Multiple functions of the scaffold protein Discs large 5 in the control of growth, cell polarity and cell adhesion in Drosophila melanogaster

BMC Dev Biol. 2020 Jun 18;20(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12861-020-00218-0.


Background: Scaffold proteins support a variety of key processes during animal development. Mutant mouse for the MAGUK protein Discs large 5 (Dlg5) presents a general growth impairment and moderate morphogenetic defects.

Results: Here, we generated null mutants for Drosophila Dlg5 and show that it owns similar functions in growth and epithelial architecture. Dlg5 is required for growth at a cell autonomous level in several tissues and at the organism level, affecting cell size and proliferation. Our results are consistent with Dlg5 modulating hippo pathway in the wing disc, including the impact on cell size, a defect that is reproduced by the loss of yorkie. However, other observations indicate that Dlg5 regulates growth by at least another way that may involve Myc protein but nor PI3K neither TOR pathways. Moreover, epithelia cells mutant for Dlg5 also show a reduction of apical domain determinants, though not sufficient to induce a complete loss of cell polarity. Dlg5 is also essential, in the same cells, for the presence at Adherens junctions of N-Cadherin, but not E-Cadherin. Genetic analyses indicate that junction and polarity defects are independent.

Conclusions: Together our data show that Dlg5 own several conserved functions that are independent of each other in regulating growth, cell polarity and cell adhesion. Moreover, they reveal a differential regulation of E-cadherin and N-cadherin apical localization.

Keywords: Adhesion; Drosophila; Growth; Hippo; MAGUK; Myc; Polarity; Yorkie.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Polarity / genetics
  • Cell Polarity / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Guanylate Kinases / genetics
  • Guanylate Kinases / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins


  • Cadherins
  • Dlg5 protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins
  • Yki protein, Drosophila
  • Guanylate Kinases