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Apoptosis in Drosophila: Compensatory proliferation and undead cells

AuthorsMartín, Francisco A.; Pérez-Garijo, Ainhoa ; Morata, Ginés
KeywordsCompensatory proliferation
Wg and Dpp signalling
Undead cell
Issue Date8-May-2008
PublisherUniversidad del País Vasco
CitationInternational Journal of Developmental Biology 53: 1341- 1347 (2009)
AbstractApoptosis (programmed cell death) is a conserved process in all animals, used to eliminate damaged or unwanted cells after stress events or during normal development to sculpt larval or adult structures. In Drosophila, it is known that stress events such as irradiation or heat shock give rise to high apoptotic levels which remove more than 50% of cells in imaginal discs. However, the surviving cells are able to restore normal size and pattern, indicating that they undergo additional proliferation. This >compensatory proliferation> is still poorly understood. One widely used method to study the properties of apoptotic cells is to keep them alive by expressing in them the baculoviral protein P35, which blocks the activity of the effector caspases. These >undead> cells acquire special features, such as the emission of the growth signals Dpp and Wg, changes in cellular morphology and induction of proliferation in neighbouring cells. Here, we review the various methods used in Drosophila to block apoptosis and its consequences, and focus on the generation and properties of undead cells in the wing imaginal disc. We describe their effects in epithelial architecture and growth in some detail, and discuss the possible relationship between undead cells and compensatory proliferation. © 2008 UBC Press Printed in Spain.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1387/ijdb.072447fm
issn: 0214-6282
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