Tumor (Brat) in dendrite morphogenesis of da neurons and demonstrate that Nos, Pum, and Brat interact genetically to regulate dendrite morphogenesis. In the neuromuscular junction, Brat function is most likely specific for Pum in the presynaptic regulation of bouton morphogenesis. Our results reveal how the combinatorial use of co-regulators like Nos, Pum and Brat can diversify their roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression for neuronal morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-218
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental biology
Volume365
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Keywords

  • Brain tumor
  • Dendrite morphogenesis
  • Nanos
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Pumilio

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