The CRL4 E3 ligase Mahjong/DCAF1 controls cell competition through the transcription factor Xrp1, independently of polarity genes

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Abstract

Cell competition, the elimination of cells surrounded by more fit neighbors, is proposed to suppress tumorigenesis. Mahjong (Mahj), a ubiquitin E3 ligase substrate receptor, has been thought to mediate competition of cells mutated for lethal giant larvae (lgl), a neoplastic tumor suppressor that defines apical-basal polarity of epithelial cells. Here, we show that Drosophila cells mutated for mahjong, but not for lgl [l(2)gl], are competed because they express the bZip-domain transcription factor Xrp1, already known to eliminate cells heterozygous for ribosomal protein gene mutations (Rp/+ cells). Xrp1 expression in mahj mutant cells results in activation of JNK signaling, autophagosome accumulation, eIF2α phosphorylation and lower translation, just as in Rp/+ cells. Cells mutated for damage DNA binding-protein 1 (ddb1; pic) or cullin 4 (cul4), which encode E3 ligase partners of Mahj, also display Xrp1-dependent phenotypes, as does knockdown of proteasome subunits. Our data suggest a new model of mahj-mediated cell competition that is independent of apical-basal polarity and couples Xrp1 to protein turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdev200795
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Volume149
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Cell competition
  • Cullin 4
  • DCAF1
  • DDB1
  • Lethal giant larvae
  • Mahjong
  • Xrp1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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