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Sample records for model system drosophila

  1. The Drosophila melanogaster host model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igboin, Christina O.; Griffen, Ann L.; Leys, Eugene J.

    2012-01-01

    The deleterious and sometimes fatal outcomes of bacterial infectious diseases are the net result of the interactions between the pathogen and the host, and the genetically tractable fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has emerged as a valuable tool for modeling the pathogen–host interactions of a wide variety of bacteria. These studies have revealed that there is a remarkable conservation of bacterial pathogenesis and host defence mechanisms between higher host organisms and Drosophila. This review presents an in-depth discussion of the Drosophila immune response, the Drosophila killing model, and the use of the model to examine bacterial–host interactions. The recent introduction of the Drosophila model into the oral microbiology field is discussed, specifically the use of the model to examine Porphyromonas gingivalis–host interactions, and finally the potential uses of this powerful model system to further elucidate oral bacterial-host interactions are addressed. PMID:22368770

  2. The Drosophila melanogaster host model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina O. Igboin

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The deleterious and sometimes fatal outcomes of bacterial infectious diseases are the net result of the interactions between the pathogen and the host, and the genetically tractable fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has emerged as a valuable tool for modeling the pathogen–host interactions of a wide variety of bacteria. These studies have revealed that there is a remarkable conservation of bacterial pathogenesis and host defence mechanisms between higher host organisms and Drosophila. This review presents an in-depth discussion of the Drosophila immune response, the Drosophila killing model, and the use of the model to examine bacterial–host interactions. The recent introduction of the Drosophila model into the oral microbiology field is discussed, specifically the use of the model to examine Porphyromonas gingivalis–host interactions, and finally the potential uses of this powerful model system to further elucidate oral bacterial-host interactions are addressed.

  3. The eye of Drosophila as a model system for studying intracellular signaling in ontogenesis and pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katanaev, V L; Kryuchkov, M V

    2011-12-01

    Many human diseases are caused by malfunction of basic types of cellular activity such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, cell polarization, and migration. In turn, these processes are associated with different routes of intracellular signal transduction. A number of model systems have been designed to study normal and abnormal cellular and molecular processes associated with pathogenesis. The developing eye of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is one of these systems. The sequential development of compound eyes of this insect makes it possible to model human neurodegenerative diseases and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. In this paper we overview the program of the eye development in Drosophila, with emphasis on intracellular signaling pathways that regulate this complex process. We discuss in detail the roles of the Notch, Hedgehog, TGFβ, Wnt, and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathways in Drosophila eye development and human pathology. We also briefly describe the modern methods of experimentation with this model organism to analyze the function of human pathogenic proteins.

  4. Drosophila models for cancer research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Marcos; Cagan, Ross L

    2006-02-01

    Drosophila is a model system for cancer research. Investigation with fruit flies has facilitated a number of important recent discoveries in the field: the hippo signaling pathway, which coordinates cell proliferation and death to achieve normal tissue size; 'social' behaviors of cells, including cell competition and apoptosis-induced compensatory proliferation, that help ensure normal tissue size; and a growing understanding of how oncogenes and tumor suppressors cooperate to achieve tumor growth and metastasis in situ. In the future, Drosophila models can be extended beyond basic research in the search for human therapeutics.

  5. Drosophila comes of age as a model system for understanding the function of cytoskeletal proteins in cells, tissues, and organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodal, Avital A; Del Signore, Steven J; Martin, Adam C

    2015-05-01

    For the last 100 years, Drosophila melanogaster has been a powerhouse genetic system for understanding mechanisms of inheritance, development, and behavior in animals. In recent years, advances in imaging and genetic tools have led to Drosophila becoming one of the most effective systems for unlocking the subcellular functions of proteins (and particularly cytoskeletal proteins) in complex developmental settings. In this review, written for non-Drosophila experts, we will discuss critical technical advances that have enabled these cell biological insights, highlighting three examples of cytoskeletal discoveries that have arisen as a result: (1) regulation of Arp2/3 complex in myoblast fusion, (2) cooperation of the actin filament nucleators Spire and Cappuccino in establishment of oocyte polarity, and (3) coordination of supracellular myosin cables. These specific examples illustrate the unique power of Drosophila both to uncover new cytoskeletal structures and functions, and to place these discoveries in a broader in vivo context, providing insights that would have been impossible in a cell culture model or in vitro. Many of the cellular structures identified in Drosophila have clear counterparts in mammalian cells and tissues, and therefore elucidating cytoskeletal functions in Drosophila will be broadly applicable to other organisms.

  6. Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for the evaluation of anti-aging compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafari, Mahtab

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the causes of aging is a complex problem due to the multiple factors that influence aging, which include genetics, environment, metabolism and reproduction, among others. These multiple factors create logistical difficulties in the evaluation of anti-aging agents. There is a need for good model systems to evaluate potential anti-aging compounds. The model systems used should represent the complexities of aging in humans, so that the findings may be extrapolated to human studies, but they should also present an opportunity to minimize the variables so that the experimental results can be accurately interpreted. In addition to positively affecting lifespan, the impact of the compound on the physiologic confounders of aging, including fecundity and the health span--the period of life where an organism is generally healthy and free from serious or chronic illness--of the model organism needs to be evaluated. Fecundity is considered a major confounder of aging in fruit flies. It is well established that female flies that are exposed to toxic substances typically reduce their dietary intake and their reproductive output and display an artifactual lifespan extension. As a result, drugs that achieve longevity benefits by reducing fecundity as a result of diminished food intake are probably not useful candidates for eventual treatment of aging in humans and should be eliminated during the screening process. Drosophila melanogaster provides a suitable model system for the screening of anti-aging compounds as D. melanogaster and humans have many conserved physiological and biological pathways. In this paper, I propose an algorithm to screen anti-aging compounds using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system.

