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Research Group
Mechanisms of growth control and cancer in Drosophila.
Unit Unit Developmental Neurobiology »

Principal Investigator Ph.D. Investigator Graduate students Technician Administration
Research Fields
Growth is a central aspect of the early development of all organs including the nervous system, determining the final size and shape of each organ. We make use of the developing eye of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster to study the mechanism(s) of tissue/organ growth control during development. Understanding these mechanisms relies on the identification of genes involved and elucidating how do they operate in vivo.
Previously, others and we have shown that the Notch signalling pathway plays a key role in the control of growth of the Drosophila eye. We have now performed several high-throughput genetic screens aimed at identifying new elements of this control. Some of the mutations identified so far behave as novel proto-oncogenes or tumour-suppressor genes, others appear to point to genes involved in eye-specific growth. The Notch pathway and the molecules involved in eye development are well conserved between flies and mammals and, therefore, we think that the characterisation of these new genes will uncover new principles of growth regulation in organisms more complex than Drosophila.
Another of the ongoing projects concerns the application of the current knowledge of eye development to modelling human diseases (particularly, aniridia and cancer) using transgenic flies expressing the human proteins associated with these disorders.

Representative Publications

Vallejo DM.* , Juarez-Carreño S.*, Bolivar J., Morante J.**, Dominguez M.** " A brain circuit that synchronizes growth and maturation revealed through Dilp8 binding to Lgr3. " Science . 350(6262) , - aac6767 ( 2015 ) * Equal contribution ** Co-corresponding authors

Antonello, ZA, , Reiff, T, Ballesta-Illan, E, M. Dominguez " Robust intestinal homeostasis relies on cellular plasticity in enteroblasts mediated by miR-8-Escargot switch " EMBO J . 34(15) , 2025 - 41 ( 2015 )

Reiff T. , Jacobson, J, Cognigni P, Antonello ZA, Ballesta-Illan E, Tan KT, Yew JY, Dominguez M, Miguel-Aliaga I " Endocrine remodelling of the adult intestine sustains reproduction in Drosophila " eLife . 4 , e06930 - ( 2015 )

Da Ros V , Gutierrez-Pérez I, Ferres-Marco D, Dominguez M. " Dampening the signals transduced through hedgehog signal via microRNA miR-7 facilitates Notch-induced tumourigenesis " PLoS Biol . 11(5) , e1001554 - ( 2013 )

Garelli A , Gontijo AM, Miguela V, Caparros E, Dominguez M " Imaginal discs secrete insulin-lile peptide 8 to mediate plasticity of growth and maturation " Science . 336(6081) , 579 - 582 ( 2012 )
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Universidad Miguel Hernández

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