Requirement for JAK/STAT signaling throughout border cell migration in Drosophila

Debra L. Silver, Erika R. Geisbrecht, Denise J. Montell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The evolutionarily conserved JAK/STAT signaling pathway is essential for the proliferation, survival and differentiation of many cells including cancer cells. Recent studies have implicated this transcriptional pathway in the process of cell migration in humans, mice, Drosophila and Dictyostelium. In the Drosophila ovary, JAK/STAT signaling is necessary and sufficient for the specification and migration of a group of cells called the border cells; however, it is not clear to what extent the requirement for cell fate is distinct from that for cell migration. We found that STAT protein is enriched in the migrating border cells throughout their migration and is an indicator of cells with highest JAK/STAT activity. In addition, statts mutants exhibited border cell migration defects after just 30 minutes at the non-permissive temperature, prior to any detectable change in the expression of cell fate markers. At later times, cell fate changes became evident, indicating that border cell fate is labile. JAK/STAT signaling was also required for organization of the border cell cluster. Finally, we show that both the accumulation of STAT protein and nuclear accumulation are positively regulated by JAK/STAT activity. The activity of the pathway is negatively regulated by overexpression of a SOCS protein and by blocking endocytosis. Together, our findings suggest that the requirement for STAT in border cells extends beyond the initial specification and delamination of cells from the epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3483-3492
Number of pages10
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Border cells
  • Cell migration
  • Drosophila
  • Stat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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