Larval tracheae of Drosophila harbor progenitors of the adult tracheal system (tracheoblasts). We showed previously that thoracic tracheoblasts arrest in the G2 phase of the cell cycle in an ATR-Checkpoint Kinase1(Chk1)-dependent manner prior to division and morphogenesis (Kizhedathu et al., 2018). Here we investigate developmental regulation of Chk1 activation. We report that Wnt signaling is high in tracheoblasts and is necessary for high levels of activated (phosphorylated) Chk1. We find that canonical Wnt signaling facilitates this by transcriptional upregulation of Chk1 in cells that have ATR kinase activity. Wnt signalling is dependent on four Wnts (Wg, Wnt5, 6,10) that are expressed at high levels in arrested tracheoblasts and downregulated at mitotic re-entry. Interestingly, none of the Wnts are dispensable and act synergistically to induce Chk1. Finally, we show that downregulation of Wnt signalling and Chk1 expression leads to mitotic re-entry and the concomitant upregulation of Dpp signalling, driving tracheoblast proliferation.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript.
- Arjun Guha
- Arjun Guha
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Amin S. Ghabrial, Columbia University, United States
© 2020, Kizhedathu et al.
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Imaginal progenitors in Drosophila are known to arrest in G2 during larval stages and proliferate thereafter. Here we investigate the mechanism and implications of G2 arrest in progenitors of the adult thoracic tracheal epithelium (tracheoblasts). We report that tracheoblasts pause in G2 for ~48–56 h and grow in size over this period. Surprisingly, tracheoblasts arrested in G2 express drivers of G2-M like Cdc25/String (Stg). We find that mechanisms that prevent G2-M are also in place in this interval. Tracheoblasts activate Checkpoint Kinase 1/Grapes (Chk1/Grp) in an ATR/mei-41-dependent manner. Loss of ATR/Chk1 led to precocious mitotic entry ~24–32 h earlier. These divisions were apparently normal as there was no evidence of increased DNA damage or cell death. However, induction of precocious mitoses impaired growth of tracheoblasts and the tracheae they comprise. We propose that ATR/Chk1 negatively regulate G2-M in developing tracheoblasts and that G2 arrest facilitates cellular and hypertrophic organ growth.
Nitric oxide (NO), as a gaseous therapeutic agent, shows great potential for the treatment of many kinds of diseases. Although various NO delivery systems have emerged, the immunogenicity and long-term toxicity of artificial carriers hinder the potential clinical translation of these gas therapeutics. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), with the capacities of self-renewal, differentiation, and low immunogenicity, have been used as living carriers. However, MSCs as gaseous signaling molecule (GSM) carriers have not been reported. In this study, human MSCs were genetically modified to produce mutant β-galactosidase (β-GALH363A). Furthermore, a new NO prodrug, 6-methyl-galactose-benzyl-oxy NONOate (MGP), was designed. MGP can enter cells and selectively trigger NO release from genetically engineered MSCs (eMSCs) in the presence of β-GALH363A. Moreover, our results revealed that eMSCs can release NO when MGP is systemically administered in a mouse model of acute kidney injury (AKI), which can achieve NO release in a precise spatiotemporal manner and augment the therapeutic efficiency of MSCs. This eMSC and NO prodrug system provides a unique and tunable platform for GSM delivery and holds promise for regenerative therapy by enhancing the therapeutic efficiency of stem cells.