A Gene Expression Screen in Identifies Novel JAK/STAT and EGFR Targets During Oogenesis.
The Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathways are conserved regulators of tissue patterning, morphogenesis, and other cell biological processes. During oogenesis, these pathways determine the fates of epithelial follicle cells (FCs). JAK/STAT and EGFR together specify a population of cells called the posterior follicle cells (PFCs), which signal to the oocyte to establish the embryonic axes. In this study, whole genome expression analysis was performed to identify genes activated by JAK/STAT and/or EGFR. We observed that 317 genes were transcriptionally upregulated in egg chambers with ectopic JAK/STAT and EGFR activity in the FCs. The list was enriched for genes encoding extracellular matrix (ECM) components and ECM-associated proteins. We tested 69 candidates for a role in axis establishment using RNAi knockdown in the FCs. We report that the signaling protein Semaphorin 1b becomes enriched in the PFCs in response to JAK/STAT and EGFR. We also identified () as a novel target of JAK/STAT in the FCs that regulates egg chamber shape. mRNA becomes enriched at the anterior and posterior poles of the egg chamber at stages 6 to 7 and is regulated by JAK/STAT. Altering expression in the poles or middle of the egg chamber produces rounder egg chambers. We propose that regulates egg shape by remodeling the basement membrane.