Studies on the Hippo Pathway: new insights about a multifaceted signalling

Strocchi, Silvia (2020) Studies on the Hippo Pathway: new insights about a multifaceted signalling, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 32 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9409.
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The Hippo pathway is a well-known master regulator of cell growth and proliferation. Many studies have shed light on the centrality of Hippo functions, as this signalling is able to respond to different stimuli and translate them into distinct transcriptional outputs. Therefore, it is clearly implicated in a number of important processes, which alteration has consequences on the correct specification of the single cell, as well as the whole tissue. Even if the core of the signalling has been extensively characterized, it remains unclear which are the “co-workers” that permit the Hippo pathway to answer to so many different stimuli and act as a coordinator of the growth/differentiation balance. Taking advantage of the Drosophila model, which has witnessed most of the discoveries on this signalling pathway, this thesis aims to add some new knowledge about the Hippo pathway molecular mechanisms in different contexts, from development to disease. In the first part I studied the dynamics of the Hippo core kinase protein Warts in the development of the pupal eye. I have found out a critical time point in which the expression and the localization of Warts change suddenly, suggesting the intervention of upstream regulators modulating its activity in an extremely narrow time window. The second goal was investigating the role of the Hippo pathway in the neurodegenerative Gaucher disease. Indeed, I have produced some preliminary results which demonstrate a growth deficit associated with a massive reduction of some Yki targets, supporting a Hyper-Hippo condition underlying this neuropathic syndrome. Finally, I have evaluated the transcription factor Orthodenticle as a co-factor of Yorkie in driving tissue overgrowth, and my findings support a model of interaction of these two molecules based on Yki conformational changes. Altogether, my results lay the foundation for new important studies on the molecular mechanisms ruling Hippo pathway activity.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Strocchi, Silvia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Hippo pathway, Drosophila melanogaster, Gaucher disease, neurodegeneration, cancer, Warts, Yorkie, Orthodenticle
Data di discussione
7 Aprile 2020

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