Skip to main content

Jessica Sawyer

Assistant Research Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Pharmacology & Cancer Biology
DUMC 3813, LSRC B234, Durham, NC 27710
308 Research Drive, DUMC 3813, LSRC B234, Durham, NC 27710

Selected Publications


Distinct responses to rare codons in select Drosophila tissues.

Journal Article Elife · May 6, 2022 Codon usage bias has long been appreciated to influence protein production. Yet, relatively few studies have analyzed the impacts of codon usage on tissue-specific mRNA and protein expression. Here, we use codon-modified reporters to perform an organism-wi ... Full text Link to item Cite

Accelerated cell cycles enable organ regeneration under developmental time constraints in the Drosophila hindgut.

Journal Article Dev Cell · July 26, 2021 Individual organ development must be temporally coordinated with development of the rest of the organism. As a result, cell division cycles in a developing organ occur on a relatively fixed timescale. Despite this, many developing organs can regenerate cel ... Full text Link to item Cite

Exploiting codon usage identifies intensity-specific modifiers of Ras/MAPK signaling in vivo.

Journal Article PLoS Genet · December 2020 Signal transduction pathways are intricately fine-tuned to accomplish diverse biological processes. An example is the conserved Ras/mitogen-activated-protein-kinase (MAPK) pathway, which exhibits context-dependent signaling output dynamics and regulation. ... Full text Link to item Cite

Physiology, Development, and Disease Modeling in the Drosophila Excretory System.

Journal Article Genetics · February 2020 The insect excretory system contains two organ systems acting in concert: the Malpighian tubules and the hindgut perform essential roles in excretion and ionic and osmotic homeostasis. For over 350 years, these two organs have fascinated biologists as a mo ... Full text Link to item Cite

Fizzy-Related dictates A cell cycle switch during organ repair and tissue growth responses in the Drosophila hindgut.

Journal Article Elife · August 17, 2018 Ploidy-increasing cell cycles drive tissue growth in many developing organs. Such cycles, including endocycles, are increasingly appreciated to drive tissue growth following injury or activated growth signaling in mature organs. In these organs, the regula ... Full text Link to item Cite

A Cell Cycle Switch Dictates Organ Repair and Tissue Growth Responses in TheDrosophilaHindgut

Journal Article · 2018 ABSTRACT Ploidy-increasing cell cycles drive tissue growth in many developing organs. Such cycles, including endocycles, are increasingly appreciated to drive tissue growth following injury or activated growth signaling in mature organs. In these ... Full text Cite

Interorgan regulation of Drosophila intestinal stem cell proliferation by a hybrid organ boundary zone.

Journal Article Development · November 15, 2017 The molecular identities and regulation of cells at interorgan boundaries are often unclear, despite the increasingly appreciated role of organ boundaries in disease. Using Drosophila as a model, we here show that a specific population of adult midgut orga ... Full text Link to item Cite

Inter-organ regulation ofDrosophilaintestinal stem cell proliferation by a hybrid organ boundary zone

Journal Article · 2017 SUMMARY STATEMENT Gene expression at the Drosophila midgut-hindgut boundary is a hybrid of both organs. Hybrid cells repress stem cell division, but boundary injury activates stem cell division through inter-organ JAK-STAT signaling. ABSTRACT< ... Full text Cite

Mechanical feedback through E-cadherin promotes direction sensing during collective cell migration.

Journal Article Cell · May 22, 2014 E-cadherin is a major homophilic cell-cell adhesion molecule that inhibits motility of individual cells on matrix. However, its contribution to migration of cells through cell-rich tissues is less clear. We developed an in vivo sensor of mechanical tension ... Full text Link to item Cite

A contractile actomyosin network linked to adherens junctions by Canoe/afadin helps drive convergent extension.

Journal Article Mol Biol Cell · July 15, 2011 Integrating individual cell movements to create tissue-level shape change is essential to building an animal. We explored mechanisms of adherens junction (AJ):cytoskeleton linkage and roles of the linkage regulator Canoe/afadin during Drosophila germband e ... Full text Link to item Cite

Rab11 helps maintain apical crumbs and adherens junctions in the Drosophila embryonic ectoderm.

Journal Article PLoS One · October 28, 2009 BACKGROUND: Tissue morphogenesis and organogenesis require that cells retain stable cell-cell adhesion while changing shape and moving. One mechanism to accommodate this plasticity in cell adhesion involves regulated trafficking of junctional proteins. MET ... Full text Link to item Cite

The Drosophila afadin homologue Canoe regulates linkage of the actin cytoskeleton to adherens junctions during apical constriction.

Journal Article J Cell Biol · July 13, 2009 Cadherin-based adherens junctions (AJs) mediate cell adhesion and regulate cell shape change. The nectin-afadin complex also localizes to AJs and links to the cytoskeleton. Mammalian afadin has been suggested to be essential for adhesion and polarity estab ... Full text Link to item Cite

How the cytoskeleton helps build the embryonic body plan: models of morphogenesis from Drosophila.

Book · 2009 One key challenge for cell and developmental biologists is to determine how the cytoskeletal toolkit is used to build embryonic tissues and organs. Here, we review recent progress in meeting this challenge, focusing on epithelial morphogenesis in the Droso ... Full text Link to item Cite