Director, Medical Scientist Training Program (1996 - 2002)
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1997 - Present)
Associate Chair, Dept. of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine (2000 - 2006)
Chair, Dept. of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine (2006 - 2013)
Executive Director, Wall Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease (2010 - Present)
Honors & Awards
Recipient, Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award (1987-1993)
Recipient, Presidential Young Investigator Award (1991-1997)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1998)
Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2009)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
- Lung development and stem cells
- Neural control of breathing
- Lung diseases including lung cancer
- New genetic model organisms for medicine
- Molecular Foundations of Medicine
BIOC 205 (Aut)
Independent Studies (6)
- Directed Reading in Biochemistry
BIOC 299 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Graduate Research and Special Advanced Work
BIOC 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Medical Scholars Research
BIOC 370 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Out-of-Department Advanced Research Laboratory in Experimental Biology
BIO 199X (Sum)
- The Teaching of Biochemistry
BIOC 221 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Undergraduate Research
BIOC 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Reading in Biochemistry
- Prior Year Courses
Graduate and Fellowship Programs
Radial Construction of an Arterial Wall
2012; 23 (3): 482-493
Some of the most serious diseases involve altered size and structure of the arterial wall. Elucidating how arterial walls are built could aid understanding of these diseases, but little is known about how concentric layers of muscle cells and the outer adventitial layer are assembled and patterned around endothelial tubes. Using histochemical, clonal, and genetic analysis in mice, here we show that the pulmonary artery wall is constructed radially, from the inside out, by two separate but coordinated processes. One is sequential induction of successive cell layers from surrounding mesenchyme. The other is controlled invasion of outer layers by inner layer cells through developmentally regulated cell reorientation and radial migration. We propose that a radial signal gradient controls these processes and provide evidence that PDGF-B and at least one other signal contribute. Modulation of such radial signaling pathways may underlie vessel-specific differences and pathological changes in arterial wall size and structure.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.07.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000308776400007
View details for PubMedID 22975322
Coronary arteries form by developmental reprogramming of venous cells
2010; 464 (7288): 549-U100
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Determining the coronary artery developmental program could aid understanding of the disease and lead to new treatments, but many aspects of the process, including their developmental origin, remain obscure. Here we show, using histological and clonal analysis in mice and cardiac organ culture, that coronary vessels arise from angiogenic sprouts of the sinus venosus-the vein that returns blood to the embryonic heart. Sprouting venous endothelial cells dedifferentiate as they migrate over and invade the myocardium. Invading cells differentiate into arteries and capillaries; cells on the surface redifferentiate into veins. These results show that some differentiated venous cells retain developmental plasticity, and indicate that position-specific cardiac signals trigger their dedifferentiation and conversion into coronary arteries, capillaries and veins. Understanding this new reprogramming process and identifying the endogenous signals should suggest more natural ways of engineering coronary bypass grafts and revascularizing the heart.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature08873
View details for Web of Science ID 000275974200039
View details for PubMedID 20336138
Dual origin of tissue-specific progenitor cells in Drosophila tracheal remodeling
2008; 321 (5895): 1496-1499
During Drosophila metamorphosis, most larval cells die. Pupal and adult tissues form from imaginal cells, tissue-specific progenitors allocated in embryogenesis that remain quiescent during embryonic and larval life. Clonal analysis and fate mapping of single, identified cells show that tracheal system remodeling at metamorphosis involves a classical imaginal cell population and a population of differentiated, functional larval tracheal cells that reenter the cell cycle and regain developmental potency. In late larvae, both populations are activated and proliferate, spread over and replace old branches, and diversify into various stalk and coiled tracheolar cells under control of fibroblast growth factor signaling. Thus, Drosophila pupal/adult tissue progenitors can arise both by early allocation of multipotent cells and late return of differentiated cells to a multipotent state, even within a single tissue.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1158712
View details for Web of Science ID 000259121800043
View details for PubMedID 18669822
The branching programme of mouse lung development
2008; 453 (7196): 745-U1
Mammalian lungs are branched networks containing thousands to millions of airways arrayed in intricate patterns that are crucial for respiration. How such trees are generated during development, and how the developmental patterning information is encoded, have long fascinated biologists and mathematicians. However, models have been limited by a lack of information on the normal sequence and pattern of branching events. Here we present the complete three-dimensional branching pattern and lineage of the mouse bronchial tree, reconstructed from an analysis of hundreds of developmental intermediates. The branching process is remarkably stereotyped and elegant: the tree is generated by three geometrically simple local modes of branching used in three different orders throughout the lung. We propose that each mode of branching is controlled by a genetically encoded subroutine, a series of local patterning and morphogenesis operations, which are themselves controlled by a more global master routine. We show that this hierarchical and modular programme is genetically tractable, and it is ideally suited to encoding and evolving the complex networks of the lung and other branched organs.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature07005
View details for Web of Science ID 000256415300035
View details for PubMedID 18463632
Social interactions among epithelial cells during tracheal branching morphogenesis
2006; 441 (7094): 746-749
Many organs are composed of tubular networks that arise by branching morphogenesis in which cells bud from an epithelium and organize into a tube. Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and other signalling molecules have been shown to guide branch budding and outgrowth, but it is not known how epithelial cells coordinate their movements and morphogenesis. Here we use genetic mosaic analysis in Drosophila melanogaster to show that there are two functionally distinct classes of cells in budding tracheal branches: cells at the tip that respond directly to Branchless FGF and lead branch outgrowth, and trailing cells that receive a secondary signal to follow the lead cells and form a tube. These roles are not pre-specified; rather, there is competition between cells such that those with the highest FGF receptor activity take the lead positions, whereas those with less FGF receptor activity assume subsidiary positions and form the branch stalk. Competition appears to involve Notch-mediated lateral inhibition that prevents extra cells from assuming the lead. There may also be cooperation between budding cells, because in a mosaic epithelium, cells that cannot respond to the chemoattractant, or respond only poorly, allow other cells in the epithelium to move ahead of them.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature04829
View details for Web of Science ID 000238095100053
View details for PubMedID 16760977
Tube morphogenesis: Making and shaping biological tubes
2003; 112 (1): 19-28
Many organs are composed of epithelial tubes that transport vital fluids. Such tubular organs develop in many different ways and generate tubes of widely varying sizes and structures, but always with the apical epithelial surface lining the lumen. We describe recent progress in several diverse cell culture and genetic models of tube morphogenesis, which suggest apical membrane biogenesis, vesicle fusion, and secretion play central roles in tube formation and growth. We propose a unifying mechanism of tube morphogenesis that has been modified to create tube diversity and describe how defects in the tube size-sensing step can lead to polycystic kidney disease.
View details for Web of Science ID 000181191500003
View details for PubMedID 12526790
Branching morphogenesis of the Drosophila tracheal system
ANNUAL REVIEW OF CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
2003; 19: 623-647
Many organs including the mammalian lung and vascular system consist of branched tubular networks that transport essential gases or fluids, but the genetic programs that control the development of these complex three-dimensional structures are not well understood. The Drosophila melanogaster tracheal (respiratory) system is a network of interconnected epithelial tubes that transports oxygen and other gases in the body and provides a paradigm of branching morphogenesis. It develops by sequential sprouting of primary, secondary, and terminal branches from an epithelial sac of approximately 80 cells in each body segment of the embryo. Mapping of the cell movements and shape changes during the sprouting process has revealed that distinct mechanisms of epithelial migration and tube formation are used at each stage of branching. Genetic dissection of the process has identified a general program in which a fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) are used repeatedly to control branch budding and outgrowth. At each stage of branching, the mechanisms controlling FGF expression and the downstream signal transduction pathway change, altering the pattern and structure of the branches that form. During terminal branching, FGF expression is regulated by hypoxia, ensuring that tracheal structure matches cellular oxygen need. A branch diversification program operates in parallel to the general budding program: Regional signals locally modify the general program, conferring specific structural features and other properties on individual branches, such as their substrate outgrowth preferences, differences in tube size and shape, and the ability to fuse to other branches to interconnect the network.
