New research published recently in Developmental Cell sheds light on the activation of the Hippo pathway in Drosophila melanogaster cells.
Postdoctoral researcher Ting Su, graduate student Jiajie Xu (both in the Fehon lab), Research Associate in Ecology and Evolution Michael Z. Ludwig, and Rick Fehon, PhD (Professor and Chair, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology) authored the study. The research establishes that the proteins Kibra and Merlin activate the Hippo pathway in the medial section of the cell, rather than at the edges, as the protein Expanded does. The Hippo pathway acts as a throttle on organ growth, signalling that it is time to stop growing.
The consensus on the Hippo pathway activation had been that Kibra, Merlin, and Expanded all worked together at the junctions of the cell membrane, though scientists weren't sure exactly how. Still unclear is how the Hippo pathway is triggered in the first place and why, once the pathway is triggered, the proteins work in one region of the cell over another.
Read the full article on Science Life.