Karkali et al. have published a paper in Nature Communications, demonstrating the role of JNK signaling in Ventral Nerve Cord architecture.

The study was a collaboration between the Instituto de Biología Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC – Martin-Blanco lab), the Mechanobiology Institute of the National University of Singapore (Saunders lab) and BSRC Fleming (Panayotou lab).

While the signaling pathways involved in axon guidance have been extensively studied, those affecting the architectural organization of the nervous system have not yet been elucidated. The protein kinase JNK is a central regulator of stress responses and many other important cellular processes, including axonal growth and regeneration. In this study, by modulating JNK signaling in early Drosophila embryos, Katerina Karkali demonstrated an additional regulatory role in a subset of pioneer neurons, thus affecting the morphogenesis and structural organization of the Ventral Nerve Cord.

Katerina Karkali, Timothy E. Saunders, George Panayotou & Enrique Martín-Blanco (2023). JNK signaling in pioneer neurons organizes ventral nerve cord architecture in Drosophila embryos. Nature Communications, 14: 675. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-36388-1