UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Cancer Biology | Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Hemic and Immune Systems | Molecular Biology


Macrophages are a major immune cell type infiltrating tumors and promoting tumor growth and metastasis. To elucidate the mechanism of macrophage recruitment, we utilize an overgrowth tumor model ("undead" model) in larval Drosophila imaginal discs that are attached by numerous macrophages. Here we report that changes to the microenvironment of the overgrown tissue are important for recruiting macrophages. First, we describe a correlation between generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and damage of the basement membrane (BM) in all neoplastic, but not hyperplastic, models examined. ROS and the stress kinase JNK mediate the accumulation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (Mmp2), damaging the BM, which recruits macrophages to the tissue. We propose a model where macrophage recruitment to and activation at overgrowing tissue is a multi-step process requiring ROS- and JNK-mediated Mmp2 upregulation and BM damage. These findings have implications for understanding the role of the tumor microenvironment for macrophage activation.


Apicobasal polarity, Apoptosis, Extracellular signalling molecules, Stress signalling

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

DOI of Published Version



Diwanji N, Bergmann A. Basement membrane damage by ROS- and JNK-mediated Mmp2 activation drives macrophage recruitment to overgrown tissue. Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 20;11(1):3631. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17399-8. PMID: 32686670; PMCID: PMC7371875. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nature communications

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.