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Arslan Akmammedov, Marco Geigges, Renato Paro
Polycomb group (PcG) and Trithorax group (TrxG) proteins orchestrate development of a multicellular organism by faithfully maintaining cell fate decisions made early in embryogenesis. An important chromatin mark connected to PcG/TrxG regulation are bivalent domains, the simultaneous presence of H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 on a given locus, originally identified in mammalian embryonic stem cells but considered to be absent in invertebrates. Here, we provide evidence for existence of bivalency in fly embryos. Using a recently described PcG reporter fly line, we observed a strong reporter inducibility in embryo and its sharp decrease in larval and adult stages...
May 16, 2019: Fly
Jun Luo, Pingping Shen, Jiong Chen
The Drosophila transgenic technology and fluorescent protein fusions are powerful tools to analyze protein expression patterns, subcellular localization and protein dynamics. Recently, the Drosophila transgenic technology has been improved by the highly efficient phiC31 site-specific integration system. Many new and improved fluorescent proteins with desirable advantages have been developed. However, the phiC31 system and the newly developed fluorescent proteins have not been systematically applied in Drosophila transgenic vectors...
March 18, 2019: Fly
Christopher M Groen, Jewel L Podratz, Kevin Treb, Anthony J Windebank
Drosophila melanogaster has recently been developed as a simple, in vivo, genetic model of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Flies treated with the chemotherapy agent cisplatin display both a neurodegenerative phenotype and cell death in rapidly dividing follicles, mimicking the cell specific responses seen in humans. Cisplatin induces climbing deficiencies and loss of fertility in a dose dependent manner. Drosophila sensitivity to cisplatin in both cell types is affected by genetic background. We show that mutation or RNAi-based knockdown of genes known to be associated with CIPN incidence in humans affect sensitivity of flies to CIPN...
January 22, 2019: Fly
Sudipta Ashe, Shweta Yadav
During Drosophila phototransduction, the G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) Rhodopsin (Rh1) transduces photon absorption into electrical signal via G-protein coupled activation of phospholipase C (PLC). Rh1 levels in the plasma membrane are critical for normal sensitivity to light. In this study, we report that Protein kinase D (dPKD) regulates Rh1 homeostasis in adult photoreceptors. Although eye development and retinal structure are unaffected in the dPKD hypomorph (dPKDH ), it exhibited elevated levels of Rh1...
January 21, 2019: Fly
Enoch Ng'oma, Elizabeth G King, Kevin M Middleton
The ability to quantify fecundity is critically important to a wide range of experimental applications, particularly in widely-used model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster. However, the standard method of manually counting eggs is time consuming and limits the feasibility of large-scale experiments. We develop a predictive model to automate the counting of eggs from images of eggs removed from the media surface and washed onto dark filter paper. Our method uses the simple relationship between the white area in an image and the number of eggs present to create a predictive model that performs well even at high egg densities where clumping can complicate the individual identification of eggs...
December 23, 2018: Fly
Catherine M Mageeney, Michael G Kearse, Brett W Gershman, Caroline E Pritchard, Jennifer M Colquhoun, Vassie C Ware
Duplicated ribosomal protein (RP) genes in the Drosophila melanogaster eRpL22 family encode structurally-divergent and differentially-expressed rRNA-binding RPs. eRpL22 is expressed ubiquitously and eRpL22-like expression is tissue-restricted with highest levels in the adult male germline. We explored paralogue functional equivalence using the GAL4-UAS system for paralogue knockdown or overexpression and a conditional eRpL22-like knockout in a heat- shock flippase/FRT line. Ubiquitous eRpL22 knockdown with Actin-GAL4 resulted in embryonic lethality, confirming eRpL22 essentiality...