View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.19.031403.160043
View details for Web of Science ID 000186922500025
View details for PubMedID 14570584
Integrin Beta 1 Suppresses Multilayering of a Simple Epithelium
2012; 7 (12)
Epithelia are classified as either simple, a single cell layer thick, or stratified (multilayered). Stratified epithelia arise from simple epithelia during development, and transcription factor p63 functions as a key positive regulator of epidermal stratification. Here we show that deletion of integrin beta 1 (Itgb1) in the developing mouse airway epithelium abrogates airway branching and converts this monolayer epithelium into a multilayer epithelium with more than 10 extra layers. Mutant lung epithelial cells change mitotic spindle orientation to seed outer layers, and cells in different layers become molecularly and functionally distinct, hallmarks of normal stratification. However, mutant lung epithelial cells do not activate p63 and do not switch to the stratified keratin profile of epidermal cells. These data, together with previous data implicating Itgb1 in regulation of epidermal stratification, suggest that the simple-versus-stratified developmental decision may involve not only stratification inducers like p63 but suppressors like Itgb1 that prevent simple epithelia from inappropriately activating key steps in the stratification program.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0052886
View details for Web of Science ID 000313158800104
View details for PubMedID 23285215
A Systematic Screen for Tube Morphogenesis and Branching Genes in the Drosophila Tracheal System
2011; 7 (7)
Many signaling proteins and transcription factors that induce and pattern organs have been identified, but relatively few of the downstream effectors that execute morphogenesis programs. Because such morphogenesis genes may function in many organs and developmental processes, mutations in them are expected to be pleiotropic and hence ignored or discarded in most standard genetic screens. Here we describe a systematic screen designed to identify all Drosophila third chromosome genes (?40% of the genome) that function in development of the tracheal system, a tubular respiratory organ that provides a paradigm for branching morphogenesis. To identify potentially pleiotropic morphogenesis genes, the screen included analysis of marked clones of homozygous mutant tracheal cells in heterozygous animals, plus a secondary screen to exclude mutations in general "house-keeping" genes. From a collection including more than 5,000 lethal mutations, we identified 133 mutations representing ?70 or more genes that subdivide the tracheal terminal branching program into six genetically separable steps, a previously established cell specification step plus five major morphogenesis and maturation steps: branching, growth, tubulogenesis, gas-filling, and maintenance. Molecular identification of 14 of the 70 genes demonstrates that they include six previously known tracheal genes, each with a novel function revealed by clonal analysis, and two well-known growth suppressors that establish an integral role for cell growth control in branching morphogenesis. The rest are new tracheal genes that function in morphogenesis and maturation, many through cytoskeletal and secretory pathways. The results suggest systematic genetic screens that include clonal analysis can elucidate the full organogenesis program and that over 200 patterning and morphogenesis genes are required to build even a relatively simple organ such as the Drosophila tracheal system.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002087
View details for Web of Science ID 000293338600001
View details for PubMedID 21750678
Targeting Robo4-Dependent Slit Signaling to Survive the Cytokine Storm in Sepsis and Influenza
SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
2010; 2 (23)
The innate immune system provides a first line of defense against invading pathogens by releasing multiple inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which directly combat the infectious agent and recruit additional immune responses. This exuberant cytokine release paradoxically injures the host by triggering leakage from capillaries, tissue edema, organ failure, and shock. Current medical therapies target individual pathogens with antimicrobial agents or directly either blunt or boost the host's immune system. We explored a third approach: activating with the soluble ligand Slit an endothelium-specific, Robo4-dependent signaling pathway that strengthens the vascular barrier, diminishing deleterious aspects of the host's response to the pathogen-induced cytokine storm. This approach reduced vascular permeability in the lung and other organs and increased survival in animal models of bacterial endotoxin exposure, polymicrobial sepsis, and H5N1 influenza. Thus, enhancing the resilience of the host vascular system to the host's innate immune response may provide a therapeutic strategy for treating multiple infectious agents.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000678
View details for Web of Science ID 000277304000004
View details for PubMedID 20375003
- Circulating blood cells function as a surveillance system for damaged tissue in Drosophila larvae Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2008; 105: 10017-10022
Functions of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway in Drosophila development
2006; 2 (12): 2143-2154
Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a cellular surveillance mechanism that degrades transcripts containing premature translation termination codons, and it also influences expression of certain wild-type transcripts. Although the biochemical mechanisms of NMD have been studied intensively, its developmental functions and importance are less clear. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of Drosophila "photoshop" mutations, which increase expression of green fluorescent protein and other transgenes. Mapping and molecular analyses show that photoshop mutations are loss-of-function mutations in the Drosophila homologs of NMD genes Upf1, Upf2, and Smg1. We find that Upf1 and Upf2 are broadly active during development, and they are required for NMD as well as for proper expression of dozens of wild-type genes during development and for larval viability. Genetic mosaic analysis shows that Upf1 and Upf2 are required for growth and/or survival of imaginal cell clones, but this defect can be overcome if surrounding wild-type cells are eliminated. By contrast, we find that the PI3K-related kinase Smg1 potentiates but is not required for NMD or for viability, implying that the Upf1 phosphorylation cycle that is required for mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans NMD has a more limited role during Drosophila development. Finally, we show that the SV40 3' UTR, present in many Drosophila transgenes, targets the transgenes for regulation by the NMD pathway. The results establish that the Drosophila NMD pathway is broadly active and essential for development, and one critical function of the pathway is to endow proliferating imaginal cells with a competitive growth advantage that prevents them from being overtaken by other proliferating cells.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020180
View details for Web of Science ID 000243482100017
View details for PubMedID 17196039
Drosophila talin and integrin genes are required for maintenance of tracheal terminal branches and luminal organization (vol 133, pg 2383, 2006)
2006; 133 (12): 2383-U13
Epithelial tubes that compose many organs are typically long lasting, except under specific developmental and physiological conditions when network remodeling occurs. Although there has been progress elucidating mechanisms of tube formation, little is known of the mechanisms that maintain tubes and destabilize them during network remodeling. Here, we describe Drosophila tendrils mutations that compromise maintenance of tracheal terminal branches, fine gauge tubes formed by tracheal terminal cells that ramify on and adhere tightly to tissues in order to supply them with oxygen. Homozygous tendrils terminal cell clones have fewer terminal branches than normal but individual branches contain multiple convoluted lumens. The phenotype arises late in development: terminal branches bud and form lumens normally early in development, but during larval life lumens become convoluted and mature branches degenerate. Their lumens, however, are retained in the remaining branches, resulting in the distinctive multi-lumen phenotype. Mapping and molecular studies demonstrate that tendrils is allelic to rhea, which encodes Drosophila talin, a large cytoskeletal protein that links integrins to the cytoskeleton. Terminal cells mutant for myospheroid, the major Drosophila beta-integrin, or doubly mutant for multiple edematous wings and inflated alpha-integrins, also show the tendrils phenotype, and localization of myospheroid beta-integrin protein is disrupted in tendrils mutant terminal cells. The results provide evidence that integrin-talin adhesion complexes are necessary to maintain tracheal terminal branches and luminal organization. Similar complexes may stabilize other tubular networks and may be targeted for inactivation during network remodeling events.