  7. Drosophila embryos as model systems for monitoring bacterial infection in real time.

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    Isabella Vlisidou

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila embryos are well studied developmental microcosms that have been used extensively as models for early development and more recently wound repair. Here we extend this work by looking at embryos as model systems for following bacterial infection in real time. We examine the behaviour of injected pathogenic (Photorhabdus asymbiotica and non-pathogenic (Escherichia coli bacteria and their interaction with embryonic hemocytes using time-lapse confocal microscopy. We find that embryonic hemocytes both recognise and phagocytose injected wild type, non-pathogenic E. coli in a Dscam independent manner, proving that embryonic hemocytes are phagocytically competent. In contrast, injection of bacterial cells of the insect pathogen Photorhabdus leads to a rapid 'freezing' phenotype of the hemocytes associated with significant rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. This freezing phenotype can be phenocopied by either injection of the purified insecticidal toxin Makes Caterpillars Floppy 1 (Mcf1 or by recombinant E. coli expressing the mcf1 gene. Mcf1 mediated hemocyte freezing is shibire dependent, suggesting that endocytosis is required for Mcf1 toxicity and can be modulated by dominant negative or constitutively active Rac expression, suggesting early and unexpected effects of Mcf1 on the actin cytoskeleton. Together these data show how Drosophila embryos can be used to track bacterial infection in real time and how mutant analysis can be used to genetically dissect the effects of specific bacterial virulence factors.

  8. Modeling tumor invasion and metastasis in Drosophila

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    Wayne O. Miles

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Conservation of major signaling pathways between humans and flies has made Drosophila a useful model organism for cancer research. Our understanding of the mechanisms regulating cell growth, differentiation and development has been considerably advanced by studies in Drosophila. Several recent high profile studies have examined the processes constraining the metastatic growth of tumor cells in fruit fly models. Cell invasion can be studied in the context of an in vivo setting in flies, enabling the genetic requirements of the microenvironment of tumor cells undergoing metastasis to be analyzed. This Perspective discusses the strengths and limitations of Drosophila models of cancer invasion and the unique tools that have enabled these studies. It also highlights several recent reports that together make a strong case for Drosophila as a system with the potential for both testing novel concepts in tumor progression and cell invasion, and for uncovering players in metastasis.

  9. Modeling tumor invasion and metastasis in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Wayne O; Dyson, Nicholas J; Walker, James A

    2011-11-01

    Conservation of major signaling pathways between humans and flies has made Drosophila a useful model organism for cancer research. Our understanding of the mechanisms regulating cell growth, differentiation and development has been considerably advanced by studies in Drosophila. Several recent high profile studies have examined the processes constraining the metastatic growth of tumor cells in fruit fly models. Cell invasion can be studied in the context of an in vivo setting in flies, enabling the genetic requirements of the microenvironment of tumor cells undergoing metastasis to be analyzed. This Perspective discusses the strengths and limitations of Drosophila models of cancer invasion and the unique tools that have enabled these studies. It also highlights several recent reports that together make a strong case for Drosophila as a system with the potential for both testing novel concepts in tumor progression and cell invasion, and for uncovering players in metastasis.

  10. A Drosophila systems model of pentylenetetrazole induced locomotor plasticity responsive to antiepileptic drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Priyanka

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rodent kindling induced by PTZ is a widely used model of epileptogenesis and AED testing. Overlapping pathophysiological mechanisms may underlie epileptogenesis and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Besides epilepsy, AEDs are widely used in treating various neuropsychiatric disorders. Mechanisms of AEDs' long term action in these disorders are poorly understood. We describe here a Drosophila systems model of PTZ induced locomotor plasticity that is responsive to AEDs. Results We empirically determined a regime in which seven days of PTZ treatment and seven days of subsequent PTZ discontinuation respectively cause a decrease and an increase in climbing speed of Drosophila adults. Concomitant treatment with NaVP and LEV, not ETH, GBP and VGB, suppressed the development of locomotor deficit at the end of chronic PTZ phase. Concomitant LEV also ameliorated locomotor alteration that develops after PTZ withdrawal. Time series of microarray expression profiles of heads of flies treated with PTZ for 12 hrs (beginning phase, two days (latent phase and seven days (behaviorally expressive phase showed only down-, not up-, regulation of genes; expression of 23, 2439 and 265 genes were downregulated, in that order. GO biological process enrichment analysis showed downregulation of transcription, neuron morphogenesis during differentiation, synaptic transmission, regulation of neurotransmitter levels, neurogenesis, axonogenesis, protein modification, axon guidance, actin filament organization etc. in the latent phase and of glutamate metabolism, cell communication etc. in the expressive phase. Proteomic interactome based analysis provided further directionality to these events. Pathway overrepresentation analysis showed enrichment of Wnt signaling and other associated pathways in genes downregulated by PTZ. Mining of available transcriptomic and proteomic data pertaining to established rodent models of epilepsy and human epileptic

  11. Drosophila Melanogaster as a Model System for Studies of Islet Amyloid Polypeptide Aggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Sebastian Wolfgang; Nilsson, K. Peter R.; Westermark, Gunilla Torstensdotter

    2011-01-01

    Background Recent research supports that aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) leads to cell death and this makes islet amyloid a plausible cause for the reduction of beta cell mass, demonstrated in patients with type 2 diabetes. IAPP is produced by the beta cells as a prohormone, and proIAPP is processed into IAPP by the prohormone convertases PC1/3 and PC2 in the secretory granules. Little is known about the pathogenesis for islet amyloid and which intracellular mechanisms are involved in amyloidogenesis and induction of cell death. Methodology/Principal Findings We have established expression of human proIAPP (hproIAPP), human IAPP (hIAPP) and the non-amyloidogenic mouse IAPP (mIAPP) in Drosophila melanogaster, and compared survival of flies with the expression driven to different cell populations. Only flies expressing hproIAPP in neurons driven by the Gal4 driver elavC155,Gal4 showed a reduction in lifespan whereas neither expression of hIAPP or mIAPP influenced survival. Both hIAPP and hproIAPP expression caused formation of aggregates in CNS and fat body region, and these aggregates were both stained by the dyes Congo red and pFTAA, both known to detect amyloid. Also, the morphology of the highly organized protein granules that developed in the fat body of the head in hIAPP and hproIAPP expressing flies was characterized, and determined to consist of 15.8 nm thick pentagonal rod-like structures. Conclusions/Significance These findings point to a potential for Drosophila melanogaster to serve as a model system for studies of hproIAPP and hIAPP expression with subsequent aggregation and developed pathology. PMID:21695120

  12. Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for assessing development under conditions of microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, M. K.; Hilgenfeld, R. B.; Denell, R. E.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1992-01-01

    More is known about the regulation of early developmental events in Drosophila than any other animal. In addition, its size and short life cycle make it a facile experimental system. Since developmental perturbations have been demonstrated when both oogenesis and embryogenesis occur in the space environment, there is a strong rationale for using this organism for the elucidation of specific gravity-sensitive developmental events.

