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, Nicholas P., and Amy Bejsovec. “SoxNeuro and Shavenbaby act cooperatively to shape denticles in the embryonic epidermis of Drosophila..” Development (Cambridge, England) 144, no. 12 (June 2017): 2248–58. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.150169. Full Text Open Access Copy

Greer, Elisabeth R., Anna T. Chao, and Amy Bejsovec. “Pebble/ECT2 RhoGEF negatively regulates the Wingless/Wnt signaling pathway..” Development (Cambridge, England) 140, no. 24 (December 2013): 4937–46. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.101303. Full Text

Bejsovec, Amy. “Wingless/Wnt signaling in Drosophila: the pattern and the pathway..” Molecular Reproduction and Development 80, no. 11 (November 2013): 882–94. https://doi.org/10.1002/mrd.22228. Full Text

Bejsovec, Amy, and Anna T. Chao. “crinkled reveals a new role for Wingless signaling in Drosophila denticle formation..” Development (Cambridge, England) 139, no. 4 (February 2012): 690–98. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.074013. Full Text

Jones, Whitney M., Anna T. Chao, Michael Zavortink, Robert Saint, and Amy Bejsovec. “Cytokinesis proteins Tum and Pav have a nuclear role in Wnt regulation..” Journal of Cell Science 123, no. Pt 13 (July 2010): 2179–89. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.067868. Full Text Open Access Copy

Gregory, Stephen L., Saman Ebrahimi, Joanne Milverton, Whitney M. Jones, Amy Bejsovec, and Robert Saint. “Cell division requires a direct link between microtubule-bound RacGAP and Anillin in the contractile ring..” Current Biology : Cb 18, no. 1 (January 2008): 25–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.11.050. Full Text

Chao, Anna T., Whitney M. Jones, and Amy Bejsovec. “The HMG-box transcription factor SoxNeuro acts with Tcf to control Wg/Wnt signaling activity..” Development (Cambridge, England) 134, no. 5 (March 2007): 989–97. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.02796. Full Text

Bejsovec, A. “Flying at the head of the pack: Wnt biology in Drosophila..” Oncogene 25, no. 57 (December 2006): 7442–49. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.onc.1210051. Full Text

McCartney, Brooke M., Meredith H. Price, Rebecca L. Webb, Melissa A. Hayden, Lesley M. Holot, Mengning Zhou, Amy Bejsovec, and Mark Peifer. “Testing hypotheses for the functions of APC family proteins using null and truncation alleles in Drosophila..” Development (Cambridge, England) 133, no. 12 (June 2006): 2407–18. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.02398. Full Text

Pages

Selected Grants

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

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

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

Pages