CNBP regulates wing development in Drosophila melanogaster by promoting IRES-dependent translation of dMyc

Laura Antonucci, Davide D'Amico, Laura Di Magno, Sonia Coni, Lucia Di Marcotullio, Beatrice Cardinali, Alberto Gulino, Laura Ciapponi, Gianluca Canettieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CCHC-type zinc finger nucleic acid binding protein (CNBP) is a small conserved protein, which plays a key role in development and disease. Studies in animal models have shown that the absence of CNBP results in severe developmental defects that have been mostly attributed to its ability to regulate c-myc mRNA expression. Functionally, CNBP binds single-stranded nucleic acids and acts as a molecular chaperone, thus regulating both transcription and translation. In this work we report that in Drosophila melanogaster, CNBP is an essential gene, whose absence causes early embryonic lethality. In contrast to what observed in other species, ablation of CNBP does not affect dMyc mRNA expression, whereas the protein levels are markedly reduced. We demonstrate for the first time that dCNBP regulates dMyc translation through an IRES-dependent mechanism, and that knockdown of dCNBP in the wing territory causes a general reduction of wing size, in keeping with the reported role of dMyc in this region. Consistently, reintroduction of dMyc in CNBP-deficient wing imaginal discs rescues the wing size, further supporting a key role of the CNBP-Myc axis in this context. Collectively, these data show a previously uncharacterized mechanism, whereby, by regulating dMyc IRES-dependent translation, CNBP controls Drosophila wing development. These results may have relevant implications in other species and in pathophysiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-439
Number of pages6
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014


  • CNBP
  • Development
  • dMyc
  • Drosophila
  • Oncogene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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