  13. Chromatin assembly using Drosophila systems.

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    Fyodorov, Dmitry V; Levenstein, Mark E

    2002-05-01

    To successfully study chromatin structure and activity in vitro, it is essential to have a chromatin assembly system that will prepare extended nucleosome arrays with highly defined protein content that resemble bulk chromatin isolated from living cell nuclei in terms of periodicity and nucleosome positioning. The Drosophila ATP-dependent chromatin assembly system described in this unit meets these requirements. The end product of the reaction described here has highly periodic extended arrays with physiologic spacing and positioning of the nucleosomes.

  14. Detection of transgenerational spermatogenic inheritance of adult male acquired CNS gene expression characteristics using a Drosophila systems model.

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    Abhay Sharma

    Full Text Available Available instances of inheritance of epigenetic transgenerational phenotype are limited to environmental exposures during embryonic and adult gonadal development. Adult exposures can also affect gametogenesis and thereby potentially result in reprogramming of the germline. Although examples of epigenetic effects on gametogenesis exist, it is notable that transgenerational inheritance of environment-induced adult phenotype has not yet been reported. Epigenetic codes are considered to be critical in neural plasticity. A Drosophila systems model of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ induced long-term brain plasticity has recently been described. In this model, chronic PTZ treatment of adult males causes alterations in CNS transcriptome. Here, we describe our search for transgenerational spermatogenic inheritance of PTZ induced gene expression phenotype acquired by adult Drosophila males. We generated CNS transcriptomic profiles of F(1 adults after treating F(0 adult males with PTZ and of F(2 adults resulting from a cross between F(1 males and normal females. Surprisingly, microarray clustering showed F(1 male profile as closest to F(1 female and F(0 male profile closest to F(2 male. Differentially expressed genes in F(1 males, F(1 females and F(2 males showed significant overlap with those caused by PTZ. Interestingly, microarray evidence also led to the identification of upregulated rRNA in F(2 males. Next, we generated microarray expression profiles of adult testis from F(0 and F(1 males. Further surprising, clustering of CNS and testis profiles and matching of differentially expressed genes in them provided evidence of a spermatogenic mechanism in the transgenerational effect observed. To our knowledge, we report for the first time detection of transgenerational spermatogenic inheritance of adult acquired somatic gene expression characteristic. The Drosophila systems model offers an excellent opportunity to understand the epigenetic mechanisms underlying

  15. Plasticity in the Drosophila larval visual System

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    Abud J Farca-Luna

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The remarkable ability of the nervous system to modify its structure and function is mostly experience and activity modulated. The molecular basis of neuronal plasticity has been studied in higher behavioral processes, such as learning and memory formation. However, neuronal plasticity is not restricted to higher brain functions, but may provide a basic feature of adaptation of all neural circuits. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful genetic model to gain insight into the molecular basis of nervous system development and function. The nervous system of the larvae is again a magnitude simpler than its adult counter part, allowing the genetic assessment of a number of individual genetically identifiable neurons. We review here recent progress on the genetic basis of neuronal plasticity in developing and functioning neural circuits focusing on the simple visual system of the Drosophila larva.

  16. Neurophysiology of Drosophila models of Parkinson's disease.

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    West, Ryan J H; Furmston, Rebecca; Williams, Charles A C; Elliott, Christopher J H

    2015-01-01

    We provide an insight into the role Drosophila has played in elucidating neurophysiological perturbations associated with Parkinson's disease- (PD-) related genes. Synaptic signalling deficits are observed in motor, central, and sensory systems. Given the neurological impact of disease causing mutations within these same genes in humans the phenotypes observed in fly are of significant interest. As such we observe four unique opportunities provided by fly nervous system models of Parkinson's disease. Firstly, Drosophila models are instrumental in exploring the mechanisms of neurodegeneration, with several PD-related mutations eliciting related phenotypes including sensitivity to energy supply and vesicular deformities. These are leading to the identification of plausible cellular mechanisms, which may be specific to (dopaminergic) neurons and synapses rather than general cellular phenotypes. Secondly, models show noncell autonomous signalling within the nervous system, offering the opportunity to develop our understanding of the way pathogenic signalling propagates, resembling Braak's scheme of spreading pathology in PD. Thirdly, the models link physiological deficits to changes in synaptic structure. While the structure-function relationship is complex, the genetic tractability of Drosophila offers the chance to separate fundamental changes from downstream consequences. Finally, the strong neuronal phenotypes permit relevant first in vivo drug testing.

  17. An Information Theoretic Model of Information Processing in the Drosophila Olfactory System: the Role of Inhibitory Neurons for System Efficiency

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    Faramarz eFaghihi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster rely on their olfactory system to process environmental information. This information has to be transmitted without system-relevant loss by the olfactory system to deeper brain areas for learning. Here we study the role of several parameters of the fly's olfactory system and the environment and how they influence olfactory information transmission. We have designed an abstract model of the antennal lobe, the mushroom body and the inhibitory circuitry. Mutual information between the olfactory environment, simulated in terms of different odor concentrations, and a sub-population of intrinsic mushroom body neurons (Kenyon cells was calculated to quantify the efficiency of information transmission. With this method we study, on the one hand, the effect of different connectivity rates between olfactory projection neurons and firing thresholds of Kenyon cells. On the other hand, we analyze the influence of inhibition on mutual information between environment and mushroom body. Our simulations show an expected linear relation between the connectivity rate between the antennal lobe and the mushroom body and firing threshold of the Kenyon cells to obtain maximum mutual information for both low and high odor concentrations. However, contradicting all-day experiences, high odor concentrations cause a drastic, and unrealistic, decrease in mutual information for all connectivity rates compared to low concentration. But when inhibition on the mushroom body is included, mutual information remains at high levels independent of other system parameters. This finding points to a pivotal role of inhibition in fly information processing without which the system's efficiency will be substantially reduced.

  18. Drosophila as a model for antiviral immunity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Susanna; Valanne; Mika; Rmet

    2010-01-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been successfully used to study numerous biological processes including immune response.Flies are naturally infected with more than twenty RNA viruses making it a valid model organism to study host-pathogen interactions during viral infections.The Drosophila antiviral immunity includes RNA interference,activation of the JAK/STAT and other signaling cascades and other mechanisms such as autophagy and interactions with other microorganisms.Here we review Drosophila as an immunological research model as well as recent advances in the field ofDrosophila antiviral immunity.

