Salt inducible kinases as novel Notch interactors in the developing Drosophilaretina
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Developmental processes require strict regulation of proliferation, differentiation and patterning for the generation of final organ size. Aberrations in these fundamental events are critically important in tumorigenesis and cancer progression.Salt inducible kinases(Siks) are evolutionarily conserved genes involved in diverse biological processes, including salt sensing, metabolism, muscle, cartilage and bone formation, but their role in development remains largely unknown. Recent findings implicate Siks in mitotic control, and in both tumor suppression and progression. Using a tumor model in theDrosophilaeye, we show that perturbation of Sik function exacerbates tumor-like tissue overgrowth and metastasis. Furthermore, we show that bothDrosophila Sikgenes,Sik2andSik3, function in eye development processes. We propose that an important target of Siks may be the Notch signaling pathway, as we demonstrate genetic interaction between Siks and Notch pathway members. Finally, we investigate Sik expression in the developing retina and show that Sik2 is expressed in all photoreceptors, basal to cell junctions, while Sik3 appears to be expressed specifically in R3/R4 cells in the developing eye. Combined, our data suggest thatSikgenes are important for eye tissue specification and growth, and that their dysregulation may contribute to tumor formation.