Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Caffeine, kinases and the Hippo pathway: cell-based fly RNAi screen with in vivo follow-up

Di Cara F, Maile TM, Parsons BD, Magico A, Basu S, Tapon N, King-Jones K. The Hippo pathway promotes cell survival in response to chemical stress. Cell Death Differ. 2015 Mar 13. PMID: 26021298.

From the abstract: "Cellular stress defense mechanisms have evolved to maintain homeostasis in response to a broad variety of environmental challenges. Stress signaling pathways activate multiple cellular programs that range from the activation of survival pathways to the initiation of cell death when cells are damaged beyond repair. To identify novel players acting in stress response pathways, we conducted a cell culture RNA interference (RNAi) screen using caffeine as a xenobiotic stress-inducing agent, as this compound is a well-established inducer of detoxification response pathways. Specifically, we examined how caffeine affects cell survival when Drosophila kinases and phosphatases were depleted via RNAi. Using this approach, we identified and validated 10 kinases and 4 phosphatases that are essential for cell survival under caffeine-induced stress both in cell culture and living flies. Remarkably, our screen yielded an enrichment of Hippo pathway components, indicating that this pathway regulates cellular stress responses. ... Our in vitro and in vivo loss-of-function data therefore implicate Hippo signaling in the transduction of cellular survival signals in response to chemical stress."

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