  19. Microfluidic system with integrated microinjector for automated Drosophila embryo injection.

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    Delubac, Daniel; Highley, Christopher B; Witzberger-Krajcovic, Melissa; Ayoob, Joseph C; Furbee, Emily C; Minden, Jonathan S; Zappe, Stefan

    2012-11-21

    Drosophila is one of the most important model organisms in biology. Knowledge derived from the recently sequenced 12 genomes of various Drosophila species can today be combined with the results of more than 100 years of research to systematically investigate Drosophila biology at the molecular level. In order to enable automated, high-throughput manipulation of Drosophila embryos, we have developed a microfluidic system based on a Pyrex-silicon-Pyrex sandwich structure with integrated, surface-micromachined silicon nitride injector for automated injection of reagents. Our system automatically retrieves embryos from an external reservoir, separates potentially clustered embryos through a sheath flow mechanisms, passively aligns an embryo with the integrated injector through geometric constraints, and pushes the embryo onto the injector through flow drag forces. Automated detection of an embryo at injection position through an external camera triggers injection of reagents and subsequent ejection of the embryo to an external reservoir. Our technology can support automated screens based on Drosophila embryos as well as creation of transgenic Drosophila lines. Apart from Drosophila embryos, the layout of our system can be easily modified to accommodate injection of oocytes, embryos, larvae, or adults of other species and fills an important technological gap with regard to automated manipulation of multicellular organisms.

  20. An expressed sequence tag (EST library for Drosophila serrata, a model system for sexual selection and climatic adaptation studies

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    McGraw Elizabeth A

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The native Australian fly Drosophila serrata belongs to the highly speciose montium subgroup of the melanogaster species group. It has recently emerged as an excellent model system with which to address a number of important questions, including the evolution of traits under sexual selection and traits involved in climatic adaptation along latitudinal gradients. Understanding the molecular genetic basis of such traits has been limited by a lack of genomic resources for this species. Here, we present the first expressed sequence tag (EST collection for D. serrata that will enable the identification of genes underlying sexually-selected phenotypes and physiological responses to environmental change and may help resolve controversial phylogenetic relationships within the montium subgroup. Results A normalized cDNA library was constructed from whole fly bodies at several developmental stages, including larvae and adults. Assembly of 11,616 clones sequenced from the 3' end allowed us to identify 6,607 unique contigs, of which at least 90% encoded peptides. Partial transcripts were discovered from a variety of genes of evolutionary interest by BLASTing contigs against the 12 Drosophila genomes currently sequenced. By incorporating into the cDNA library multiple individuals from populations spanning a large portion of the geographical range of D. serrata, we were able to identify 11,057 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, with 278 different contigs having at least one "double hit" SNP that is highly likely to be a real polymorphism. At least 394 EST-associated microsatellite markers, representing 355 different contigs, were also found, providing an additional set of genetic markers. The assembled EST library is available online at http://www.chenowethlab.org/serrata/index.cgi. Conclusion We have provided the first gene collection and largest set of polymorphic genetic markers, to date, for the fly D. serrata. The EST

  1. Modeling tumor invasion and metastasis in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Conservation of major signaling pathways between humans and flies has made Drosophila a useful model organism for cancer research. Our understanding of the mechanisms regulating cell growth, differentiation and development has been considerably advanced by studies in Drosophila. Several recent high profile studies have examined the processes constraining the metastatic growth of tumor cells in fruit fly models. Cell invasion can be studied in the context of an in vivo setting in flies, enabli...

  2. A Drosophila Model for Screening Antiobesity Agents

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    Tran Thanh Men

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although triacylglycerol, the major component for lipid storage, is essential for normal physiology, its excessive accumulation causes obesity in adipose tissue and is associated with organ dysfunction in nonadipose tissue. Here, we focused on the Drosophila model to develop therapeutics for preventing obesity. The brummer (bmm gene in Drosophila melanogaster is known to be homologous with human adipocyte triglyceride lipase, which is related to the regulation of lipid storage. We established a Drosophila model for monitoring bmm expression by introducing the green fluorescent protein (GFP gene as a downstream reporter of the bmm promoter. The third-instar larvae of Drosophila showed the GFP signal in all tissues observed and specifically in the salivary gland nucleus. To confirm the relationship between bmm expression and obesity, the effect of oral administration of glucose diets on bmm promoter activity was analyzed. The Drosophila flies given high-glucose diets showed higher lipid contents, indicating the obesity phenotype; this was suggested by a weaker intensity of the GFP signal as well as reduced bmm mRNA expression. These results demonstrated that the transgenic Drosophila model established in this study is useful for screening antiobesity agents. We also report the effects of oral administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors and some vegetables on the bmm promoter activity.

  3. Drosophila melanogaster Models of Galactosemia.

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    Daenzer, J M I; Fridovich-Keil, J L

    2017-01-01

    The galactosemias are a family of autosomal recessive genetic disorders resulting from impaired function of the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism. Type I, or classic galactosemia, results from profound deficiency of galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase, the second enzyme in the Leloir pathway. Type II galactosemia results from profound deficiency of galactokinase, the first enzyme in the Leloir pathway. Type III galactosemia results from partial deficiency of UDP galactose 4'-epimerase, the third enzyme in the Leloir pathway. Although at least classic galactosemia has been recognized clinically for more than 100 years, and detectable by newborn screening for more than 50 years, all three galactosemias remain poorly understood. Early detection and dietary restriction of galactose prevent neonatal lethality, but many affected infants grow to experience a broad range of developmental and other disabilities. To date, there is no intervention known that prevents or reverses these long-term complications. Drosophila melanogaster provides a genetically and biochemically facile model for these conditions, enabling studies that address mechanism and open the door for novel approaches to intervention.