View details for DOI 10.1242/dev.02484
View details for Web of Science ID 000238474600010
View details for PubMedID 16720877
Genome-wide identification of mRNAs associated with the translational regulator PUMILIO in Drosophila melanogaster
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2006; 103 (12): 4487-4492
Genome-wide identification of RNAs associated with RNA-binding proteins is crucial for deciphering posttranscriptional regulatory systems. PUMILIO is a member of the evolutionary conserved Puf-family of RNA-binding proteins that repress gene expression posttranscriptionally. We generated transgenic flies expressing affinity-tagged PUMILIO under the control of an ovary-specific promoter, and we purified PUMILIO from whole adult flies and embryos and analyzed associated mRNAs by using DNA microarrays. Distinct sets comprising hundreds of mRNAs were associated with PUMILIO at the two developmental stages. Many of these mRNAs encode functionally related proteins, supporting a model for coordinated regulation of posttranscriptional modules by specific RNA-binding proteins. We identified a characteristic sequence motif in the 3'-untranslated regions of mRNAs associated with PUMILIO, and the sufficiency of this motif for interaction with PUMILIO was confirmed by RNA pull-down experiments with biotinylated synthetic RNAs. The RNA motif strikingly resembles the one previously identified for Puf3p, one of five Saccharomyces cerevisiae Puf proteins; however, proteins encoded by the associated mRNAs in yeast and Drosophila do not appear to be related. The results suggest extensive posttranscriptional regulation by PUMILIO and uncover evolutionary features of this conserved family of RNA-binding proteins.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0509260103
View details for Web of Science ID 000236362600031
View details for PubMedID 16537387
Sprouty proteins are in vivo targets of Corkscrew/SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatases
2006; 133 (6): 1133-1142
Drosophila Corkscrew protein and its vertebrate ortholog SHP-2 (now known as Ptpn11) positively modulate receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling during development, but how these tyrosine phosphatases promote tyrosine kinase signaling is not well understood. Sprouty proteins are tyrosine-phosphorylated RTK feedback inhibitors, but their regulation and mechanism of action are also poorly understood. Here, we show that Corkscrew/SHP-2 proteins control Sprouty phosphorylation and function. Genetic experiments demonstrate that Corkscrew/SHP-2 and Sprouty proteins have opposite effects on RTK-mediated developmental events in Drosophila and an RTK signaling process in cultured mammalian cells, and the genes display dose-sensitive genetic interactions. In cultured cells, inactivation of SHP-2 increases phosphorylation on the critical tyrosine of Sprouty 1. SHP-2 associates in a complex with Sprouty 1 in cultured cells and in vitro, and a purified SHP-2 protein dephosphorylates the critical tyrosine of Sprouty 1. Substrate-trapping forms of Corkscrew bind Sprouty in cultured Drosophila cells and the developing eye. These results identify Sprouty proteins as in vivo targets of Corkscrew/SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatases and show how Corkscrew/SHP-2 proteins can promote RTK signaling by inactivating a feedback inhibitor. We propose that this double-negative feedback circuit shapes the output profile of RTK signaling events.
View details for DOI 10.1242/dev.02255
View details for Web of Science ID 000236676900014
View details for PubMedID 16481357
serpentine and vermiform encode matrix proteins with chitin binding and deacetylation domains that limit tracheal tube length in Drosophila
2006; 16 (2): 186-194
Many organs contain epithelial tubes that transport gases or liquids . Proper tube size and shape is crucial for organ function, but the mechanisms controlling tube diameter and length are poorly understood. Recent studies of tracheal (respiratory) tube morphogenesis in Drosophila show that chitin synthesis genes produce an expanding chitin cylinder in the apical (luminal) extracellular matrix (ECM) that coordinates the dilation of the surrounding epithelium . Here, we describe two genes involved in chitin modification, serpentine (serp) and vermiform (verm), mutations in which cause excessively long and tortuous tracheal tubes. The genes encode similar proteins with an LDL-receptor ligand binding motif and chitin binding and deacetylation domains. Both proteins are expressed and secreted during tube expansion and localize throughout the lumen in a chitin-dependent manner. Unlike previously characterized chitin pathway genes, serp and verm are not required for chitin synthesis or secretion but rather for its normal fibrillar structure. The mutations also affect structural properties of another chitinous matrix, epidermal cuticle. Our work demonstrates that chitin and the matrix proteins Serp and Verm limit tube elongation, and it suggests that tube length is controlled independently of diameter by modulating physical properties of the chitin ECM, presumably by N-deacetylation of chitin and conversion to chitosan.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2005.11.072
View details for Web of Science ID 000235105900024
View details for PubMedID 16431371
Requirement for chitin biosynthesis in epithelial tube morphogenesis
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2005; 102 (47): 17014-17019
Many organs are composed of branched networks of epithelial tubes that transport vital fluids or gases. The proper size and shape of tubes are crucial for their transport function, but the molecular processes that govern tube size and shape are not well understood. Here we show that three genes required for tracheal tube morphogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster encode proteins involved in the synthesis and accumulation of chitin, a polymer of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine that serves as a scaffold in the rigid extracellular matrix of insect cuticle. In all three mutants, developing tracheal tubes bud and extend normally, but the epithelial walls of the tubes do not expand uniformly, and the resultant tubes are grossly misshapen, with constricted and distended regions all along their lengths. The genes are expressed in tracheal cells during the expansion process, and chitin accumulates in the lumen of tubes, forming an expanding cylinder that we propose coordinates the behavior of the surrounding tracheal cells and stabilizes the expanding epithelium. These findings show that chitin regulates epithelial tube morphogenesis, in addition to its classical role protecting mature epithelia.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0506676102
View details for Web of Science ID 000233463200021
View details for PubMedID 16287975
Cellular and genetic analysis of wound healing in Drosophila larvae.
2004; 2 (8): E239-?
To establish a genetic system to study postembryonic wound healing, we characterized epidermal wound healing in Drosophila larvae. Following puncture wounding, larvae begin to bleed but within an hour a plug forms in the wound gap. Over the next couple of hours the outer part of the plug melanizes to form a scab, and epidermal cells surrounding the plug orient toward it and then fuse to form a syncytium. Subsequently, more-peripheral cells orient toward and fuse with the central syncytium. During this time, the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway is activated in a gradient emanating out from the wound, and the epidermal cells spread along or through the wound plug to reestablish a continuous epithelium and its basal lamina and apical cuticle lining. Inactivation of the JNK pathway inhibits epidermal spreading and reepithelialization but does not affect scab formation or other wound healing responses. Conversely, mutations that block scab formation, and a scabless wounding procedure, provide evidence that the scab stabilizes the wound site but is not required to initiate other wound responses. However, in the absence of a scab, the JNK pathway is hyperinduced, reepithelialization initiates but is not always completed, and a chronic wound ensues. The results demonstrate that the cellular responses of wound healing are under separate genetic control, and that the responses are coordinated by multiple signals emanating from the wound site, including a negative feedback signal between scab formation and the JNK pathway. Cell biological and molecular parallels to vertebrate wound healing lead us to speculate that wound healing is an ancient response that has diversified during evolution.
View details for PubMedID 15269788
Gene expression during the life cycle of Drosophila melanogaster
2002; 297 (5590): 2270-2275
Molecular genetic studies of Drosophila melanogaster have led to profound advances in understanding the regulation of development. Here we report gene expression patterns for nearly one-third of all Drosophila genes during a complete time course of development. Mutations that eliminate eye or germline tissue were used to further analyze tissue-specific gene expression programs. These studies define major characteristics of the transcriptional programs that underlie the life cycle, compare development in males and females, and show that large-scale gene expression data collected from whole animals can be used to identify genes expressed in particular tissues and organs or genes involved in specific biological and biochemical processes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000178222000050
View details for PubMedID 12351791
- Tube morphogenesis TRENDS IN CELL BIOLOGY 2002; 12 (8): 351-351
Developmental control of blood cell migration by the Drosophila VEGF pathway
2002; 108 (6): 865-876
We show that a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway controls embryonic migrations of blood cells (hemocytes) in Drosophila. The VEGF receptor homolog is expressed in hemocytes, and three VEGF homologs are expressed along hemocyte migration routes. A receptor mutation arrests progression of blood cell movement. Mutations in Vegf17E or Vegf27Cb have no effect, but simultaneous inactivation of all three Vegf genes phenocopied the receptor mutant, and ectopic expression of Vegf27Cb redirected migration. Genetic experiments indicate that the VEGF pathway functions independently of pathways governing hemocyte homing on apoptotic cells. The results suggest that the Drosophila VEGF pathway guides developmental migrations of blood cells, and we speculate that the ancestral function of VEGF pathways was to guide blood cell movement.
