Faculty Summaries
Fabrice Roegiers, PhD
Fabrice Roegiers, PhD
Member & Assistant Professor
Office Phone: 215-728-5518
Lab Phone: 215-728-3513
Fax: 215-728-2412
Office: R356

I have been an independent investigator for six years with an expertise in studying regulation of the Notch
pathway in Drosophila. Disregulation of Notch signaling is implicated in a number of human cancers, and our
lab recently identified a link between the mutations in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and inappropriate activation
of Notch signaling pathway in Drosophila neural progenitor cells and in human tumor samples.

Mechanisms of Cell Fate Specification in Development and Cancer

Our lab is interested in the molecular mechanisms that control developmental cell fate decisions. Our current focus is on asymmetric cell division, a common strategy to achieve different cell fates during development. Dysregulation of asymmetric cell division in stem and progenitor cells likely contributes to a variety of human diseases, including cancer. In Drosophila, neural stem and progenitor cells divide asymmetrically and segregate a cell fate determinant, Numb, to one daughter cell during mitosis. Numb protein functions to inhibit the Notch signaling pathway. We currently use a combination of genetic, biochemical, molecular modeling, and live cell imaging approaches to study how cell fate determinants like Numb are polarized during mitosis, and how, following asymmetric cell division, Notch signaling is activated in one daughter cell and inhibited in the other daughter cell. Our studies have shown that the fly homologues of the human tumor suppressor genes tuberous sclerosis complex 1 and 2 (TSC1/2) and the novel transmembrane protein Sanpodo establish a specific context for Notch-mediated cell fate assignments in flies. As many of the genetic programs used in asymmetrically dividing cells are evolutionarily conserved, our studies will reveal fundamental mechanisms underlying control of cell fate in development.

Description of research projects
Selected Publications
  1. Upadhyay, A., Kandachar, V., Zitserman, D., Tong, X., Roegiers, F*. Sanpodo controls sensory organ precursor fate by regulating Notch trafficking and interaction with γ-secretase. J Cell Biol. 2013 Apr 22. PMID: 23609534
  2. Zitserman, D., Gupta, S., Kruger, W.D., Karbowniczek M., Roegiers, F*. The TSC1/2 complex controls Drosophila pigmentation through TORC1-dependent regulation of catecholamine biosynthesis, PLoS-One 2012, Nov. 7; 7(11): e48720, PMID: 23144943
  3. Tong X, Zitserman D, Serebriiskii I, Andrake M, Dunbrack R, Roegiers F. Numb independently antagonizes Sanpodo membrane targeting and Notch signaling in Drosophila sensory organ precursor cells. Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Mar 1;21(5):802-10. PubMed
  4. Karbowniczek M, Zitserman D, Khabibullin D, Hartman T, Yu J, Morrison T, Nicolas E, Squillace R, Roegiers F*, Henske EP. The evolutionarily conserved TSC/Rheb pathway activates Notch in tuberous sclerosis complex and Drosophila external sensory organ development. J Clin Invest. 2010 Jan 4;120(1):93-102. *Corresponding author PubMed
  5. Roegiers F, Younger-Shepherd S, Jan LY et al. Two types of asymmetric divisions in the Drosophila sensory organ precursor cell lineage. Nat Cell Biol. 2001;3(1):58-67. PubMed
All publications