  4. Characterization of gene expression regulated by human OTK18 using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for innate immunity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Cole R. Spresser; Sarah E. Marshall; Kimberly A. Carlson

    2008-08-01

    OTK18 is a human transcriptional suppressor implicated in the regulation of human immunodeficiency virus type-one infection of mononuclear phagocytes. It is ubiquitously expressed in all normal tissues, but its normal homeostatic function is yet to be characterized. One hypothesis is that OTK18 aids in the regulation of the innate immune system. To test this hypothesis, cDNA microarray analysis was performed on the total RNA extracted from Drosophila melanogaster embryonic Schneider 2 (S2) cells transfected with either pEGFP-OTK18 (enhanced green fluorescent protein) or empty vector controls (pEGFP-N3) for 6, 12 and 24 h. cDNA microarray analysis revealed differential expression of genes known to be important in regulation of Drosophila innate immunity. The expression levels of two genes, Metchnikowin and CG16708 were verified by quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR. These results suggest a role for OTK18 in innate immunity.

  5. Modeling transcriptional networks in Drosophila development at multiple scales.

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    Wunderlich, Zeba; DePace, Angela H

    2011-12-01

    Quantitative models of developmental processes can provide insights at multiple scales. Ultimately, models may be particularly informative for key questions about network level behavior during development such as how does the system respond to environmental perturbation, or operate reliably in different genetic backgrounds? The transcriptional networks that pattern the Drosophila embryo have been the subject of numerous quantitative experimental studies coupled to modeling frameworks in recent years. In this review, we describe three studies that consider these networks at different levels of molecular detail and therefore result in different types of insights. We also discuss other developmental transcriptional networks operating in Drosophila, with the goal of highlighting what additional insights they may provide.

  6. Natural selection drives Drosophila immune system evolution.

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    Schlenke, Todd A; Begun, David J

    2003-08-01

    Evidence from disparate sources suggests that natural selection may often play a role in the evolution of host immune system proteins. However, there have been few attempts to make general population genetic inferences on the basis of analysis of several immune-system-related genes from a single species. Here we present DNA polymorphism and divergence data from 34 genes thought to function in the innate immune system of Drosophila simulans and compare these data to those from 28 nonimmunity genes sequenced from the same lines. Several statistics, including average K(A)/K(S) ratio, average silent heterozygosity, and average haplotype diversity, significantly differ between the immunity and nonimmunity genes, suggesting an important role for directional selection in immune system protein evolution. In contrast to data from mammalian immunoglobulins and other proteins, we find no strong evidence for the selective maintenance of protein diversity in Drosophila immune system proteins. This may be a consequence of Drosophila's generalized innate immune response.

  7. Drosophila as a genetic model for studying pathogenic human viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Tamara T; Allen, Amanda L; Bardin, Joseph E; Christian, Megan N; Daimon, Kansei; Dozier, Kelsey D; Hansen, Caom L; Holcomb, Lisa M; Ahlander, Joseph

    2012-02-05

    Viruses are infectious particles whose viability is dependent on the cells of living organisms, such as bacteria, plants, and animals. It is of great interest to discover how viruses function inside host cells in order to develop therapies to treat virally infected organisms. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for studying the molecular mechanisms of replication, amplification, and cellular consequences of human viruses. In this review, we describe the advantages of using Drosophila as a model system to study human viruses, and highlight how Drosophila has been used to provide unique insight into the gene function of several pathogenic viruses. We also propose possible directions for future research in this area.

  8. The dopaminergic system in the aging brain of Drosophila

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    Katherine E White

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila models of Parkinson’s disease are characterised by two principal phenotypes: the specific loss of dopaminergic neurons in the aging brain and defects in motor behavior. However, an age-related analysis of these baseline parameters in wildtype Drosophila is lacking. Here we analysed the dopaminergic system and motor behavior in aging Drosophila. Dopaminergic neurons in the adult brain can be grouped into bilateral symmetric clusters, each comprising a stereotypical number of cells. Analysis of TH>mCD8::GFP and cell type-specific MARCM clones revealed that dopaminergic neurons show cluster-specific, stereotypical projection patterns with terminal arborization in target regions that represent distinct functional areas of the adult brain. Target areas include the mushroom bodies, involved in memory formation and motivation, and the central complex, involved in the control of motor behavior, indicating that similar to the mammalian brain, dopaminergic neurons in the fly brain are involved in the regulation of specific behaviors. Behavioral analysis revealed that Drosophila show an age-related decline in startle-induced locomotion and negative geotaxis. Motion tracking however, revealed that walking activity and exploration behavior, but not centrophobism increase at late stages of life. Analysis of TH>Dcr2, mCD8::GFP revealed a specific effect of Dcr2 expression on walking activity but not on exploratory or centrophobic behavior, indicating that the siRNA pathway may modulate distinct dopaminergic behaviors in Drosophila. Moreover, dopaminergic neurons were maintained between early- and late life, as quantified by TH>mCD8::GFP and anti-TH labelling, indicating that adult onset, age-related degeneration of dopaminergic neurons does not occur in the aging brain of Drosophila. Taken together, our data establish baseline parameters in Drosophila for the study of Parkinson’s disease as well as other disorders affecting dopaminergic neurons

  9. Drosophila-parasitoid communities as model systems for host-Wolbachia interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vavre, Fabrice; Mouton, Laurence; Pannebakker, Bart A.; Prevost, G

    2009-01-01

    Wolbachia bacteria are cytoplasmic endosymbionts that infect a wide range of arthropod and nematode hosts. They are transmitted from mother to offspring via the eggs (vertical transmission) and enhance their transmission to the next generation by manipulating the reproductive system of their hosts.

  10. A mathematical model for apoptotic switch in Drosophila

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    Ziraldo, Riccardo; Ma, Lan

    2015-10-01

    Apoptosis is an evolutionarily-conserved process of autonomous cell death. The molecular switch mechanism underlying the fate decision of apoptosis in mammalian cells has been intensively studied by mathematical modeling. In contrast, the apoptotic switch in invertebrates, with highly conserved signaling proteins and pathway, remains poorly understood mechanistically and calls for theoretical elucidation. In this study, we develop a mathematical model of the apoptosis pathway in Drosophila and compare the switch mechanism to that in mammals. Enumeration of the elementary reactions for the model demonstrates that the molecular interactions among the signaling components are considerably different from their mammalian counterparts. A notable distinction in network organization is that the direct positive feedback from the effector caspase (EC) to the initiator caspase in mammalian pathway is replaced by a double-negative regulation in Drosophila. The model is calibrated by experimental input-output relationship and the simulated trajectories exhibit all-or-none bimodal behavior. Bifurcation diagrams confirm that the model of Drosophila apoptotic switch possesses bistability, a well-recognized feature for an apoptosis system. Since the apoptotic protease activating factor-1 (APAF1) induced irreversible activation of caspase is an essential and beneficial property for the mammalian apoptotic switch, we perform analysis of the bistable caspase activation with respect to the input of DARK protein, the Drosophila homolog of APAF1. Interestingly, this bistable behavior in Drosophila is predicted to be reversible. Further analysis suggests that the mechanism underlying the systems property of reversibility is the double-negative feedback from the EC to the initiator caspase. Using theoretical modeling, our study proposes plausible evolution of the switch mechanism for apoptosis between organisms.

  11. Optogenetic pacing in Drosophila models (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Penghe; Li, Airong; Men, Jing; Tans, Rudolph E.; Zhou, Chao

    2017-02-01

    The Drosophila melanogaster shares many similarities with vertebrates in heart development. Comparison of heart structural and functional characteristic between male and female Drosophila melanogaster at different developmental stages is helpful to understand heart morphogenesis and function for different genders. And also, it opens up the possibility to uncover the role of sex-related genes in heart development. In this longitudinal study, we cultured and tracked dozens of individually labeled flies throughout their lifecycle. The heart characteristic was measured at different developmental stages during culturing. The gender of each individual fly was determined by adult stage so that the collected data of early stages could be classified to male or female group. We adapted a high-speed optical coherence microscopy (OCM) system with axial and transverse resolution of 2um and 4um, respectively, to perform non-invasive M-mode imaging at a frame rate of 132Hz in Drosophila heart at third instar larva, early pupa and adult stage. Based on those GPU processed M-mode OCM images, we segmented the fly heart region and then quantified the cardiac structural and functional parameters such as heart rate, heart chamber size and so on. Despite large variances of wild type Drosophila in terms of some cardiac characteristic, our results suggest that the heart rate is lower for male flies than for female flies, especially at third instar larva stage. The end diastolic area (EDA) and end systolic area (ESA) of the heart are both slightly larger in female flies than in male flies at larva and adult stage. In summary, we showed gender differences of wild type drosophila in heart functional and structural characteristic.

  12. System identification of Drosophila olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Anmo J; Lazar, Aurel A; Slutskiy, Yevgeniy B

    2011-02-01

    The lack of a deeper understanding of how olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) encode odors has hindered the progress in understanding the olfactory signal processing in higher brain centers. Here we employ methods of system identification to investigate the encoding of time-varying odor stimuli and their representation for further processing in the spike domain by Drosophila OSNs. In order to apply system identification techniques, we built a novel low-turbulence odor delivery system that allowed us to deliver airborne stimuli in a precise and reproducible fashion. The system provides a 1% tolerance in stimulus reproducibility and an exact control of odor concentration and concentration gradient on a millisecond time scale. Using this novel setup, we recorded and analyzed the in-vivo response of OSNs to a wide range of time-varying odor waveforms. We report for the first time that across trials the response of OR59b OSNs is very precise and reproducible. Further, we empirically show that the response of an OSN depends not only on the concentration, but also on the rate of change of the odor concentration. Moreover, we demonstrate that a two-dimensional (2D) Encoding Manifold in a concentration-concentration gradient space provides a quantitative description of the neuron's response. We then use the white noise system identification methodology to construct one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) Linear-Nonlinear-Poisson (LNP) cascade models of the sensory neuron for a fixed mean odor concentration and fixed contrast. We show that in terms of predicting the intensity rate of the spike train, the 2D LNP model performs on par with the 1D LNP model, with a root mean-square error (RMSE) increase of about 5 to 10%. Surprisingly, we find that for a fixed contrast of the white noise odor waveforms, the nonlinear block of each of the two models changes with the mean input concentration. The shape of the nonlinearities of both the 1D and the 2D LNP model appears to be

  13. Logical modelling of Drosophila signalling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbodj, Abibatou; Junion, Guillaume; Brun, Christine; Furlong, Eileen E M; Thieffry, Denis

    2013-09-01

    A limited number of signalling pathways are involved in the specification of cell fate during the development of all animals. Several of these pathways were originally identified in Drosophila. To clarify their roles, and possible cross-talk, we have built a logical model for the nine key signalling pathways recurrently used in metazoan development. In each case, we considered the associated ligands, receptors, signal transducers, modulators, and transcription factors reported in the literature. Implemented using the logical modelling software GINsim, the resulting models qualitatively recapitulate the main characteristics of each pathway, in wild type as well as in various mutant situations (e.g. loss-of-function or gain-of-function). These models constitute pluggable modules that can be used to assemble comprehensive models of complex developmental processes. Moreover, these models of Drosophila pathways could serve as scaffolds for more complicated models of orthologous mammalian pathways. Comprehensive model annotations and GINsim files are provided for each of the nine considered pathways.

  14. The Immune Phenotype of Three Drosophila Leukemia Models

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    Badrul Arefin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Many leukemia patients suffer from dysregulation of their immune system, making them more susceptible to infections and leading to general weakening (cachexia. Both adaptive and innate immunity are affected. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has an innate immune system, including cells of the myeloid lineage (hemocytes. To study Drosophila immunity and physiology during leukemia, we established three models by driving expression of a dominant-active version of the Ras oncogene (RasV12 alone or combined with knockdowns of tumor suppressors in Drosophila hemocytes. Our results show that phagocytosis, hemocyte migration to wound sites, wound sealing, and survival upon bacterial infection of leukemic lines are similar to wild type. We find that in all leukemic models the two major immune pathways (Toll and Imd are dysregulated. Toll–dependent signaling is activated to comparable extents as after wounding wild-type larvae, leading to a proinflammatory status. In contrast, Imd signaling is suppressed. Finally, we notice that adult tissue formation is blocked and degradation of cell masses during metamorphosis of leukemic lines, which is akin to the state of cancer-dependent cachexia. To further analyze the immune competence of leukemic lines, we used a natural infection model that involves insect-pathogenic nematodes. We identified two leukemic lines that were sensitive to nematode infections. Further characterization demonstrates that despite the absence of behavioral abnormalities at the larval stage, leukemic larvae show reduced locomotion in the presence of nematodes. Taken together, this work establishes new Drosophila models to study the physiological, immunological, and behavioral consequences of various forms of leukemia.

