Genome-wide screen for new components of the Drosophila melanogaster Torso receptor tyrosine kinase pathway

Alex R. Johns, Michelle A. Henstridge, Melissa J. Saligari, Karyn A. Moore, James C. Whisstock, Coral G. Warr, Travis K. Johnson

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Patterning of the Drosophila embryonic termini by the Torso (Tor) receptor pathway has long served as a valuable paradigm for understanding how receptor tyrosine kinase signaling is controlled. However, the mechanisms that underpin the control of Tor signaling remain to be fully understood. In particular, it is unclear how the Perforin-like protein Torso-like (Tsl) localizes Tor activity to the embryonic termini. To shed light on this, together with other aspects of Tor pathway function, we conducted a genome-wide screen to identify new pathway components that operate downstream of Tsl. Using a set of molecularly defined chromosomal deficiencies, we screened for suppressors of ligand-dependent Tor signaling induced by unrestricted Tsl expression. This approach yielded 59 genomic suppressor regions, 11 of which we mapped to the causative gene, and a further 29 that were mapped to < 15 genes. Of the identified genes, six represent previously unknown regulators of embryonic Tor signaling. These include twins (tws), which encodes an integral subunit of the protein phosphatase 2A complex, and a-tubulin at 84B (aTub84B), a major constituent of the microtubule network, suggesting that these may play an important part in terminal patterning. Together, these data comprise a valuable resource for the discovery of new Tor pathway components. Many of these may also be required for other roles of Tor in development, such as in the larval prothoracic gland where Tor signaling controls the initiation of metamorphosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-769
Number of pages9
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Cell signaling
  • Drosophila
  • Embryo
  • Mutant screen report
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase
  • Terminal patterning
  • Torso
  • Torso-like

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