Int. J. Dev. Biol. 49: 391 - 399 (2005)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.052006jm
© UPV/EHU Press

Role of Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling in the wound healing and regeneration of a Drosophila melanogaster wing imaginal disc

Jaakko Mattila*,1, Leonid Omelyanchuk2, Satu Kyttälä1, Heikki Turunen1 and Seppo Nokkala1

1Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Finland and 2Laboratory of Cell Cycle Genetics, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Novosibirsk, Russia

ABSTRACT When a fragment of a Drosophila imaginal disc is cultured in growth permissive conditions, it either regenerates the missing structures or duplicates the pattern present in the fragment. This kind of pattern regulation is known to be epimorphic, i.e. the new pattern is generated by proliferation in a specialized tissue called the blastema. Pattern regulation is accompanied by the healing of the cut surfaces restoring the continuous epithelia. Wound healing has been considered to be the inductive signal to commence regenerative cell divisions. Although the general outlines of the proliferation dynamics in a regenerating imaginal disc blastema have been well studied, little is known about the mechanisms driving cells into the regenerative cell cycles. In this study, we have investigated the role of Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling in the wound healing and regeneration of a Drosophila wing imaginal disc. By utilizing in vivo and in vitro culturing of incised and fragmented discs, we have been able to visualize the dynamics in cellular architecture and gene expression involved in the healing and regeneration process. Our results directly show that homotypic wound healing is not a prerequisite for regenerative cell divisions. We also show that JNK signaling participates in imaginal disc wound healing and is regulated by the physical dynamics of the process, as well as in recruiting cells into the regenerative cell cycles. A model describing the determination of blastema size is discussed.

Keywords:

wing imaginal disc, regeneration, wound healing, Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK)

*Corresponding author e-mail: jaakko.mattila@helsinki.fi