View details for Web of Science ID 000174563000014
View details for PubMedID 11955438
The Drosophila ribbon gene encodes a nuclear BTB domain protein that promotes epithelial migration and morphogenesis
2001; 128 (23): 4923-4933
During development of the Drosophila tracheal (respiratory) system, the cell bodies and apical and basal surfaces of the tracheal epithelium normally move in concert as new branches bud and grow out to form tubes. We show that mutations in the Drosophila ribbon (rib) gene disrupt this coupling: the basal surface continues to extend towards its normal targets, but movement and morphogenesis of the tracheal cell bodies and apical surface is severely impaired, resulting in long basal membrane protrusions but little net movement or branch formation. rib mutant tracheal cells are still responsive to the Branchless fibroblast growth factor (FGF) that guides branch outgrowth, and they express apical membrane markers normally. This suggests that the defect lies either in transmission of the FGF signal from the basal surface to the rest of the cell or in the apical cell migration and tubulogenesis machinery. rib encodes a nuclear protein with a BTB/POZ domain and Pipsqueak DNA-binding motif. It is expressed in the developing tracheal system and other morphogenetically active epithelia, many of which are also affected in rib mutants. We propose that Rib is a key regulator of epithelial morphogenesis that promotes migration and morphogenesis of the tracheal cell bodies and apical surface and other morphogenetic movements.
View details for Web of Science ID 000172740900024
View details for PubMedID 11731471
A nuclear lamin is required for cytoplasmic organization and egg polarity in Drosophila
NATURE CELL BIOLOGY
2001; 3 (9): 848-851
Nuclear lamins are intermediate filaments that compose the nuclear lamina--the filamentous meshwork underlying the inner nuclear membrane--and are required for nuclear assembly, organization and maintenance. Here we present evidence that a nuclear lamin is also required for cytoplasmic organization in two highly polarized cell types. Zygotic loss-of-function mutations in the Drosophila gene encoding the principal lamin (Dm(0)) disrupt the directed outgrowth of cytoplasmic extensions from terminal cells of the tracheal system. Germline mutant clones disrupt dorsal-ventral polarity of the oocyte. In mutant oocytes, transcripts of the dorsal determinant Gurken, a transforming growth factor-alpha homologue, fail to localize properly around the anterodorsal surface of the oocyte nucleus; their ventral spread results in dorsalized eggs that resemble those of the classical dorsalizing mutations squid and fs(1)K10. The requirement of a nuclear lamin for cytoplasmic as well as nuclear organization has important implications for both the cellular functions of lamins and the pathogenesis of human diseases caused by lamin mutations.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170979600020
View details for PubMedID 11533666
Inhibition of angiogenesis by a mouse sprouty protein
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
2001; 276 (6): 4128-4133
Sprouty negatively modulates branching morphogenesis in the Drosophila tracheal system. To address the role of mammalian Sprouty homologues in angiogenesis, another form of branching morphogenesis, a recombinant adenovirus engineered to express murine Sprouty-4 selectively in endothelial cells, was injected into the sinus venosus of embryonic day 9.0 cultured mouse embryos. Sprouty-4 expression inhibited branching and sprouting of small vessels, resulting in abnormal embryonic development. In vitro, Sprouty-4 inhibited fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial cell growth factor-mediated cell proliferation and migration and prevented basic fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial cell growth factor-induced MAPK phosphorylation in endothelial cells, indicating inhibition of tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling pathways. The ability of constitutively activated mutant Ras(L61) to rescue Sprouty-4 inhibition of MAPK phosphorylation suggests that Sprouty inhibits receptor tyrosine kinase signaling upstream of Ras. Thus, Sprouty may regulate angiogenesis in normal and disease processes by modulating signaling by endothelial tyrosine kinases.
View details for Web of Science ID 000166921200054
View details for PubMedID 11053436
Genetic control of epithelial tube size in the Drosophila tracheal system
2000; 127 (15): 3271-3282
The proper size of epithelial tubes is critical for the function of the lung, kidney, vascular system and other organs, but the genetic and cellular mechanisms that control epithelial tube size are unknown. We investigated tube size control in the embryonic and larval tracheal (respiratory) system of Drosophila. A morphometric analysis showed that primary tracheal branches have characteristic sizes that undergo programmed changes during development. Branches grow at different rates and their diameters and lengths are regulated independently: tube length increases gradually throughout development, whereas tube diameter increases abruptly at discrete times in development. Cellular analysis and manipulation of tracheal cell number using cell-cycle mutations demonstrated that tube size is not dictated by the specific number or shape of the tracheal cells that constitute it. Rather, tube size appears to be controlled by coordinately regulating the apical (lumenal) surface of tracheal cells. Genetic analysis showed that tube sizes are specified early by branch identity genes, and the subsequent enlargement of branches to their mature sizes and maintenance of the expanded tubes involves a new set of genes described here, which we call tube expansion genes. This work establishes a genetic system for investigating tube size regulation, and provides an outline of the genetic program and cellular events underlying tracheal tube size control.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088854100008
View details for PubMedID 10887083
The Drosophila genome sequence: Implications for biology and medicine
2000; 287 (5461): 2218-2220
The 120-megabase euchromatic portion of the Drosophila melanogaster genome has been sequenced. Because the genome is compact and many genetic tools are available, and because fly cell biology and development have much in common with mammals, this sequence may be the Rosetta stone for deciphering the human genome.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086049100037
View details for PubMedID 10731136
Oxygen regulation of airway branching in Drosophila is mediated by branchless FGF
1999; 99 (2): 211-220
The Drosophila tracheal (respiratory) system is a tubular epithelial network that delivers oxygen to internal tissues. Sprouting of the major tracheal branches is stereotyped and controlled by hard-wired developmental cues. Here we show that ramification of the fine terminal branches is variable and regulated by oxygen, and that this process is controlled by a local signal or signals produced by oxygen-starved cells. We provide evidence that the critical signal is Branchless (Bnl) FGF, the same growth factor that patterns the major branches during embryogenesis. During larval life, oxygen deprivation stimulates expression of Bnl, and the secreted growth factor functions as a chemoattractant that guides new terminal branches to the expressing cells. Thus, a single growth factor is reiteratively used to pattern each level of airway branching, and the change in branch patterning results from a switch from developmental to physiological control of its expression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000083159700011
View details for PubMedID 10535739
Vertebrate Sprouty genes are induced by FGF signaling and can cause chondrodysplasia when overexpressed
1999; 126 (20): 4465-4475
The Drosophila sprouty gene encodes an antagonist of FGF and EGF signaling whose expression is induced by the signaling pathways that it inhibits. Here we describe a family of vertebrate Sprouty homologs and demonstrate that the regulatory relationship with FGF pathways has been conserved. In both mouse and chick embryos, Sprouty genes are expressed in intimate association with FGF signaling centers. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments demonstrate that FGF signaling induces Sprouty gene expression in various tissues. Sprouty overexpression obtained by infecting the prospective wing territory of the chick embryo with a retrovirus containing a mouse Sprouty gene causes a reduction in limb bud outgrowth and other effects consistent with reduced FGF signaling from the apical ectodermal ridge. At later stages of development in the infected limbs there was a dramatic reduction in skeletal element length due to an inhibition of chondrocyte differentiation. The results provide evidence that vertebrate Sprouty proteins function as FGF-induced feedback inhibitors, and suggest a possible role for Sprouty genes in the pathogenesis of specific human chondrodysplasias caused by activating mutations in Fgfr3.
