Regulation of epithelial wound healing and airway maturation in Drosophila

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 1350000 SEK


Epithelial sheets provide barriers separating organs or entire organisms from their surroundings to regulate homeostasis. Epithelial cells are highly polarized to facilitate cell communication and transport of molecules across the apical and basolateral borders. One major aim of the project is to elucidate the epithelial maturation processes generating functional Drosophila airways. The airway tubes of the trachea and vertebrate lungs undergo a rapid transition from a liquid- to a gas-filled state at the end of embryogenesis. We have described the tracheal epithelial transitions by live imaging and identified genes required for the distinct, hierarchical steps of the maturation process. We plan to utilize large-scale genetic screens, imaging technologies and molecular methods to identify developmental regulators of airway maturation. We analyzed mutants in Dret2, a new Receptor Tyrosine Kinase required for re-epithelialization after wounding. Molecular and genetic experiments suggest that it activates the Erk and JNK pathways to facilitate wound healing. We propose to characterize the nuclear and cytoskeletal effectors of Dret2 signaling using molecular and genetic approaches. The results from the proposed research are likely to uncover the regulatory mechanisms of fundamental epithelial cell biology. They may also provide mechanistic insights into the causes of pathologies like respiratory distress syndrome and epithelial edemas after injuries and infections.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58