The active role of corpse engulfment pathways during cell competition

Fly (Austin). Sep-Oct 2007;1(5):274-8. doi: 10.4161/fly.5247. Epub 2007 Sep 4.


Cell competition was first described in imaginal discs of genetically-mosaic Drosophila. In extreme cases, cell competition can replace entire compartments with the descendents of a single cell. We recently identified five genes that are required by wild-type epithelial cells to kill neighboring Minute cells during cell competition. These draper, wasp, phosphatidyl-serine receptor, MBC/DOCK180 and Rac1 genes, were each previously implicated in the engulfment of apoptotic corpses. The results draw attention to the active, killing role of engulfing cells during cell competition. Here we discuss the contributions of these engulfment genes to Minute competition in more detail, and compare Minute competition with competition between cells expressing different levels of Myc, or of Warts pathway genes. We also speculate about how cell interactions at clone boundaries may initiate cell competition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Drosophila / cytology*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Genes, Insect
  • Models, Biological
  • Mosaicism
  • Mutation