Caspase-dependent activation of Hedgehog-signalling sustains proliferation and differentiation of ovarian somatic stem cells

Alessia Galasso, Daria Iakovleva, Luis Alberto Baena-Lopez

Aug 05, 2019

Received Date: 23rd July 19

There is increasing evidence associating the role of caspases with the regulation of basic cellular functions beyond apoptosis. However, the molecular interplay between these enzymes and the signalling networks active in non-apoptotic cellular scenarios remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we show that transient and non-apoptotic caspase activation facilitates Hedgehog-signalling in Drosophila and human ovarian cells with a somatic origin. Importantly, this novel caspase function controls gene expression, cell proliferation, and differentiation. We also molecularly link this uncovered caspase role with the fine regulation of the Hedgehog-receptor, Patched. Altogether, these findings strikingly suggest that caspase activation can act as a pro-survival factor that promotes the expansion and differentiation of normal healthy cells. These observations have profound implications on our understanding of caspase biology from a cellular, physiological and evolutionary perspective.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature