The Drosophila Ral GTPase regulates developmental cell shape changes through the Jun NH2-terminal kinase pathway

Kazunobu Sawamoto, Per Winge, Shinya Koyama, Yuki Hirota, Chiharu Yamada, Sachiyo Miyao, Shingo Yoshikawa, Ming Hao Jin, Akira Kikuchi, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Ral GTPase is activated by RalGDS, which is one of the effector proteins for Ras. Previous studies have suggested that Ral might function to regulate the cytoskeleton; however, its in vivo function is unknown. We have identified a Drosophila homologue of Ral that is widely expressed during embryogenesis and imaginal disc development. Two mutant Drosophila Ral (DRal) proteins, DRal(G20V) and DRal(S25N), were generated and analyzed for nucleotide binding and GTPase activity. The biochemical analyses demonstrated that DRal(G20V) and DRal(S25N) act as constitutively active and dominant negative mutants, respectively. Overexpression of the wild-type DRal did not cause any visible phenotype, whereas DRal(G20V) and DRal(S25N) mutants caused defects in the development of various tissues including the cuticular surface, which is covered by parallel arrays of polarized structures such as hairs and sensory bristles. The dominant negative DRal protein caused defects in the development of hairs and bristles. These phenotypes were genetically suppressed by loss of function mutations of hemipterous and basket, encoding Drosophila Jun NH2-terminal kinase kinase (JNKK) and Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), respectively. Expression of the constitutively active DRal protein caused defects in the process of dorsal closure during embryogenesis and inhibited the phosphorylation of JNK in cultured S2 cells. These results indicate that DRal regulates developmental cell shape changes through the JNK pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-372
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume146
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jul 26
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bristle
  • Dorsal closure
  • Hair
  • Jun NH-terminal kinase
  • Ral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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