At the crossroads of differentiation and proliferation: precise control of cell-cycle changes by multiple signaling pathways in Drosophila follicle cells

Bioessays. 2011 Feb;33(2):124-34. doi: 10.1002/bies.201000089.


Here, we discuss the findings to date about genes and pathways required for regulation of somatic follicle-cell proliferation and differentiation during Drosophila oogenesis and demonstrate how loss of these genes contributes to the tumorigenic potential of mutant cells. Follicle cells undergo cell-fate determination through stepwise activation of multiple signaling pathways, including the Notch, Hedgehog, Wingless, janus kinase/STAT, and JNK pathways. In addition, changes in DNA replication and cellular growth depend on the spatial and temporal activation of the mitotic cycle-endocycle and endocycle-gene amplification cell-cycle switches and insulin-dependent monitoring of cellular health; systemic loss of these pathways contributes to loss of controlled cellular proliferation, loss of differentiation/growth, and aberrant cell polarity in follicle cells. We also highlight the effects of the neoplastic and Hippo pathways on the cell cycle and cellular proliferation in promoting normal development and conclude that lack of coordination of multiple signaling pathways promotes conditions favorable for tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA Replication
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Mitosis
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology
  • Ovarian Follicle / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins