Opposing transcriptional and post-transcriptional roles for Scalloped in binary Hippo-dependent neural fate decisions

Baotong Xie, David B. Morton, Tiffany A. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Hippo tumor suppressor pathway plays many fundamental cell biological roles during animal development. Two central players in controlling Hippo-dependent gene expression are the TEAD transcription factor Scalloped (Sd) and its transcriptional co-activator Yorkie (Yki). Hippo signaling phosphorylates Yki, thereby blocking Yki-dependent transcriptional control. In post-mitotic Drosophila photoreceptors, a bistable negative feedback loop forms between the Hippo-dependent kinase Warts/Lats and Yki to lock in green vs blue-sensitive neuronal subtype choices, respectively. Previous experiments indicate that sd and yki mutants phenocopy each other's functions, both being required for promoting the expression of the blue photoreceptor fate determinant melted (melt) and the blue-sensitive opsin Rh5. Here, we demonstrate that Sd ensures the robustness of this neuronal fate decision via multiple antagonistic gene regulatory roles. In Hippo-positive (green) photoreceptors, Sd directly represses both melt and Rh5 gene expression through defined TEAD binding sites, a mechanism that is antagonized by Yki in Hippo-negative (blue) cells. Additionally, in blue photoreceptors, Sd is required to promote the translation of the Rh5 protein through a 3′UTR-dependent and microRNA-mediated process. Together, these studies reveal that Sd can drive context-dependent cell fate decisions through opposing transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume455
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Hippo pathway
  • Neuronal development
  • Photoreceptor specification
  • Scalloped
  • Sensory receptor exclusion
  • TAZ
  • TEAD
  • YAP
  • Yorkie

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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