JNK signaling pathway is required for efficient wound healing in Drosophila

Dev Biol. 2002 Jan 1;241(1):145-56. doi: 10.1006/dbio.2001.0502.


Efficient wound healing including clotting and subsequent reepithelization is essential for animals ranging from insects to mammals to recover from epithelial injury. It is likely that genes involved in wound healing are conserved through the phylogeny and therefore, Drosophila may be an useful in vivo model system to identify genes necessary during this process. Furthermore, epithelial movement during specific developmental processes, such as dorsal closure, ressembles of those seen in mammalian wound healing. As puckered (puc) gene is a target of the JUN N-terminal kinase signaling pathway during dorsal closure, we investigated puc gene expression during wound healing in Drosophila. We showed that puc gene expression is induced at the edge of the wound in epithelial cells and Jun kinase is phosphorylated in wounded epidermal tissues, suggesting that the JUN N-terminal kinase signaling pathway is activated by a signal produced by an epidermal wound. In the absence of the Drosophila c-Fos homologue, puc gene expression is no longer induced. Finally, impaired epithelial repair in JUN N-terminal kinase deficient flies demonstrates that the JUN N-terminal kinase signaling is required to initiate the cell shape change at the onset of the epithelial wound healing. We conclude that the embryonic JUN N-terminal kinase gene cassette is induced at the edge of the wound. In addition, Drosophila appears as a good in vivo model to study morphogenetic processes requiring epithelial regeneration such as wound healing in vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genes, fos
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Lac Operon
  • Male
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / genetics
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wound Healing / genetics
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • puc protein, Drosophila
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases