Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a familial cancer syndrome characterized by tumors of the parathyroid, entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine and pituitary tissues and caused by inactivating mutations in the MEN1 gene. Menin, the 610-amino acid nuclear protein encoded by MEN1, binds to the transcription factor JunD and can repress JunD-induced transcription. We report here the identification of a MEN1 ortholog in Drosophila melanogaster, Menin1, that encodes a 763 amino acid protein sharing 46% identity with human menin. Additionally, 69% of the missense mutations and in-frame deletions reported in MEN1 patients appear in amino acid residues that are identical in the Drosophila and human protein, suggesting the importance of the conserved regions. Drosophila Menin1 gene transcripts use alternative polyadenylation sites resulting in 4.3 and 5-kb messages. The 4.3-kb transcript appears to be largely maternal, while the 5-kb transcript appears mainly zygotic. The binding of Drosophila menin to human JunD or Drosophila Jun could not be demonstrated by the yeast two-hybrid analysis. The identification of the MEN1 ortholog from Drosophila melanogaster will provide an opportunity to utilize Drosophila genetics to enhance our understanding of the function of human menin.
- Tumor suppressor
ASJC Scopus subject areas