Mats-mediated Growth Control in Drosophila

Project: Research project

Project Details


PI: Lai IBN-0641914

Growth, proliferation and programmed cell death are tightly coordinated to control tissue growth and organ size during animal development. Disruption or malfunction of these processes can cause aberrant development such as tissue overgrowth. Dr. Lai's laboratory has discovered a novel tissue growth inhibitor Mats and shown that Mats is a key component of the Hippo (Hpo) growth inhibitory pathway important for coordinating cell proliferation and apoptosis in developing tissues. Mats functions as a co-activator of Warts (Wts) protein kinase and its growth inhibitory function is conserved in evolution. Mats acts downstream of hpo and Mats is directly activated by Hpo via phosphorylation. Moreover, Mats activates Wts to phosphorylate a downstream target, Yorkie (Yki). In this project, Dr. Lai plans to elucidate the functional significance of Mats-Wts association and Mats phosphorylation by Wts in tissue growth inhibition. Moreover, mechanisms by which Wts is activated by Mats and Yki is inhibited by Mats/Wts will be investigated. Results of this study are expected to advance our knowledge of how tissue growth and organ size are negatively regulated during animal development. Importantly, this project plans on supporting not only graduate students but also undergraduate students to participate in the proposed research activities and receive high quality of training.

Effective start/end date2/15/0712/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $390,000.00


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