Protein phosphatase 2A regulates self-renewal of Drosophila neural stem cells.
Drosophila larval brain neural stem cells, also known as neuroblasts, divide asymmetrically to generate a self-renewing neuroblast and a ganglion mother cell (GMC) that divides terminally to produce two differentiated neurons or glia. Failure of asymmetric cell division can result in hyperproliferation of neuroblasts, a phenotype resembling brain tumors. Here we have identified Drosophila Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) as a brain tumor-suppressor that can inhibit self-renewal of neuroblasts. Supernumerary larval brain neuroblasts are generated at the expense of differentiated neurons in PP2A mutants. Neuroblast overgrowth was observed in both dorsomedial (DM)/posterior Asense-negative (PAN) neuroblast lineages and non-DM neuroblast lineages. The PP2A heterotrimeric complex, composed of the catalytic subunit (Mts), scaffold subunit (PP2A-29B) and a B-regulatory subunit (Tws), is required for the asymmetric cell division of neuroblasts. The PP2A complex regulates asymmetric localization of Numb, Pon and Atypical protein kinase C, as well as proper mitotic spindle orientation. Interestingly, PP2A and Polo kinase enhance Numb and Pon phosphorylation. PP2A, like Polo, acts to prevent excess neuroblast self-renewal primarily by regulating asymmetric localization and activation of Numb. Reduction of PP2A function in larval brains or S2 cells causes a marked decrease in Polo transcript and protein abundance. Overexpression of Polo or Numb significantly suppresses neuroblast overgrowth in PP2A mutants, suggesting that PP2A inhibits excess neuroblast self-renewal in the Polo/Numb pathway.
Wang, C; Chang, KC; Somers, G; Virshup, D; Ang, BT; Tang, C; Yu, F; Wang, H
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