The Drosophila Duox maturation factor is a key component of a positive feedback loop that sustains regeneration signaling

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The findings were published in PLoS Genetics. Sumbul Jawed Khan was the lead author in the Smith-Bolton Lab.

Regenerating tissue must initiate the signaling that drives regenerative growth, and then sustain that signaling long enough for regeneration to complete. Drosophila imaginal discs, the epithelial structures in the larva that will form the adult animal during metamorphosis, have been an important model system for tissue repair and regeneration for over 60 years.

Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling is essential for driving regenerative growth in these tissues, but it is unclear how this signaling is sustained for days after tissue damage to ensure regeneration completes. Here we show that damage-induced JNK signaling leads to the upregulation of a gene called moladietz, which encodes a co-factor for an enzyme, NADPH dual oxidase (Duox), that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), a key tissue-damage signal.

High expression of moladietz induces continuous production of ROS in the regenerating tissue. The sustained production of ROS then continues to activate JNK signaling throughout the course of regeneration, ensuring maximal tissue regrowth.

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Posted November 27, 2017.