Drosophila growth and development in the absence of dMyc and dMnt.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Developmental biology, Volume 315, Issue 2, p.303-16 (2008)


2008, Animals, Antibody Development Core Facility, Base Sequence, Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors, Basic Sciences Division, Center-Authored Paper, DNA Primers, DNA-Binding Proteins, DROSOPHILA, Drosophila Proteins, Female, Gene Deletion, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Genes, Insect, Genomics Core Facility, Larva, Male, Metamorphosis, Biological, Mutation, PHENOTYPE, Repressor Proteins, Shared Resources, Signal Transduction, TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS, Wing


Myc oncoproteins are essential regulators of the growth and proliferation of mammalian cells. In Drosophila the single ortholog of Myc (dMyc), encoded by the dm gene, influences organismal size and the growth of both mitotic and endoreplicating cells. A null mutation in dm results in attenuated endoreplication and growth arrest early in larval development. Drosophila also contains a single ortholog of the mammalian Mad/Mnt transcriptional repressor proteins (dMnt), which is thought to antagonize dMyc function. Here we show that animals lacking both dMyc and dMnt display increased viability and grow significantly larger and develop further than dMyc single mutants. We observe increased endoreplication and growth of larval tissues in these double mutants and disproportionate growth of the imaginal discs. Gene expression analysis indicates that loss of dMyc leads to decreased expression of genes required for ribosome biogenesis and protein synthesis. The additional loss of dMnt partially rescues expression of a small number of dMyc and dMnt genes that are primarily involved in rRNA synthesis and processing. Our results indicate that dMnt repression is normally overridden by dMyc activation during larval development. Therefore the severity of the dm null phenotype is likely due to unopposed repression by dMnt on a subset of genes critical for cell and organismal growth. Surprisingly, considerable growth and development can occur in the absence of both dMyc and dMnt.