  15. Drosophila as a model to study the role of blood cells in inflammation, innate immunity and cancer

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila has a blood system with three types of haemocytes which function throughout different developmental stages and environmental stimuli. Haemocytes play essential roles in tissue modelling during embryogenesis and morphogenesis, and also in innate immunity. The open circulatory system of Drosophila makes haemocytes ideal signal mediators to cells and tissues in response to events such as infection, wounding and tumour formation. In this context, Drosophila is now used for screening an...

  16. Multiscale modeling of dorsoventral patterning in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Shev

    2014-11-01

    The role of mathematical models of signaling networks is showcased by examples from Drosophila development. Three models of consecutive stages in dorsoventral patterning are presented. We begin with a compartmental model of intracellular reactions that generates a gradient of nuclear-localized Dorsal, exhibiting constant shape and dynamic amplitude. A simple thermodynamic model of equilibrium binding explains how a spatially uniform transcription factor, Zelda, can act in combination with a graded factor, Dorsal, to cooperatively regulate gene expression borders. Finally, we formulate a dynamic and stochastic model that predicts spatiotemporal patterns of Sog expression based on known patterns of its transcription factor, Dorsal. The future of coupling multifarious models across multiple temporal and spatial scales is discussed.

  17. Research on the Molecule System of Anti-aging-heart by Sports through Using Drosophila Animal Model%利用果蝇动物模型研究运动抗心脏衰老的分子机制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴越; 郑澜

    2015-01-01

    Sports and training based on proper rules can slow the physiological decline of cardiac function, but it's molecule system is unknown. Currently, there are various problems in the use of mammal model to research the system. Short life cycle, simple genetic background, and mature transgenic technology of drosophila, make it an ideal model for aging gene screening and function research, which benefits from the development of the anti-gravity climbing system of drosophila in recent years. Rely-ing on previous experiment results, this paper will elaborate the feasibility and construction method of drosophila movement mod-el, and combined with the testing technology of drosophila car-diac function, introduce the development prospect and limitation of the molecule system of anti-aging-heart by sports through us-ing drosophila movement model.%适宜规律的运动训练可以延缓心脏功能的生理性衰退,但其分子机制未知。目前采用哺乳动物模型研究这一机制存在诸多困境。果蝇的生命周期短、遗传背景简单、转基因技术成熟,一直是衰老基因筛选和功能研究的理想模式生物,得益于近年果蝇抗重力攀爬系统的开发,本文将依托前期实验成果阐述果蝇运动模型的建立方法与可行性,同时结合果蝇心脏功能检测技术说明果蝇运动模型研究抗心脏衰老分子机制的发展前景和局限性。

  18. Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study nanotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Cynthia; Yung, Lin-Yue Lanry; Cai, Yu; Bay, Boon-Huat; Baeg, Gyeong-Hun

    2015-05-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has been used as an in vivo model organism for the study of genetics and development since 100 years ago. Recently, the fruit fly Drosophila was also developed as an in vivo model organism for toxicology studies, in particular, the field of nanotoxicity. The incorporation of nanomaterials into consumer and biomedical products is a cause for concern as nanomaterials are often associated with toxicity in many in vitro studies. In vivo animal studies of the toxicity of nanomaterials with rodents and other mammals are, however, limited due to high operational cost and ethical objections. Hence, Drosophila, a genetically tractable organism with distinct developmental stages and short life cycle, serves as an ideal organism to study nanomaterial-mediated toxicity. This review discusses the basic biology of Drosophila, the toxicity of nanomaterials, as well as how the Drosophila model can be used to study the toxicity of various types of nanomaterials.

  19. Drosophila as a genetically tractable model for social insect behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Alison L. Camiletti; Thompson, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    The relatively simple communication, breeding, and egg-making systems that govern reproduction in female Drosophila retain homology to eusocial species in which these same systems are modified to the social condition. Despite having no parental care, division of labor, or subfertile caste, Drosophila may nonetheless offer a living test of certain sociobiological hypotheses framed around gene function. In this review, we make this case, and do so around the recent discovery that the non-social...

  20. Induced fungal resistance to insect grazing: reciprocal fitness consequences and fungal gene expression in the Drosophila-Aspergillus model system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Caballero Ortiz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fungi are key dietary resources for many animals. Fungi, in consequence, have evolved sophisticated physical and chemical defences for repelling and impairing fungivores. Expression of such defences may entail costs, requiring diversion of energy and nutrients away from fungal growth and reproduction. Inducible resistance that is mounted after attack by fungivores may allow fungi to circumvent the potential costs of defence when not needed. However, no information exists on whether fungi display inducible resistance. We combined organism and fungal gene expression approaches to investigate whether fungivory induces resistance in fungi. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that grazing by larval fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, induces resistance in the filamentous mould, Aspergillus nidulans, to subsequent feeding by larvae of the same insect. Larval grazing triggered the expression of various putative fungal resistance genes, including the secondary metabolite master regulator gene laeA. Compared to the severe pathological effects of wild type A. nidulans, which led to 100% insect mortality, larval feeding on a laeA loss-of-function mutant resulted in normal insect development. Whereas the wild type fungus recovered from larval grazing, larvae eradicated the chemically deficient mutant. In contrast, mutualistic dietary yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, reached higher population densities when exposed to Drosophila larval feeding. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study presents novel evidence that insect grazing is capable of inducing resistance to further grazing in a filamentous fungus. This phenotypic shift in resistance to fungivory is accompanied by changes in the expression of genes involved in signal transduction, epigenetic regulation and secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways. Depending on reciprocal insect-fungus fitness consequences, fungi may be selected for inducible resistance to maintain high fitness in

  1. Drosophila melanogaster as a Model for Lead Neurotoxicology and Toxicogenomics Research

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    Douglas Mark Ruden

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model animal for studying the neurotoxicology of lead. It has been known since ancient Roman times that long-term exposure to low levels of lead results in behavioral abnormalities, such as what is now known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Because lead alters mechanisms that underlie developmental neuronal plasticity, chronic exposure of children, even at blood lead levels below the current CDC community action level (10 µg/dl, can result in reduced cognitive ability, increased likelihood of delinquency, behaviors associated with ADHD, changes in activity level, altered sensory function, delayed onset of sexual maturity in girls, and changes in immune function. In order to better understand how lead affects neuronal plasticity, we will describe recent findings from a Drosophila behavioral genetics laboratory, a Drosophila neurophysiology laboratory, and a Drosophila quantitative genetics laboratory who have joined forces to study the effects of lead on the Drosophila nervous system. Studying the effects of lead on Drosophila nervous system development will give us a better understanding of the mechanisms of Pb neurotoxicity in the developing human nervous system.

