A Genetic Screen in Drosophila To Identify Novel Regulation of Cell Growth by Phosphoinositide Signaling

G3 (Bethesda). 2020 Jan 7;10(1):57-67. doi: 10.1534/g3.119.400851.


Phosphoinositides are lipid signaling molecules that regulate several conserved sub-cellular processes in eukaryotes, including cell growth. Phosphoinositides are generated by the enzymatic activity of highly specific lipid kinases and phosphatases. For example, the lipid PIP3, the Class I PI3 kinase that generates it and the phosphatase PTEN that metabolizes it are all established regulators of growth control in metazoans. To identify additional functions for phosphoinositides in growth control, we performed a genetic screen to identify proteins which when depleted result in altered tissue growth. By using RNA-interference mediated depletion coupled with mosaic analysis in developing eyes, we identified and classified additional candidates in the developing Drosophila melanogaster eye that regulate growth either cell autonomously or via cell-cell interactions. We report three genes: Pi3K68D, Vps34 and fwd that are important for growth regulation and suggest that these are likely to act via cell-cell interactions in the developing eye. Our findings define new avenues for the understanding of growth regulation in metazoan tissue development by phosphoinositide metabolizing proteins.

Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster; Phosphoinositides; cell growth; metazoan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Growth Processes / genetics*
  • Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Compound Eye, Arthropod / cytology
  • Compound Eye, Arthropod / growth & development
  • Compound Eye, Arthropod / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / genetics
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositols / genetics*
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • phosphatidylinositol phosphate 4-kinase