We have identified recessive overproliferation mutations by screening and examining clones of mutant cells in genetic mosaics of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. This type of screen provides a powerful approach for identifying and studying potential tumor suppressors. One of the identified genes, lats, has been cloned and encodes a putative protein kinase that shares high levels of sequence similarity with three proteins in budding yeast and Neurospora that are involved in regulation of the cell cycle and growth. Mutations in lats cause dramatic overproliferation phenotypes and various developmental defects in both mosaic animals and homozygous mutants.

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