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A novel function for the Rap1-Rgl-Ral signaling network in asymmetric cell division

The Rap1-Rgl-Ral signaling network regulates neuroblast cortical polarity and spindle orientation
The Journal of Cell Biology 195:553-562. doi:10.1083/jcb.201108112 (2011) (The Rockefeller University Press)

Carmena, A.*, Makarova, A and Speicher, S.

A crucial first step in asymmetric cell division is to establish an axis of cell polarity along which the mitotic spindle aligns. Drosophila melanogaster neural stem cells, called neuroblasts (NBs), divide asymmetrically through intrinsic polarity cues, which regulate spindle orientation and cortical polarity. In this paper, we show that the Ras-like small guanosine triphosphatase Rap1 signals through the Ral guanine nucleotide exchange factor Rgl and the PDZ protein Canoe (Cno; AF-6/Afadin in vertebrates) to modulate the NB division axis and its apicobasal cortical polarity. Rap1 is slightly enriched at the apical pole of metaphase/anaphase NBs and was found in a complex with atypical protein kinase C and Par6 in vivo. Loss of function and gain of function of Rap1, Rgl and Ral proteins disrupt the mitotic axis orientation, the localization of Cno and Mushroom body defect, and the localization of cell-fate determinants. We propose that the Rap1-Rgl-Ral signaling network is a novel mechanism that cooperates with other intrinsic polarity cues to modulate asymmetric NB division.

*Corresponding author


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