+44 20 3868 9735
Ral, a Ras-like GTPase, is an essential component of Ras-driven oncogenesis that supports tumor initiation and progression. We explored the role of Ral in the polarity organization of epithelial tissue in Drosophila. We found that Ral is dispensable for the polarization of proliferative epithelial tissue, and that Ral is required for the maintenance of apical-basal polarity of post-mitotic epithelial cells during tissue remodeling. More precisely, lack of Ral activity results in loss of cortical apical aPKC and lateral Lgl, and in apical spreading and accumulation of Armadillo/betacatenin. Our analysis demonstrates that Ral regulates polarity organization by acting as a negative regulator of JNK and p38 MAPK signaling. Ral controls aPKC apical localization by down-regulating JNK and controls Armadillo localization at adherens junction by down-regulating p38 MAPK signaling, whereas Lgl membrane localization depends on both pathways. Finally, in the absence of Ral function aPKC becomes dispensable for Lgl basolateral localization and Armadillo is recruited to the cell membrane independently of DE-Cadherin and Bazooka localization. This suggests that additional mechanisms control Lgl and Arm distribution in polarized epithelia.