The Fehon labCellular organization and function of the Hippo Pathway in tissue growth control
Our longterm interests focus on the molecular mechanisms by which signal transduction pathways are organized into specialized membrane domains. Our current studies focus primarily on tissue growth in developing tissues, a process that is of fundamental significance to normal development, regeneration, stem cell biology, and human disease, particularly cancer biology. Studies over the past twenty years, primarily using the powerful genetic, molecular and cellular tools available in Drosophila, have identified the Hippo growth control pathway as an important regulator of tissue growth. Upstream regulation of this important pathway is unusually complex: mechanical tension exerted across epithelial sheets, apical- basal epithelial polarity, positive and negative feedback, and regulated cortical assembly of signaling complexes all contribute to modulating pathway output. Our work combines cellular, genetic and molecular approaches to decipher these complex regulatory mechanisms to better understand how tissue growth is controlled in development.