View details for Web of Science ID 000083683300007
View details for PubMedID 10498682
Genetic control of branching morphogenesis.
1999; 284 (5420): 1635-1639
The genetic programs that direct formation of the treelike branching structures of two animal organs have begun to be elucidated. In both the developing Drosophila tracheal (respiratory) system and mammalian lung, a fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathway is reiteratively used to pattern successive rounds of branching. The initial pattern of signaling appears to be established by early, more global embryonic patterning systems. The FGF pathway is then modified at each stage of branching by genetic feedback controls and other signals to give distinct branching outcomes. The reiterative use of a signaling pathway by both insects and mammals suggests a general scheme for patterning branching morphogenesis.
View details for PubMedID 10383344
Sprouty: a common antagonist of FGF and EGF signaling pathways in Drosophila
1999; 126 (11): 2515-2525
Extracellular factors such as FGF and EGF control various aspects of morphogenesis, patterning and cellular proliferation in both invertebrates and vertebrates. In most systems, it is primarily the distribution of these factors that controls the differential behavior of the responding cells. Here we describe the role of Sprouty in eye development. Sprouty is an extracellular protein that has been shown to antagonize FGF signaling during tracheal branching in Drosophila. It is a novel type of protein with a highly conserved cysteine-rich region. In addition to the embryonic tracheal system, sprouty is also expressed in other tissues including the developing eye imaginal disc, embryonic chordotonal organ precursors and the midline glia. In each of these tissues, EGF receptor signaling is known to participate in the control of the correct number of neurons or glia. We show that, in all three tissues, the loss of sprouty results in supernumerary neurons or glia, respectively. Furthermore, overexpression of sprouty in wing veins and ovarian follicle cells, two other tissues where EGF signaling is required for patterning, results in phenotypes that resemble the loss-of-function phenotypes of Egf receptor. These results suggest that Sprouty acts as an antagonist of EGF as well as FGF signaling pathways. These receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated pathways may share not only intracellular signaling components but also extracellular factors that modulate the strength of the signal.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081019500020
View details for PubMedID 10226010
stumps, a Drosophila gene required for fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-directed migrations of tracheal and mesodermal cells
1999; 152 (1): 307-318
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) bind to FGF receptors, transmembrane tyrosine kinases that activate mitogenic, motogenic, and differentiative responses in different tissues. While there has been substantial progress in elucidating the Ras-MAP kinase pathway that mediates the differentiative responses, the signal transduction pathways that lead to directed cell migrations are not well defined. Here we describe a Drosophila gene called stumps that is required for FGF-dependent migrations of tracheal and mesodermal cells. These migrations are controlled by different FGF ligands and receptors, and they occur by different cellular mechanisms: the tracheal migrations occur as part of an epithelium whereas the mesodermal migrations are fibroblast-like. In the stumps mutant, tracheal cells fail to move out from the epithelial sacs, and only rudimentary tracheal branches form. Mesodermal cells fail in their dorsal migrations after gastrulation. The stumps mutation does not block all FGF signaling effects in these tissues: both random cell migrations and Ras-MAP kinase-mediated induction of FGF-specific effector genes occurred upon ectopic expression of the ligand or upon expression of a constitutively activated Ras protein in the migrating cells. The results suggest that stumps function promotes FGF-directed cell migrations, either by potentiating the FGF signaling process or by coupling the signal to the cellular machinery required for directed cell movement.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080219100026
View details for PubMedID 10224263
Adrift, a novel bnl-induced Drosophila gene, required for tracheal pathfinding into the CNS
1999; 126 (7): 1505-1514
Neurons and glial cells provide guidance cues for migrating neurons. We show here that migrating epithelial cells also contact specific neurons and glia during their pathfinding, and we describe the first gene required in the process. In wild-type Drosophila embryos, the ganglionic tracheal branch navigates a remarkably complex path along specific neural and glial substrata, switching substrata five times before reaching its ultimate target in the CNS. In adrift mutants, ganglionic branches migrate normally along the intersegmental nerve, but sporadically fail to switch to the segmental nerve and enter the CNS; they wind up meandering along the ventral epidermis instead. adrift encodes a novel nuclear protein with an evolutionarily conserved motif. The gene is required in the trachea and is expressed in the leading cells of migrating ganglionic branches where it is induced by the branchless FGF pathway. We propose that Adrift regulates expression of tracheal genes required for pathfinding on the segmental nerve, and FGF induction of adrift expression in migrating tracheal cells promotes the switch from the intersegmental to the segmental nerve.
View details for Web of Science ID 000079848200015
View details for PubMedID 10068643
sprouty encodes a novel antagonist of FGF signaling that patterns apical branching of the Drosophila airways
1998; 92 (2): 253-263
Antagonists of several growth factor signaling pathways play important roles in developmental patterning by limiting the range of the cognate inducer. Here, we describe an antagonist of FGF signaling that patterns apical branching of the Drosophila airways. In wild-type embryos, the Branchless FGF induces secondary branching by activating the Breathless FGF receptor near the tips of growing primary branches. In sprouty mutants, the FGF pathway is overactive and ectopic branches are induced on the stalks of primary branches. We show that FGF signaling induces sprouty expression in the nearby tip cells, and sprouty acts nonautonomously and in a competitive fashion to block signaling to the more distant stalk cells. sprouty encodes a novel cysteine-rich protein that defines a new family of putative signaling molecules that may similarly function as FGF antagonists in vertebrate development.