November 22, 2018: Fly
Shuling Yan, Jörg Großhans
In this extra view, we comment on our recent work concerning the mRNA localization of the gene slow as molasses (slam). slam is a gene essential for the polarized invagination of the plasma membrane and separation of basal and lateral cortical domains during cellularization as well as for germ cell migration in later embryogenesis. We have demonstrated an intimate relationship between slam RNA and its encoded protein. Slam RNA co-localizes and forms a complex with its encoded protein. Slam mRNA localization not only is required for reaching full levels of functional Slam protein but also depends on Slam protein...
September 13, 2018: Fly
Annabelle Suisse, Miklós Békés, Tony T Huang, Jessica E Treisman
The COP9 signalosome inhibits the activity of Cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligases by removing Nedd8 modifications from their Cullin subunits. Neddylation renders these complexes catalytically active, but deneddylation is also necessary for them to exchange adaptor subunits and avoid auto-ubiquitination. Although deneddylation is thought to be the primary function of the COP9 signalosome, additional activities have been ascribed to some of its subunits. We recently showed that COP9 subunits protect the transcriptional repressor and tumor suppressor Capicua from two distinct modes of degradation...
January 22, 2018: Fly
Martin Resnik-Docampo, Vivien Sauer, Joseph M Schinaman, Rebecca I Clark, David W Walker, D Leanne Jones
Maladaptive changes in the intestinal flora, typically referred to as bacterial dysbiosis, have been linked to intestinal aging phenotypes, including an increase in intestinal stem cell (ISC) proliferation, activation of inflammatory pathways, and increased intestinal permeability1,2 . However, the causal relationships between these phenotypes are only beginning to be unravelled. We recently characterized the age-related changes that occur to septate junctions (SJ) between adjacent, absorptive enterocytes (EC) in the fly intestine...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Ana Carmena
Asymmetric cell division (ACD) is an essential process during development for generating cell diversity. In addition, a more recent connection between ACD, cancer and stem cell biology has opened novel and highly intriguing venues in the field. This connection between compromised ACD and tumorigenesis was first demonstrated using Drosophila neural stem cells (neuroblasts, NBs) more than a decade ago and, over the past years, it has also been established in vertebrate stem cells. Here, focusing on Drosophila larval brain NBs, and in light of results recently obtained in our lab, we revisit this connection emphasizing two main aspects: 1) the differences in tumor suppressor activity of different ACD regulators and 2) the potential relevance of environment and temporal window frame for compromised ACD-dependent induction of tumor-like overgrowth...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Leonard L Dobens, Anna Shipman, Jeffrey D Axelrod
Epithelial cells are defined by apical-basal and planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling, the latter of which establishes an orthogonal plane of polarity in the epithelial sheet. PCP signaling is required for normal cell migration, differentiation, stem cell generation and tissue repair, and defects in PCP have been associated with developmental abnormalities, neuropathologies and cancers. While the molecular mechanism of PCP is incompletely understood, the deepest insights have come from Drosophila, where PCP is manifest in hairs and bristles across the adult cuticle and organization of the ommatidia in the eye...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Wolfgang Arthofer, Carina Heussler, Patrick Krapf, Birgit C Schlick-Steiner, Florian M Steiner
Small, isolated populations are constantly threatened by loss of genetic diversity due to drift. Such situations are found, for instance, in laboratory culturing. In guarding against diversity loss, monitoring of potential changes in population structure is paramount; this monitoring is most often achieved using microsatellite markers, which can be costly in terms of time and money when many loci are scored in large numbers of individuals. Here, we present a case study reducing the number of microsatellites to the minimum necessary to correctly detect the population structure of two Drosophila nigrosparsa populations...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Trevor L Davis, Ilaria Rebay
Master regulatory transcription factors cooperate in networks to shepherd cells through organogenesis. In the Drosophila eye, a collection of master control proteins known as the retinal determination gene network (RDGN) switches the direction and targets of its output to choreograph developmental transitions, but the molecular partners that enable such regulatory flexibility are not known. We recently showed that two RDGN members, Eyes absent (Eya) and Sine oculis (So), promote exit from the terminal cell cycle known as the second mitotic wave (SMW) to permit differentiation...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Derek Dean, Hannah Weinstein, Seema Amin, Breelyn Karno, Emma McAvoy, Ronald Hoy, Andrew Recknagel, Casey Jarvis, David Deitcher
