by- 16 April 2012
Billel Benmimoun, Cédric Polesello, Lucas Waltzer and Marc Haenlin. Development (2012) 139:1713-1717. The interconnected Insulin/IGF signaling (IlS) and Target of Rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathways constitute the main branches of the nutrient-sensing system that couples growth to nutritional conditions in Drosophila. Here, we addressed the influence of these pathways and of diet restriction on the balance between the maintenance of multipotent hematopoietic progenitors and their differentiation in the Drosophila lymph gland. In this larval hematopoietic organ, a pool of stem-like progenitor blood cells (prohemocytes) is kept undifferentiated in response to signaling from a specialized group of cells forming the posterior signaling center (PSC), which serves as a stem cell niche. We show that, reminiscent of the situation in human, loss of the negative regulator of IIS Pten results in lymph gland hyperplasia, aberrant blood cell differentiation and hematopoietic progenitor exhaustion. Using site-directed loss- and gain-of-function analysis, we demonstrate that components of the IIS/TOR pathways control lymph gland homeostasis at two levels. First, they cell-autonomously regulate the size and activity of the hematopoietic niche. Second, they are required within the prohemocytes to control their growth and maintenance. Moreover, we show that diet restriction or genetic alteration mimicking amino acid deprivation triggers progenitor cell differentiation. Hence, our study highlights the role of the IIS/TOR pathways in orchestrating hematopoietic progenitor fate and links blood cell fate to nutritional status.
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