View details for Web of Science ID 000071672600014
View details for PubMedID 9458049
- The hypoxic response: Huffing and HIFing CELL 1997; 89 (1): 9-12
- Genes that control organ form: Lessons from bone and branching morphogenesis COLD SPRING HARBOR SYMPOSIA ON QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY 1997; 62: 235-240
Branchless encodes a Drosophila FGF homolog that controls tracheal cell migration and the pattern of branching
1996; 87 (6): 1091-1101
The molecular basis for patterning of complex organ structures like the lung and insect tracheal system is unknown. Here, we describe the Drosophila gene branchless (bnl) and demonstrate that it is a key determinant of the tracheal branching pattern. bnl is required for tracheal branching and is expressed dynamically in clusters of cells surrounding the developing tracheal system at each position where a new branch will form and grow out. Localized misexpression of bnl can direct branch formation and outgrowth to new positions. Generalized misexpression activates later programs of tracheal gene expression and branching, resulting in massive networks of branches. bnl encodes a homolog of mammalian fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and appears to function as a ligand for the breathless receptor tyrosine kinase, an FGF receptor homolog expressed on developing tracheal cells. The results suggest that this FGF pathway specifies the tracheal branching pattern by guiding tracheal cell migration during primary branch formation and then activating later programs of finer branching at the ends of growing primary branches.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VY44700014
View details for PubMedID 8978613
Regulated Breathless receptor tyrosine kinase activity required to pattern cell migration area branching in the Drosophila tracheal system
GENES & DEVELOPMENT
1996; 10 (22): 2912-2921
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are members of a diverse class of signaling molecules well known for their roles in cell fate specification, cell differentiation, and oncogenic transformation. Recently several RTKs have been implicated in cell and axon motility, and RTKs are known to mediate chemotactic guidance of tissue culture cells. We have investigated whether the Drosophila FGF receptor homolog, Breathless (BTL), whose activity is necessary for each phase of branching morphogenesis in the embryonic tracheal system, might play a role in guiding the directed migration of tracheal cells. We found that expression of a constitutively active receptor during tracheal development interfered with directed tracheal cell migration and led to extra secondary and terminal branch-forming cells. Reduction in endogenous BTL signaling enhanced the cell migration defects while suppressing the ectopic branching defects. These results are consistent with a model for tracheal development in which spatially regulated BTL activity guides tracheal cell migration and quantitatively regulated BTL activity determines the patterns of secondary and terminal branching cell fates.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VV15600009
View details for PubMedID 8918892
Genetic control of epithelial tube fusion during Drosophila tracheal development
1996; 122 (11): 3531-3536
During development of tubular networks such as the mammalian vascular system, the kidney and the Drosophila tracheal system, epithelial tubes must fuse to each other to form a continuous network. Little is known of the cellular mechanisms or molecular control of epithelial tube fusion. We describe the cellular dynamics of a tracheal fusion event in Drosophila and identify a gene regulatory hierarchy that controls this extraordinary process. A tracheal cell located at the developing fusion point expresses a sequence of specific markers as it grows out and contacts a similar cell from another tube; the two cells adhere and form an intercellular junction, and they become doughnut-shaped cells with the lumen passing through them. The early fusion marker Fusion-1 is identified as the escargot gene. It lies near the top of the regulatory hierarchy, activating the expression of later fusion markers and repressing genes that promote branching. Ectopic expression of escargot activates the fusion process and suppresses branching throughout the tracheal system, leading to ectopic tracheal connections that resemble certain arteriovenous malformations in humans. This establishes a simple genetic system to study fusion of epithelial tubes.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VV37300018
View details for PubMedID 8951068
The Drosophila Serum Response Factor gene is required for the formation of intervein tissue of the wing and is allelic to blistered
1996; 122 (9): 2589-2597
The adult Drosophila wing is formed by an epithelial sheet, which differentiates into two non-neural tissues, vein or intervein. A large number of genes, many of them encoding components of an EGF-receptor signaling pathway, have previously been shown to be required for differentiation of vein tissue. Much less is known about the molecular control of intervein differentiation. Here we report that the Drosophila homolog of the mammalian Serum Response Factor gene (DSRF), which encodes a MADS-box containing transcriptional regulator, is expressed in the future intervein tissue of wing imaginal discs. In adult flies carrying only one functional copy of the DSRF gene, additional vein tissue develops in the wing, indicating that DSRF is required to spatially restrict the formation of veins. In mitotic clones lacking DSRF, intervein tissue fails to differentiate and becomes vein-like in appearance. Genetic and molecular evidence demonstrates that DSRF is encoded by the blistered locus, which produces ectopic veins and blistered wings when mutant. Our results show that DSRF plays a dual role during wing differentiation. It acts in a dosage-dependent [correction of dosage-dependant] manner to suppress the formation of wing veins and is required cell-autonomously to promote the development of intervein cells. We propose that DSRF acts at a key step between regulatory genes that define the early positional values in the developing wing disc and the subsequent localized expression of intervein-specific structural genes.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VJ07500003
View details for PubMedID 8787734
Development of the Drosophila tracheal system occurs by a series of morphologically distinct but genetically coupled branching events
1996; 122 (5): 1395-1407
The tracheal (respiratory) system of Drosophila melanogaster is a branched network of epithelial tubes that ramifies throughout the body and transports oxygen to the tissues. It forms by a series of sequential branching events in each hemisegment from T2 to A8. Here we present a cellular and initial genetic analysis of the branching process. We show that although branching is sequential it is not iterative. The three levels of branching that we distinguish involve different cellular mechanisms of tube formation. Primary branches are multicellular tubes that arise by cell migration and intercalation; secondary branches are unicellular tubes formed by individual tracheal cells; terminal branches are subcellular tubes formed within long cytoplasmic extensions. Each level of branching is accompanied by expression of a different set of enhancer trap markers. These sets of markers are sequentially activated in progressively restricted domains and ultimately individual tracheal cells that are actively forming new branches. A clonal analysis demonstrates that branching fates are not assigned to tracheal cells until after cell division ceases and branching begins. We further show that the breathless FGF receptor, a tracheal gene required for primary branching, is also required to activate expression of markers involved in secondary branching and that the pointed ETS-domain transcription factor is required for secondary branching and also to activate expression of terminal branch markers. The combined morphological, marker expression and genetic data support a model in which successive branching events are mechanistically and genetically distinct but coupled through the action of a tracheal gene regulatory hierarchy.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UM55800006
View details for PubMedID 8625828
The pruned gene encodes the Drosophila serum response factor and regulates cytoplasmic outgrowth during terminal branching of the tracheal system
1996; 122 (5): 1353-1362
We identified a Drosophila gene, pruned, that regulates formation of the terminal branches of the tracheal (respiratory) system. These branches arise by extension of long cytoplasmic processes from terminal tracheal cells towards oxygen-starved tissues, followed by formation of a lumen within the processes. The pruned gene is expressed in terminal cells throughout the period of terminal branching. pruned encodes the Drosophila homologue of serum response factor (SRF), which functions with an ETS domain ternary complex factor as a growth-factor-activated transcription complex in mammalian cells. In pruned loss of function mutants, terminal cells fail to extend cytoplasmic projections. A constitutively activated SRF drives formation of extra projections that grow out in an unregulated fashion. An activated ternary complex factor has a similar effect. We propose that the Drosophila SRF functions like mammalian SRF in an inducible transcription complex, and that activation of this complex by signals from target tissues induces expression of genes involved in cytoplasmic outgrowth.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UM55800002
View details for PubMedID 8625824
A novel circadianly expressed Drosophila melanogaster gene dependent on the period gene for its rhythmic expression
1996; 15 (7): 1625-1631
The Drosophila melanogaster period (per) gene is required for expression of endogenous circadian rhythms of locomotion and eclosion. per mRNA is expressed with a circadian rhythm that is dependent on Per protein; this feedback loop has been proposed to be essential to the central circadian pacemaker. This model would suggest the Per protein also controls the circadian expression of other genetic loci to generate circadian behavior and physiology. In this paper we describe Dreg-5, a gene whose mRNA is expressed in fly heads with a circadian rhythm nearly identical to that of the per gene. Dreg-5 mRNA continues to cycle in phase with that of per mRNA in conditions of total darkness and also when the daily feeding time is altered. Like per mRNA, Dreg-5 mRNA is not expressed rhythmically in per null mutant flies. Dreg-5 encodes a novel 298 residue protein and Dreg-5 protein isoforms also oscillate in abundance with a circadian rhythm. The phase of Dreg-5 protein oscillation, however, is different from that of Per protein expression, suggesting that Dreg-5 and per have common translational but different post-translational control mechanisms. These results demonstrate that the per gene is capable of modulating the rhythmic expression of other genes; this activity may form the basis of the output of circadian rhythmicity in Drosophila.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UF65800017
View details for PubMedID 8612586
Partners in time. Circadian rhythms.
1996; 6 (3): 244-246
The timeless gene is a second essential component of the circadian clock in Drosophila; its product interacts physically with the only other known clock component, the period gene product. Together they control the daily cycle of expression of their own and other loci.
View details for PubMedID 8805241
Extent and character of circadian gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster: Identification of twenty oscillating mRNAs in the fly head
1995; 5 (12): 1424-1436
Although mRNAs expressed with a circadian rhythm have been isolated from many species, the extent and character of circadianly regulated gene expression is unknown for any animal. In Drosophila melanogaster, only the period (per) gene, an essential component of the circadian pacemaker, is known to show rhythmic mRNA expression. Recent work suggests that the encoded Per protein controls its own transcription by an autoregulatory feedback loop. Per might also control the rhythmic expression of other genes to generate circadian behavior and physiology. The goals of this work were to evaluate the extent and character of circadian control of gene expression in Drosophila, and to identify genes dependent on per for circadian expression.A large collection of anonymous, independent cDNA clones was used to screen for transcripts that are rhythmically expressed in the fly head. 20 of the 261 clones tested detected mRNAs with a greater than two-fold daily change in abundance. Three mRNAs were maximally expressed in the morning, whereas 17 mRNAs were most abundant in the evening--when per mRNA is also maximally expressed (but when the flies are inactive). Further analysis of the three 'morning' cDNAs showed that each has a unique dependence on the presence of a light-dark cycle, on timed feeding, and on the function of the per gene for its oscillation. These dependencies were different from those determined for per and for a novel 'evening' gene. Sequence analysis indicated that all but one of the 20 cDNAs identified previously uncloned genes.Diurnal control of gene expression is a significant but limited phenomenon in the fly head, which involves many uncharacterized genes. Diurnal control is mediated by multiple endogenous and exogenous mechanisms, even at the level of individual genes. A subset of circadianly expressed genes are predominantly or exclusively dependent on per for their rhythmic expression. The per gene can therefore influence the expression of genes other than itself, but for many rhythmically expressed genes, per functions in conjunction with external inputs to control their daily expression patterns.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TL10200020
View details for PubMedID 8749395
EXTRADENTICLE PROTEIN IS A SELECTIVE COFACTOR FOR THE DROSOPHILA HOMEOTICS - ROLE OF THE HOMEODOMAIN AND YPWM AMINO-ACID MOTIF IN THE INTERACTION
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1995; 92 (3): 739-743
The Drosophila homeotic selector (HOM) genes encode a family of DNA binding transcription factors that specify developmental fates of different body segments by differentially regulating the activity of downstream target genes. A central question is how the HOM proteins achieve their developmental specificity despite the very similar DNA binding specificities of isolated HOM proteins in vitro. Specificity could be achieved by differential interactions with protein cofactors. The extradenticle gene might encode such a cofactor since it interacts genetically in parallel with Ultrabithorax, abdominal-A, and perhaps other HOM genes. By using a yeast two-hybrid system, we demonstrate selective interaction of the extradenticle homeodomain protein with certain Ultrabithorax and abdominal-A proteins but not with an Antennapedia protein or a more distant homeodomain protein. Strong interaction with Ultrabithorax proteins requires only the Ultrabithorax homeodomain and a 15-residue N-terminal extension that includes Tyr-Pro-Trp-Met (YPWM), a tetrapeptide motif found near the homeodomain in most HOM proteins and their mammalian Hox counterparts. The size and sequence of the region between the YPWM element and the homeodomain differ among Ultrabithorax isoforms, and this variable region appears to affect the interaction detected in the assay.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QF18500020
View details for PubMedID 7846045
A DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE ELEMENT FOR THE HOMEOTICS AT THE ANTENNAPEDIA P1 PROMOTER OF DROSOPHILA
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1994; 91 (16): 7420-7424
Homeotic genes encode DNA-binding transcription factors that specify the identity of a segment or segments in particular body regions of Drosophila. The developmental specificity of these proteins results from their differential regulation of various target genes. This specificity could be achieved by use of different regulatory elements by the homeoproteins or by use of the same elements in different ways. The Ultrabithorax (UBX), abdominal-A (ABD-A), and Antennapedia (ANTP) homeoproteins differentially regulate the Antennapedia P1 promoter in a cell culture cotransfection assay: UBX and ABD-A repress, whereas ANTP activates P1. Either of two regions of P1 can confer this pattern of differential regulation. One of the regions lies downstream and contains homeoprotein-binding sites flanking a 37-bp region called BetBS. ANTP protein activates transcription through the binding sites, whereas UBX and ABD-A both activate transcription through BetBS and use the flanking binding sites to prevent this effect. Thus, homeoproteins can use the same regulatory element but in very different ways. Chimeric UBX-ANTP proteins and UBX deletion derivatives demonstrate that functional specificity in P1 regulation is dictated mainly by sequences outside the homeodomain, with important determinants in the N-terminal region of the proteins.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PA37600009
View details for PubMedID 7914367
- PREPARATION AND ANALYSIS OF PURE CELL-POPULATIONS FROM DROSOPHILA METHODS IN CELL BIOLOGY, VOL 44 1994; 44: 143-159
INTERCELLULAR SIGNALING IN DROSOPHILA SEGMENT FORMATION RECONSTRUCTED INVITRO
1993; 363 (6429): 549-552
Genetic studies show that intercellular signalling is involved in key steps in Drosophila melanogaster development, but it has not previously been possible to investigate these processes in simplified in vitro systems. Analysis of engrailed (en) and wingless (wg) and other segment polarity genes suggests that two or more intercellular signalling processes may be involved in intrasegmental patterning. Expression of en and wg begins about three hours after egg laying, in adjacent rows of cells in the posterior half of each segmental primordium. In wg- embryos and in conditional mutants in which wg function is inactivated during a critical period between three and five hours after egg laying, early en expression begins normally but then disappears within several hours. The wg gene encodes a protein highly similar to the product of the mouse Wnt-1 proto-oncogene, a secreted glycoprotein; wg protein is proposed to function as an extracellular signal, maintaining en expression and activating other molecular and morphogenetic processes in nearby cells. Several lines of evidence support the model, including the secretion of wg protein in the embryo, genetic mosaic experiments and cell lineage studies. We tested this model using purified embryonic cells isolated by whole animal cell sorting, and validated three key predictions: (1) when en-expressing cells from early embryos are grown alone in culture, they rapidly and selectively lose en expression; (2) purified wg-expressing cells provide a locally active signal that prevents this loss; (3) heterologous cells engineered to express wg also show signalling activity, indicating that wg protein alone, or in conjunction with more generally expressed factors, is the signal.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LF93900052
View details for PubMedID 8505983
- Development of the Drosophila tracheal system. In the Development of Drosophila (Eds A. Martinez-Arias and M. Bate), Cold Spring Harbor Press (COld Spring Harbor, New York), 1993: 609-68
DIFFERENTIAL REGULATION OF TRANSCRIPTION PREINITIATION COMPLEX ASSEMBLY BY ACTIVATOR AND REPRESSOR HOMEO DOMAIN PROTEINS
GENES & DEVELOPMENT
1992; 6 (11): 2177-2189
Different eukaryotic transcription factors can act through the same upstream binding site to differentially regulate target gene expression, but little is known of the underlying mechanisms. Here, we show that Ultrabithorax and even-skipped homeo domain proteins (UBX and EVE) of Drosophila melanogaster exert active and opposite effects on in vitro transcription when bound to a common site upstream of a core promoter. Both the activator UBX and the repressor EVE affect the extent but not the rate constant of preinitiation complex (preIC) formation. Both regulators act early in preIC assembly and are dispensable later. Assembling complexes become resistant to regulation by the bound proteins, but activation by UBX is restored upon ATP or dATP addition, and regulation by both proteins is restored after the addition of all four nucleoside triphosphates and transcription initiation. The results establish that upstream activators and repressors can function by fundamentally similar mechanisms, by differentially regulating an early step in preIC assembly, leading to formation of functionally distinct transcription complexes. A subsequent step renders mature complexes transiently refractory to activation and repression. Implications for the mechanism of transcription complex assembly and turnover and its regulation are discussed, including a new role for ATP in turnover.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JX84600014
