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Chicago Ridge, IL, United States

Sukhanova M.J.,Ben May Institute for Cancer Research | Steele L.J.,Ben May Institute for Cancer Research | Steele L.J.,Harvard University | Zhang T.,Ben May Institute for Cancer Research | And 4 more authors.
Developmental Biology | Year: 2011

The retinoblastoma gene Rb is the prototype tumor suppressor and is conserved in Drosophila. We use the developing fly retina as a model system to investigate the role of Drosophila Rb (rbf) during differentiation. This report shows that mutation of rbf and rhinoceros (rno), which encodes a PHD domain protein, leads to a synergistic delay in photoreceptor cell differentiation in the developing eye disc. We show that this differentiation delay phenotype is caused by decreased levels of different components of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway in the absence of rbf and rno. We show that rbf is required for normal expression of Rhomboid proteins and activation of MAP kinase in the morphogenetic furrow (MF), while rno is required for the expression of Pointed (Pnt) and Ebi proteins, which are key factors that mediate EGFR signaling output in the nucleus. Interestingly, while removing the transcription activation function of dE2F1 is sufficient to suppress the synergistic differentiation delay, a mutant form of de2f1 that disrupts the binding with RBF but retains the transcription activation function does not mimic the effect of rbf loss. These observations suggest that RBF has additional functions besides dE2F1 binding that regulates EGFR signaling and photoreceptor differentiation. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

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