- Department: Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
- Title: Associate Professor - Biology
- Phone: 407.823.6684
- Fax: 407.823.5769
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have taken advantage of the fabulous genetics of Drosophila to study TTSP function in a model organism. Our work focuses on the role of the Drosophila Stubble TTSP in developing leg epithelia. The shape of the developing leg is largely controlled by changes in cell shape driven by contraction of the actin cytoskeleton. In Stubble mutant animals cell shape changes are severely inhibited and leg development is highly abnormal (see BioEssays vol. 17, pg 693 for an overview). Our recent genetic studies have linked Stubble activity to RhoA signaling and indicate that Stubble is upstream of RhoA in a pathway leading to activation of myosin and contraction of the actin cytoskeleton. These studies provide the first good evidence that a TTSP functions in an intracellular signaling pathway and raise the possibility that this is a general feature of these proteases.
The upstream events leading to RhoA activation and changes in actin cytoskeletal dynamics are poorly understood in invertebrate and vertebrate systems. The current focus of our research is to test the hypothesis that Stubble activates RhoA in developing leg cells using biochemical studies as a companion to the genetic analyses. We are also interested in the role of another gene, broad (formerly the Broad-Complex), which works together with Stubble to control leg development. In addition to Stubble and broad, we have identified mutations in 3 genes that play a role in the hypothetical Stubble-RhoA signaling pathway. Cloning and characterization of these genes is a major focus of current work in the laboratory.
- Bayer, C.A., Halsell, S.R., Fristrom, J.W., Kiehart, D.P. and L. von Kalm (2003) Genetic Interactions Between the RhoA and Stubble-stubbloid Loci Suggest a Role for a Type II Transmembrane Serine Protease in Intracellular Signaling During Drosophila Imaginal Disc Morphogenesis. Genetics 165, 1417-1432.
- Bayer, C.A., Zhou, X., Zhou, B., Riddiford, L.M. and L. von Kalm (2003) Evolution of the Drosophila broad locus: The Manduca sexta broad Z4 isoform has biological activity in Drosophila. Development Genes and Evolution 213, 471-476.
- Bayer, C.A., S. Halsell, D. Kiehart and L. von Kalm. Genetic analysis of the Drosophila melanogaster Stubble-stubbloid locus during leg imaginal disc morphogenesis: A potential role for a type II transmembrane serine protease in RhoA signaling. Genetics 165: 1417-1432 (2003)