Plexins function in epithelial repair in both Drosophila and zebrafish

Sa Kan Yoo, Heath G. Pascoe, Telmo Pereira, Shu Kondo, Antonio Jacinto, Xuewu Zhang, Iswar K. Hariharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


In most multicellular organisms, homeostasis is contingent upon maintaining epithelial integrity. When unanticipated insults breach epithelial barriers, dormant programmes of tissue repair are immediately activated. However, many of the mechanisms that repair damaged epithelia remain poorly characterized. Here we describe a role for Plexin A (PlexA), a protein with particularly well-characterized roles in axonal pathfinding, in the healing of damaged epithelia in Drosophila. Semaphorins, which are PlexA ligands, also regulate tissue repair. We show that Drosophila PlexA has GAP activity for the Rap1 GTPase, which is known to regulate the stability of adherens junctions. Our observations suggest that the inhibition of Rap1 activity by PlexA in damaged Drosophila epithelia allows epithelial remodelling, thus facilitating wound repair. We also demonstrate a role for Plexin A1, a zebrafish orthologue of Drosophila PlexA, in epithelial repair in zebrafish tail fins. Thus, plexins function in epithelial wound healing in diverse taxa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12282
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jul 25 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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