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Control of Compartment Size by an EGF Ligand from Neighboring Cells

Parker, Joseph (2006) Control of Compartment Size by an EGF Ligand from Neighboring Cells. Current Biology, 16 (20). pp. 2058-2065. ISSN 0960-9822. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.08.092.

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Insect bodies are subdivided into anterior (A) and posterior (P) compartments: cohesive fields of distinct cell lineage and cell affinity [1]. Like organs in many animal species, compartments can develop to normal sizes despite considerable variation in cell division [2, 3]. This implies that overall compartment dimensions are subject to genetic control, but the mechanisms are unknown. Here, studying Drosophila's embryonic segments, I show that P compartment dimensions depend on epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. I suggest the primary activating ligand is Spitz, emanating from neighboring A compartment cells. Spi/EGFR activity stimulates P compartment cell enlargement and survival, but evidence is presented that Spitz is secreted in limited amounts, so that increasing the number of cells within the P compartment causes the per-cell Spitz level to drop. This leads to compensatory apoptosis and cell-size reductions that preserve compartment dimensions. Conversely, I propose that lowering P compartment cell numbers enhances per-cell Spitz availability; this increases cell survival and cell size, again safeguarding compartment size. The results argue that the gauging of P compartment size is due, at least in part, to cells surviving and growing according to Spi availability. These data offer mechanistic insight into how diffusible molecules control organ size.

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Parker, Joseph0000-0001-9598-2454
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier Ltd. Received 20 December 2005, Revised 24 August 2006, Accepted 24 August 2006, Available online 23 October 2006. I am extremely grateful for the wonderful support I received from Peter Lawrence throughout the course of this study. For their helpful advice J.P. Vincent and Damon Page also receive my thanks, as do Richard Grenfell for assistance with FACS and Simon Bullock, Matthew Freeman, Martin Kerr, Peter Lawrence, G. Angus McQuibban, Matthew Piper, Leonie Quinn, and two anonymous reviewers for critically evaluating the manuscript. Matthew Freeman, Iswar Hariharan, Bruce Hay, Laura Johnston, Christian Lehner, and J.P. Vincent kindly provided fly stocks and antibodies. This work was supported by a Medical Research Council Studentship, and revision was assisted by funds from NIH-HD42770 (L. Johnston).
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Medical Research Council (UK)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:20
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180116-161339081
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Official Citation:Joseph Parker, Control of Compartment Size by an EGF Ligand from Neighboring Cells, Current Biology, Volume 16, Issue 20, 2006, Pages 2058-2065, ISSN 0960-9822, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84350
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 17:44
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:19

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