Identifying new signaling pathways involved in engulfment by follicle cells in the Drosophila ovary: a kinase screen
Chirn, Alice Tenzer
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Programmed cell death and cell corpse clearance are an essential part of an organism’s overall health and development. Cell corpses are often engulfed by professional phagocytes such as macrophages. However, in certain tissues, neighboring non-professional cells can also carry out phagocytic functions. Here, we use the Drosophila melanogaster ovary to investigate novel genes required for engulfment by non-professional phagocytes. In the Drosophila ovary, neighboring epithelial cells facilitate the clearance of dying germline cells. We performed an unbiased kinase screen to identify novel proteins and pathways involved in cell clearance in the nurse cell. Several genes identified in this screen were members of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) family. The class II and III PI3Ks are required for nurse cell clearance and acidification during late-stage oogenesis. Class I PI3K is required for progression during engulfment in mid-stage oogenesis. This kinase screen has revealed novel genes for further exploration and investigation.