The bang-sensitive (BS) mutants of Drosophila are an important model for studying epilepsy. We recently identified a novel BS locus, julius seizure (jus), encoding a protein containing two transmembrane domains and an extracellular cysteine-rich loop. We also determined that jussda iso7.8 , a previously identified BS mutation, is an allele of jus by recombination, deficiency mapping, complementation testing, and genetic rescue. RNAi knockdown revealed that jus expression is important in cholinergic neurons and that the critical stage of jus expression is the mid-pupa...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Neda N Moghadam, Pia Mai Thorshauge, Torsten N Kristensen, Nadieh de Jonge, Simon Bahrndorff, Henrik Kjeldal, Jeppe Lund Nielsen
Physiological responses to changes in environmental conditions such as temperature may partly arise from the resident microbial community that integrates a wide range of bio-physiological aspects of the host. In the present study, we assessed the effect of developmental temperature on the thermal tolerance and microbial community of Drosophila melanogaster. We also developed a bacterial transplantation protocol in order to examine the possibility of reshaping the host bacterial composition and assessed its influence on the thermotolerance phenotype...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Jason Somers, Hang Ngoc Bao Luong, Philip Batterham, Trent Perry
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have vital functions in processes of neurotransmission that underpin key behaviors. These pentameric ligand-gated ion channels have been used as targets for insecticides that constitutively activate them, causing the death of insect pests. In examining a knockout of the Dα1 nAChR subunit gene, our study linked this one subunit with multiple traits. We were able to confirm previous work that had identified Dα1 as a target of the neonicotinoid class of insecticides...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Lin Cheng, Ming Cui, Yikang S Rong
Telomere protects the ends of linear chromosomes. Telomere dysfunction fuels genome instability that can lead to diseases such as cancer. For over 30 years, Drosophila has fascinated the field as the only major model organism that does not rely on the conserved telomerase enzyme for end protection. Instead of short DNA repeats at chromosome ends, Drosophila has domesticated retrotransposons. In addition, telomere protection can be entirely sequence-independent under normal laboratory conditions, again dissimilar to what has been established for telomerase-maintained systems...
January 2, 2018: Fly
Annick Sawala, Alex P Gould
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD), a sex difference in body size, is widespread throughout the animal kingdom, raising the question of how sex influences existing growth regulatory pathways to bring about SSD. In insects, somatic sexual differentiation has long been considered to be controlled strictly cell-autonomously. Here, we discuss our surprising finding that in Drosophila larvae, the sex determination gene Sex-lethal (Sxl) functions in neurons to non-autonomously specify SSD. We found that Sxl is required in specific neuronal subsets to upregulate female body growth, including in the neurosecretory insulin producing cells, even though insulin-like peptides themselves appear not to be involved...
2018: Fly
Rijan Bajracharya, J William O Ballard
Physical exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Several lines of evidence have also shown the therapeutic potential of dietary management and supplementation in halting the progression of PD. However, there is a lack of research on the combined effects of physical activity and nutrition in the progression of PD. We test the effects exercise and dietary modification in a Drosophila model of PD. In this study, we fed Drosophila parkin mutants high protein and high carbohydrate diets without and with stearic acid (4 treatments in total)...
2018: Fly
Nanci S Kane, Mehul Vora, Richard W Padgett, Ying Li
Decapentaplegic (Dpp), the Drosophila homolog of the vertebrate bone morphogenetic protein (BMP2/4), is crucial for patterning and growth in many developmental contexts. The Dpp pathway is regulated at many different levels to exquisitely control its activity. We show that bantam (ban), a microRNA, modulates Dpp signaling activity. Over expression of ban decreases phosphorylated Mothers against decapentaplegic (Mad) levels and negatively affects Dpp pathway transcriptional target genes, while null mutant clones of ban upregulate the pathway...
2018: Fly
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