The major cell death pathways are apoptosis and autophagy-type cell death in Drosophila. Overexpression of proapoptotic genes in developing imaginal tissues leads to the activation of caspases and apoptosis, but most of them show no effect on the polytenic cells of the fat body during the last larval stage. Surprisingly, overexpression of Hid induces caspase-independent autophagy in the fat body, as well as in most other larval tissues tested. Hid mutation results in inhibition of salivary gland cell death, but the disintegration of the larval midgut is not affected. Electron microscopy shows that autophagy is normally induced in fat body, midgut and salivary gland cells of homozygous mutant larvae, suggesting that Hid is not required for autophagy itself. Constitutive expression of the caspase inhibitor p35 produces identical phenotypes. Our results show that the large, post-mitotic larval cells do not react or activate autophagy in response to the same strong apoptotic stimuli that trigger apoptosis in small, mitotically active imaginal disc cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology