Amy Bejsovec

Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 
Rm. 4312 French Family Science Center, Dept. of Biology, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Dept. of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-0338
Phone: 
(919) 613-8162
My laboratory explores the molecular mechanisms of pattern formation in developing embryos. We focus on the Wingless(Wg)/Wnt class of secreted growth factor: these molecules promote cell-cell communication leading to important cell fate decisions during the development of both vertebrate and invertebrate embryos. In addition, this highly conserved pathway is essential for maintaining stem cell populations and is associated with human cancers when inappropriately activated in adult tissues. Wg/Wnt molecules have proven difficult to work with biochemically because they associate tightly with cell membranes. Therefore, we exploit the powerful genetic and molecular techniques available in Drosophila to approach basic questions about Wg/Wnt signal transduction. Current work in the lab includes analysis of genes discovered as suppressors or enhancers of wg mutant phenotypes, which may identify new control mechanisms for the pathway. In earlier work, we found that the Wg-activated transcription factor, dTCF, can act as either a repressor or an activator of Wg target genes, and our screens have uncovered other factors that may influence this genetic switch. We have also characterized a Drosophila homolog of the human tumor suppressor, APC, which negatively regulates the Wg/Wnt signaling pathway, and we are currently studying other genes that show similar properties. We use cultured human cells to determine whether gene activities we have discovered and characterized in the fly embryo are relevant to the mammalian Wnt pathway as well.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1988

  • M.S., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1985

  • B.S., Cornell University 1982

Rizzo, NP, and Bejsovec, A. "SoxNeuro and Shavenbaby act cooperatively to shape denticles in the embryonic epidermis of Drosophila." Development (Cambridge, England) 144, no. 12 (June 2017): 2248-2258. Full Text Open Access Copy

Greer, ER, Chao, AT, and Bejsovec, A. "Pebble/ECT2 RhoGEF negatively regulates the Wingless/Wnt signaling pathway." Development 140, no. 24 (December 2013): 4937-4946. Full Text

Bejsovec, A. "Wingless/Wnt signaling in Drosophila: the pattern and the pathway." Mol Reprod Dev 80, no. 11 (November 2013): 882-894. (Review) Full Text

Bejsovec, A, and Chao, AT. "crinkled reveals a new role for Wingless signaling in Drosophila denticle formation." Development 139, no. 4 (February 2012): 690-698. Full Text

Jones, WM, Chao, AT, Zavortink, M, Saint, R, and Bejsovec, A. "Cytokinesis proteins Tum and Pav have a nuclear role in Wnt regulation." J Cell Sci 123, no. Pt 13 (July 1, 2010): 2179-2189. Full Text Open Access Copy

Gregory, SL, Ebrahimi, S, Milverton, J, Jones, WM, Bejsovec, A, and Saint, R. "Cell division requires a direct link between microtubule-bound RacGAP and Anillin in the contractile ring." Curr Biol 18, no. 1 (January 8, 2008): 25-29. Full Text

Chao, AT, Jones, WM, and Bejsovec, A. "The HMG-box transcription factor SoxNeuro acts with Tcf to control Wg/Wnt signaling activity." Development 134, no. 5 (March 2007): 989-997. Full Text

Bejsovec, A. "Flying at the head of the pack: Wnt biology in Drosophila." Oncogene 25, no. 57 (December 4, 2006): 7442-7449. (Review) Full Text

McCartney, BM, Price, MH, Webb, RL, Hayden, MA, Holot, LM, Zhou, M, Bejsovec, A, and Peifer, M. "Testing hypotheses for the functions of APC family proteins using null and truncation alleles in Drosophila." Development 133, no. 12 (June 2006): 2407-2418. Full Text

Zavortink, M, Contreras, N, Addy, T, Bejsovec, A, and Saint, R. "Tum/RacGAP50C provides a critical link between anaphase microtubules and the assembly of the contractile ring in Drosophila melanogaster." J Cell Sci 118, no. Pt 22 (November 15, 2005): 5381-5392. Full Text

Pages

Training Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2001 to 2022

Genetics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1979 to 2020

Organization and Function of Cellular Structure awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1975 to 2020

Regulation of Wingless/Wnt signaling in Drosophila awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2020

Developmental regulation by nuclear pore complex proteins awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018

Genetic modulation of Wingless/Wnt signaling awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2014

Mechanisms of Intercellular Communication in Drosophila awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2011

Genetic Control of Cell Fate Diversity in Drosophila awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1999 to 2005

Career: Mechanisms of Intercellular Communication in Drosophila awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2000 to 2005