Ankle2, a Target of Zika Virus, Controls Asymmetric Cell Division of Neuroblasts and Uncovers a Novel Microcephaly Pathway
72 Pages Posted: 18 May 2019 Sneak Peek Status: Under ReviewMore...
Neuroblasts in flies divide asymmetrically by establishing polarity, distributing cell fate determinants asymmetrically, and positioning their spindle for cell division. The apical complex contains aPKC, Bazooka (Par3), and Par6, and its activity depends on L(2)gl. We show that Ankle2 interacts with L(2)gl and affects aPKC. Reducing Ankle2 levels disrupts ER and nuclear envelope morphology, releasing the kinase Ballchen/VRK1 into the cytosol. These defects are associated with reduced phosphorylation of aPKC, disruption of Par complex localization, and spindle alignment defects. Importantly, removal of one copy of ballchen/VRK1 or l(2)gl suppresses the loss of Ankle2 and restores viability and brain size. The Zika virus NS4A protein interacts with Drosophila Ankle2 and VRK1 in dividing neuroblasts. Human mutational studies implicate this neural cell division pathway in microcephaly and motor neuron disease. In summary, NS4A, ANKLE2, VRK1 and LLGL1 define a novel pathway that impinges on asymmetric determinants of neural stem cell division.
Keywords: VRK1, Par complex, aPKC, L(2)gl, Miranda, Bazooka, Ballchen, brain development, Drosophila, congenital infection, MCPH16
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