Menin Links the Stress Response to Genome Stability in Drosophila melanogaster
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BACKGROUND: The multiple endocrine neoplasia type I gene functions as a tumor suppressor gene in humans and mouse models. In Drosophila melanogaster, mutants of the menin gene (Mnn1) are hypersensitive to mutagens or gamma irradiation and have profound defects in the response to several stresses including heat shock, hypoxia, hyperosmolarity and oxidative stress. However, it is not known if the function of menin in the stress response contributes to genome stability. The objective of this study was to examine the role of menin in the control of the stress response and genome stability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a test of loss-of-heterozygosity, we show that Drosophila strains lacking a functional Mnn1 gene or expressing a Mnn1 dsRNA display increased genome instability in response to non-lethal heat shock or hypoxia treatments. This is also true for strains lacking all Hsp70 genes, implying that a precise control of the stress response is required for genome stability. While menin is required for Hsp70 expression, the results of epistatic studies indicate that the increase in genome instability observed in Mnn1 lack-of-function mutants cannot be accounted for by mis-expression of Hsp70. Therefore, menin may promote genome stability by controlling the expression of other stress-responsive genes. In agreement with this notion, gene profiling reveals that Mnn1 is required for sustained expression of all heat shock protein genes but is dispensable for early induction of the heat shock response. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Mutants of the Mnn1 gene are hypersensitive to several stresses and display increased genome instability when subjected to conditions, such as heat shock, generally regarded as non-genotoxic. In this report, we describe a role for menin as a global regulator of heat shock gene expression and critical factor in the maintenance of genome integrity. Therefore, menin links the stress response to the control of genome stability in Drosophila melanogaster.
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