A Deregulated Intestinal Cell Cycle Program Disrupts Tissue Homeostasis, Without Affecting Longevity in Drosophila. [Developmental Biology]

August 28th, 2014 by Petkau, K., Parsons, B. D., Duggal, A., Foley, E.

Recent studies illuminate a complex relationship between the control of stem cell division and intestinal tissue organization in the model system Drosophila melanogaster. Host and microbial signals drive intestinal proliferation to maintain an effective epithelial barrier. While it is widely assumed that proliferation induces dysplasia and shortens the lifespan of the host, the phenotypic consequences of deregulated intestinal proliferation for an otherwise healthy host remain unexplored. To address this question, we genetically isolated and manipulated the cell cycle programs of adult stem cells and enterocytes. Our studies revealed that cell cycle alterations led to extensive cell death and morphological disruptions. Despite the extensive tissue damage, we did not observe an impact on longevity, suggesting a remarkable degree of plasticity in intestinal function.