Overexpression of mouse Mdm2 induces developmental phenotypes in Drosophila

Oncogene. 2002 Apr 4;21(15):2413-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205305.


The Mdm2 proto-oncogene is amplified and over-expressed in a variety of tumors. One of the major functions of Mdm2 described to date is its ability to modulate the levels and activity of the tumor suppressor protein p53. Mdm2 binds to the N-terminus of p53 and, through its action as an E3 ubiquitin ligase, targets p53 for rapid proteasomal degradation. Mdm2 can also bind to other cellular proteins such as hNumb, E2F1, Rb and Akt; however, the biological significance of these interactions is less clear. To gain insight into the function of Mdm2 in vivo, we have generated a transgenic Drosophila strain bearing the mouse Mdm2 gene. Ectopic expression of Mdm2, using the UAS/GAL4 system, causes eye and wing phenotypes in the fly. Analysis of wing imaginal discs from third instar larvae showed that expression of Mdm2 induces apoptosis. Crosses did not reveal genetic interactions between Mdm2 and the Drosophila homolog of E2F, Numb and Akt. These transgenic flies may provide a unique experimental model for exploring the molecular interactions of Mdm2 in a developmental context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Apoptosis
  • Drosophila / anatomy & histology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Eye / embryology
  • Eye / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Phenotype
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Wings, Animal / anatomy & histology
  • Wings, Animal / cytology
  • Wings, Animal / embryology


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Mdm2 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2