Regenerative growth in Drosophila imaginal discs is regulated by Wingless and Myc

Dev Cell. 2009 Jun;16(6):797-809. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2009.04.015.


The study of regeneration would be aided greatly by systems that support large-scale genetic screens. Here we describe a nonsurgical method for inducing tissue damage and regeneration in Drosophila larvae by inducing apoptosis in the wing imaginal disc in a spatially and temporally regulated manner. Tissue damage results in localized regenerative proliferation characterized by altered expression of patterning genes and growth regulators as well as a temporary loss of markers of cell fate commitment. Wingless and Myc are induced by tissue damage and are important for regenerative growth. Furthermore, ectopic Myc enhances regeneration when other growth drivers tested do not. As the animal matures, the ability to regenerate is lost and cannot be restored by activation of Wingless or Myc. This system is conducive to forward genetic screens, enabling an unbiased search for genes that regulate both the extent of and the capacity for regeneration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cyclin E / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Genes, Insect
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Larva / cytology
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Regeneration*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation / genetics
  • Wings, Animal / cytology
  • Wings, Animal / growth & development*
  • Wings, Animal / metabolism
  • Wnt1 Protein / metabolism*


  • Cyclin E
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Myc protein, Drosophila
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wnt1 Protein
  • wg protein, Drosophila