JAK signaling is somatically required for follicle cell differentiation in Drosophila.

TitleJAK signaling is somatically required for follicle cell differentiation in Drosophila.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge, England)

Janus kinase (JAK) pathway activity is an integral part of signaling through a variety of ligands and receptors in mammals. The extensive re-utilization and pleiotropy of this pathway in vertebrate development is conserved in other animals as well. In Drosophila melanogaster, JAK signaling has been implicated in embryonic pattern formation, sex determination, larval blood cell development, wing venation, planar polarity in the eye, and formation of other adult structures. Here we describe several roles for JAK signaling in Drosophila oogenesis. The gene for a JAK pathway ligand, unpaired, is expressed specifically in the polar follicle cells, two pairs of somatic cells at the anterior and posterior poles of the developing egg chamber. Consistent with unpaired expression, reduced JAK pathway activity results in the fusion of developing egg chambers. A primary defect of these chambers is the expansion of the polar cell population and concomitant loss of interfollicular stalk cells. These phenotypes are enhanced by reduction of unpaired activity, suggesting that Unpaired is a necessary ligand for the JAK pathway in oogenesis. Mosaic analysis of both JAK pathway transducers, hopscotch and Stat92E, reveals that JAK signaling is specifically required in the somatic follicle cells. Moreover, JAK activity is also necessary for the initial commitment of epithelial follicle cells. Many of these roles are in common with, but distinct from, the known functions of Notch signaling in oogenesis. Consistent with these data is a model in which Notch signaling determines a pool of cells to be competent to adopt stalk or polar fate, while JAK signaling assigns specific identity within that competent pool.

Short TitleDevelopment
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