Chaperonin TRiC/CCT supports mitotic exit and entry into endocycle in Drosophila

PLoS Genet. 2019 Apr 29;15(4):e1008121. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008121. eCollection 2019 Apr.


Endocycle is a commonly observed cell cycle variant through which cells undergo repeated rounds of genome DNA replication without mitosis. Endocycling cells arise from mitotic cells through a switch of the cell cycle mode, called the mitotic-to-endocycle switch (MES), to initiate cell growth and terminal differentiation. However, the underlying regulatory mechanisms of MES remain unclear. Here we used the Drosophila steroidogenic organ, called the prothoracic gland (PG), to study regulatory mechanisms of MES, which is critical for the PG to upregulate biosynthesis of the steroid hormone ecdysone. We demonstrate that PG cells undergo MES through downregulation of mitotic cyclins, which is mediated by Fizzy-related (Fzr). Moreover, we performed a RNAi screen to further elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of MES, and identified the evolutionarily conserved chaperonin TCP-1 ring complex (TRiC) as a novel regulator of MES. Knockdown of TRiC subunits in the PG caused a prolonged mitotic period, probably due to impaired nuclear translocation of Fzr, which also caused loss of ecdysteroidogenic activity. These results indicate that TRiC supports proper MES and endocycle progression by regulating Fzr folding. We propose that TRiC-mediated protein quality control is a conserved mechanism supporting MES and endocycling, as well as subsequent terminal differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle* / genetics
  • Chaperonins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Ecdysone / biosynthesis
  • Larva
  • Mitosis* / genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA Interference


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Ecdysone
  • Chaperonins