Stefan Luschnig

Research Topics

Our research addresses cellular, molecular, developmental and functional aspects of epithelial biology. In particular, we investigate how the shapes and dimensions of epithelial tubes are controlled. We use primarily the Drosophila tracheal (respiratory) system, a network of gas-filled tubes, as an accessible model. We apply molecular, genetic, cell biological and quantitative imaging approaches to analyze cellular behavior during tube morphogenesis. Answering basic questions about lumen formation and conversion of cellular topology in the Drosophila model provides a conceptual framework to help elucidate similar processes, such as vascular anastomosis, in more complex vertebrate systems.

Selected Publications

  • Sauerwald, J., Backer, W., Matzat, T., Schnorrer, F., and Luschnig, S. (2019). Matrix metalloproteinase 1 modulates invasive behavior of tracheal branches during entry into Drosophila flight muscles. eLife pii: e48857. doi: 10.7554/eLife.48857.
  • Beati, H., Peek, I., Hordowska, P., Honemann-Capito, M., Glashauser, J., Renschler, F., Kakanj, P., Ramrath, A., Leptin, M., Luschnig, S., Wiesner, S., and Wodarz, A. (2018). The adherens junction-associated LIM domain protein Smallish regulates epithelial morphogenesis. Journal of Cell Biology 217(3): 1079–1095.
  • Sauerwald, J., Soneson, C., Robinson, M.D., and Luschnig, S. (2017). Faithful mRNA splicing depends on the Prp19 complex subunit faint sausage and is required for tracheal branching morphogenesis in Drosophila. Development 144(4): 657-663.
  • Misra, T., Baccino Calace, M., Meyenhofer, T., Rodriguez-Crespo, D., Akarsu, H., Armenta-Calderón, R., Gorr, T.A., Frei, C., Cantera, R., Egger, B., and Luschnig, S. (2016). A genetically encoded biosensor for visualizing hypoxia responses in vivo. Biology Open 6(2): 296-304
  • Caviglia, S., Brankatschk, M., Fischer, E., Eaton, S., and Luschnig, S. (2016). Staccato/unc13-4 controls secretory lysosome-mediated lumen fusion during epithelial tube anastomosis. Nature Cell Biology 18(7): 727–739.
  • De Lella Ezcurra, A.L., Bertolin, A.P., Kim, K., Katz, M.J., Gándara, L., Misra, T., Luschnig, S., Perrimon, N., Melani, M., and Wappner, P. (2016). miR-190 enhances HIF-dependent responses to hypoxia in Drosophila by inhibiting the prolyl-4-hydroxylase Fatiga. PLoS Genetics 12, e1006073.
  • Byri, S., Misra, T., Syed, Z.A., Bätz, T., Shah, J., Boril, L., Glashauser, J., Aegerter-Wilmsen, T., Matzat, T., Moussian, B., Uv, A., and Luschnig, S. (2015). The triple-repeat protein Anakonda controls epithelial tricellular junction formation in Drosophila. Developmental Cell 33(5): 535-48.
  • Bätz, T., Förster, D., and Luschnig, S. (2014). The Macroglobulin complement-related transmembrane protein Mcr is essential for septate junction formation and epithelial barrier function in Drosophila. Development 141(4): 899-908.
  • Caviglia, S. and Luschnig, S. (2013). The ETS domain transcriptional repressor Anterior open inhibits MAP Kinase and Wingless signaling to couple tracheal cell fate with branch identity. Development 140(6): 1240-1249.
  • Förster, D. and Luschnig, S. (2012). Src42A-dependent polarized cell shape changes mediate epithelial tube elongation in Drosophila. Nature Cell Biology 14(5): 526–534.