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Development 130 (1): 135-145

Localized JAK/STAT signaling is required for oriented cell rearrangement in a tubular epithelium

Katherine A. Johansen, D. David Iwaki, and Judith A. Lengyel*

Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606, USA

* Author for correspondence (e-mail: jlengyel{at}ucla.edu)

Accepted for publication 14 October 2002.

Abstract: Rearrangement of cells constrained within an epithelium is a key process that contributes to tubular morphogenesis. We show that activation in a gradient of the highly conserved JAK/STAT pathway is essential for orienting the cell rearrangement that drives elongation of a genetically tractable model. Using loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments, we show that the components of the pathway from ligand to the activated transcriptional regulator STAT are required for cell rearrangement in the Drosophila embryonic hindgut. The difference in effect between localized expression of ligand (Unpaired) and dominant active JAK (Hopscotch) demonstrates that the ligand plays a cell non-autonomous role in hindgut cell rearrangement. Taken together with the appearance of STAT92E in a gradient in the hindgut epithelium, these results support a model in which an anteroposterior gradient of ligand results in a gradient of activated STAT. These results provide the first example in which JAK/STAT signaling plays a required role in orienting cell rearrangement that elongates an epithelium.

Key Words: JAK/STAT pathway • Cell rearrangement • Tubulogenesis • Morphogenesis • Drosophila melanogaster

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