View details for PubMedID 1358759
WHOLE ANIMAL-CELL SORTING OF DROSOPHILA EMBRYOS
1991; 251 (4989): 81-85
Use of primary culture cells has been limited by the inability to purify most types of cells, particularly cells from early developmental stages. In whole animal cell sorting (WACS), live cells derived from animals harboring a lacZ transgene are purified according to their level of beta-galactosidase expression with a fluorogenic beta-galactosidase substrate and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. With WACS, incipient posterior compartment cells that express the engrailed gene were purified from early Drosophila embryos. Neuronal precursor cells were also purified, and they differentiated into neurons with high efficiency in culture. Because there are many lacZ strains, it may be possible to purify most types of Drosophila cells. The same approach is also applicable to other organisms for which germ-line transformation is possible.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991EQ60300032
View details for PubMedID 1898782
STIMULATION OF TRANSCRIPTION BY AN ULTRABITHORAX PROTEIN INVITRO
GENES & DEVELOPMENT
1990; 4 (6): 1044-1052
The Ultrabithorax (Ubx) gene of Drosophila melanogaster encodes a family of UBX proteins that are thought to specify the developmental fates of segments in the posterior thorax and anterior abdomen by controlling the expression of a set of target genes. UBX proteins bind DNA in vitro, and they activate or repress different natural and synthetic target promoters in cultured cells. Here it is shown that a purified UBX protein can stimulate transcription of a synthetic target gene in extracts of cultured D. melanogaster cells. Stimulation is dependent on the presence of upstream, promoter-region binding sites but is independent of binding site orientation. A naturally occurring binding site cluster and a binding site consensus sequence consisting of TAA trinucleotide repeats can mediate this activation. A minimal promoter fused to such sites is activated by UBX, suggesting that transcriptional stimulation could result from an interaction between the promoter-bound protein and the general transcriptional machinery.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990DJ09500015
View details for PubMedID 1974540
TRANSCRIPTIONAL ACTIVATION BY THE ANTENNAPEDIA AND FUSHI-TARAZU PROTEINS IN CULTURED DROSOPHILA CELLS
1989; 57 (6): 1017-1030
Drosophila homeodomain proteins bind to specific DNA sequences in vitro and are hypothesized to regulate the transcription of other genes during development. Using a cotransfection assay, we have shown that homeodomain proteins encoded by the homeotic gene Antennapedia (Antp) and the segmentation gene fushi tarazu, as well as a hybrid homeodomain protein, are activators of transcription from specific promoters in cultured Drosophila cells. Sequences downstream of the Antp P1 and Ultrabithorax transcription start sites mediate the observed activation. A TAA-rich DNA sequence to which the Antp protein binds in vitro is sufficient to confer regulation on a heterologous promoter. The results demonstrate that homeodomain proteins are transcriptional regulators in vivo and that in cultured cells, different homeodomain-containing proteins can act upon a common sequence to modulate gene transcription.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AC40300015
View details for PubMedID 2567631
TRANSCRIPTIONAL ACTIVATION AND REPRESSION BY ULTRABITHORAX PROTEINS IN CULTURED DROSOPHILA CELLS
1989; 57 (6): 1031-1043
Homeotic genes of Drosophila melanogaster such as Ultrabithorax (Ubx) and Antennapedia (Antp) have long been thought to select metameric identity during development by controlling the expression of various target genes. Here we describe a cotransfection assay in cultured D. melanogaster cells that is used to demonstrate that Ubx proteins (UBX) can repress an Antp promoter fusion and activate a Ubx promoter fusion, activities predicted from genetic studies. We show (a) that UBX proteins regulated the level of accurately initiated Antp P1 and Ubx transcripts, (b) that activation of the Ubx promoter required a downstream cluster of UBX binding sites, and (c) that binding site sequences were sufficient to confer regulation on a heterologous promoter, regardless of their orientation or precise position. We conclude that UBX proteins are transcriptional repressors and activators, and that their actions are mediated by binding to promoter region sequences. Each member of the UBX protein family has similar regulatory abilities, but the properties of synthetic mutant forms suggest that UBX proteins may have a modular design similar to other transcriptional regulators.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AC40300016
View details for PubMedID 2567632
- Transcriptional regulation by homeotic gene products in cultured Drosophila cells and in vitro Current Communications in Molecular Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Press 1989: 23-29
AN ULTRABITHORAX PROTEIN BINDS SEQUENCES NEAR ITS OWN AND THE ANTENNAPEDIA P1 PROMOTERS
1988; 55 (6): 1069-1081
The homeotic gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx), located in the bithorax complex of Drosophila, encodes a family of closely related proteins that direct the developmental fates of posterior thoracic and anterior abdominal metameres. We have purified a member of the Ubx protein family from an overproducing E. coli strain and have shown that it is sequence-specific DNA binding protein. The protein binds tightly to sequences near its own promoter and near the P1 promoter of Antenna-pedia (Antp), a homeotic gene Ubx is known to repress from genetic studies. The binding sites occur in clusters downstream of the transcription start sites, and far upstream at Antp P1. They range in size from 40 to 90 bp, and contain tandem repeats of the trinucleotide TAA or the related hexanucleotide TAA-TCG. These results suggest that the regulatory activities of Ubx are direct and are mediated by binding of Ubx proteins to promoter region sequences.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988R562400015
View details for PubMedID 2904838
RECOMBINATION SITE SELECTION BY TN3 RESOLVASE - TOPOLOGICAL TESTS OF A TRACKING MECHANISM
1985; 40 (1): 147-158
In vitro recombination by Tn3 resolvase of plasmids containing two directly repeated recombination (res) sites generates two singly interlinked catenated rings. This simple product catenane structure was maintained over a wide range of substrate supercoil densities and in a reaction mixture in which phage lambda Int-mediated recombination generated its characteristic multiply interlinked forms. Using substrates containing four res sites, we found that resolvase recombined neighboring res sites with high preference. This position effect implies that resolvase searches systematically along the DNA for a partner site. Intervening res sites in the opposite orientation did not prevent translocation. We analyzed the geometric arrangement of the interlocked rings after multiple recombination events in a four-site substrate and the pattern of segregation of nonspecific reporter rings catenated to the standard substrate. The results of these novel topological tests imply that the translocating enzyme may not make continuous contact with the DNA.
View details for Web of Science ID A1985AAZ2900018
View details for PubMedID 2981625
- A TOPOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF RECOMBINATION AND TOPOISOMERASES COLD SPRING HARBOR SYMPOSIA ON QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY 1984; 49: 383-400
- Site-specific recombination by Tn3 resolvase: models for pairing of recombination sites UCLA Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology 1983; X: 637-659
DETERMINATION OF THE ABSOLUTE HANDEDNESS OF KNOTS AND CATENANES OF DNA
1983; 304 (5926): 559-560
DNA winds about itself in a right-handed or left-handed fashion at several structural levels. The double helix is generally right-handed and is given a (+) sign by convention, whereas supercoiling of the helix axis is always (-) in the cell. The winding in higher -order forms such as knots and catenanes is unknown, and this has impeded elucidation of the mechanisms of their formation and resolution by replication, recombination and topoisomerase action. We introduce here a procedure for determining the handedness of DNA winding by inspection of electron micrographs of DNA molecules coated with Escherichia coli RecA protein. We demonstrate the validity of the method and show that DNA topoisomerase I of E. coli generates an equal mixture of (+) and (-) duplex DNA knots, and that one product of recombination by resolvase of transposon Tn3 (refs 8, 9) is a catenane of uniquely (+) sign.
View details for Web of Science ID A1983RC16500056
View details for PubMedID 6308470
Escherichia coli type-1 topoisomerases: identification, mechanism, and role in recombination.
Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology
1983; 47: 769-777
View details for PubMedID 6305585
- Catenation of DNA rings by Topoisomerases: mechanism of control by spermidine Journal of Biological Chemistry 1982; 257: 2687-2693
- CATENATION OF DNA RINGS BY TOPOISOMERASES - MECHANISM OF CONTROL BY SPERMIDINE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 1982; 257 (5): 2687-2693