Lab Journal Club: New ways to control translation and growth in flies

In a recent lab journal club we discussed a paper from the lab of Aurelio Teleman:

DENR-MCT-1 promotes translation re-initiation downstream of uORFs to control tissue growth.Schleich S, Strassburger K, Janiesch PC, Koledachkina T … Küchler K, Stoecklin G, Duncan KE, Teleman AA.  Nature 2014 Aug 14; 512(7513):208-12

This very nice paper describes the role for density-regulated protein (DENR)-multiple copies in T-cell lymphoma-1 (MCT-1) in the control of mRNA translation and growth in Drosophila. In particular, the authors show that DENR-MCT-1 is required for translation re-initiation of mRNAs containing upstream open reading frames (ORFs). Interestingly, these mRNAs include both the insulin receptor (InR) and ecdysone receptor (EcR), both of which are necessary for normal larval growth and development.

A great deal of work has focused on transcriptional control of growth in Drosophila. This study provides an excellent example of how selective control of mRNA translation plays an important, yet often unappreciated, role in tissue growth.