Dynein and star interact in EGFR signaling and ligand trafficking

Stanley J P Iyadurai, John T. Robinson, Lingzhi Ma, Yungui He, Sarah Mische, Min Gang Li, William Brown, Annabel Guichard, Ethan Bier, Thomas S. Hays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Intracellular transport and processing of ligands is critical to the activation of signal transduction pathways that guide development. Star is an essential gene in Drosophila that has been implicated in the trafficking of ligands for epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor signaling. The role of cytoplasmic motors in the endocytic and secretory pathways is well known, but the specific requirement of motors in EGF receptor transport has not been investigated. We identified Star in a screen designed to recover second-site modifiers of the dominant rough eye phenotype of the Glued mutation Gl1. The Glued (Gl) locus encodes the p150 subunit of the dynactin complex, an activator of cytoplasmic dynein-driven motility. We show that alleles of Gl and dynein genetically interact with both Star and EGFR alleles. Similarly to mutations in Star, the Gl1 mutation is capable of modifying the phenotypes of the EGFR mutation Ellipse. These genetic interactions suggest a model in which Star, dynactin and dynein cooperate in the trafficking of EGF ligands. In support of this model, overexpression of the cleaved, active Spitz ligand can partially bypass defective trafficking and suppress the genetic interactions. Our direct observations of five S2 cells show that export of Spitz-GFP from the endoplasmic reticulum, as well as the trafficking of Spitz-GFP vesicles, depends on both Star and dynein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2643-2651
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008


  • Drosophila
  • Dynein
  • Spitz
  • Star


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