  2. A Model of Drosophila Larva Chemotaxis.

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    Alex Davies

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Detailed observations of larval Drosophila chemotaxis have characterised the relationship between the odour gradient and the runs, head casts and turns made by the animal. We use a computational model to test whether hypothesised sensorimotor control mechanisms are sufficient to account for larval behaviour. The model combines three mechanisms based on simple transformations of the recent history of odour intensity at the head location. The first is an increased probability of terminating runs in response to gradually decreasing concentration, the second an increased probability of terminating head casts in response to rapidly increasing concentration, and the third a biasing of run directions up concentration gradients through modulation of small head casts. We show that this model can be tuned to produce behavioural statistics comparable to those reported for the larva, and that this tuning results in similar chemotaxis performance to the larva. We demonstrate that each mechanism can enable odour approach but the combination of mechanisms is most effective, and investigate how these low-level control mechanisms relate to behavioural measures such as the preference indices used to investigate larval learning behaviour in group assays.

  3. A Model of Drosophila Larva Chemotaxis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Alex; Louis, Matthieu; Webb, Barbara

    2015-11-01

    Detailed observations of larval Drosophila chemotaxis have characterised the relationship between the odour gradient and the runs, head casts and turns made by the animal. We use a computational model to test whether hypothesised sensorimotor control mechanisms are sufficient to account for larval behaviour. The model combines three mechanisms based on simple transformations of the recent history of odour intensity at the head location. The first is an increased probability of terminating runs in response to gradually decreasing concentration, the second an increased probability of terminating head casts in response to rapidly increasing concentration, and the third a biasing of run directions up concentration gradients through modulation of small head casts. We show that this model can be tuned to produce behavioural statistics comparable to those reported for the larva, and that this tuning results in similar chemotaxis performance to the larva. We demonstrate that each mechanism can enable odour approach but the combination of mechanisms is most effective, and investigate how these low-level control mechanisms relate to behavioural measures such as the preference indices used to investigate larval learning behaviour in group assays.

  4. Insights From Natural Host-Parasite Interactions: The Drosophila Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keebaugh, Erin S.; Schlenke, Todd A.

    2013-01-01

    Immune responses against opportunistic pathogens have been extensively studied in Drosophila, leading to a detailed map of the genetics behind innate immunity networks including the Toll, Imd, Jak-Stat, and JNK pathways. However, immune mechanisms of other organisms, particularly plants, have primarily been investigated using natural pathogens. It was the use of natural pathogens in plant research that revealed the plant R/Avr system, a specialized immune response derived from antagonistic coevolution between plant immune proteins and their natural pathogens’ virulence proteins. Thus, we recommend that researchers begin to use natural Drosophila pathogens to identify novel immune mechanisms that may have arisen through antagonistic coevolution with common natural pathogens. In this review, we address the benefits of using natural pathogens in research, describe the known natural pathogens of Drosophila, and discuss exciting prospects for future research on select natural pathogens of Drosophila. PMID:23764256

  5. Modeling peripheral olfactory coding in Drosophila larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek J Hoare

    Full Text Available The Drosophila larva possesses just 21 unique and identifiable pairs of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs, enabling investigation of the contribution of individual OSN classes to the peripheral olfactory code. We combined electrophysiological and computational modeling to explore the nature of the peripheral olfactory code in situ. We recorded firing responses of 19/21 OSNs to a panel of 19 odors. This was achieved by creating larvae expressing just one functioning class of odorant receptor, and hence OSN. Odor response profiles of each OSN class were highly specific and unique. However many OSN-odor pairs yielded variable responses, some of which were statistically indistinguishable from background activity. We used these electrophysiological data, incorporating both responses and spontaneous firing activity, to develop a bayesian decoding model of olfactory processing. The model was able to accurately predict odor identity from raw OSN responses; prediction accuracy ranged from 12%-77% (mean for all odors 45.2% but was always significantly above chance (5.6%. However, there was no correlation between prediction accuracy for a given odor and the strength of responses of wild-type larvae to the same odor in a behavioral assay. We also used the model to predict the ability of the code to discriminate between pairs of odors. Some of these predictions were supported in a behavioral discrimination (masking assay but others were not. We conclude that our model of the peripheral code represents basic features of odor detection and discrimination, yielding insights into the information available to higher processing structures in the brain.

  6. A Miniaturized Video System for Monitoring Drosophila Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Inan, Omer; Kovacs, Gregory; Etemadi, Mozziyar; Sanchez, Max; Marcu, Oana

    2011-01-01

    Long-term spaceflight may induce a variety of harmful effects in astronauts, resulting in altered motor and cognitive behavior. The stresses experienced by humans in space - most significantly weightlessness (microgravity) and cosmic radiation - are difficult to accurately simulate on Earth. In fact, prolonged and concomitant exposure to microgravity and cosmic radiation can only be studied in space. Behavioral studies in space have focused on model organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster. Drosophila is often used due to its short life span and generational cycle, small size, and ease of maintenance. Additionally, the well-characterized genetics of Drosophila behavior on Earth can be applied to the analysis of results from spaceflights, provided that the behavior in space is accurately recorded. In 2001, the BioExplorer project introduced a low-cost option for researchers: the small satellite. While this approach enabled multiple inexpensive launches of biological experiments, it also imposed stringent restrictions on the monitoring systems in terms of size, mass, data bandwidth, and power consumption. Suggested parameters for size are on the order of 100 mm3 and 1 kg mass for the entire payload. For Drosophila behavioral studies, these engineering requirements are not met by commercially available systems. One system that does meet many requirements for behavioral studies in space is the actimeter. Actimeters use infrared light gates to track the number of times a fly crosses a boundary within a small container (3x3x40 mm). Unfortunately, the apparatus needed to monitor several flies at once would be larger than the capacity of the small satellite. A system is presented, which expands on the actimeter approach to achieve a highly compact, low-power, ultra-low bandwidth solution for simultaneous monitoring of the behavior of multiple flies in space. This also provides a simple, inexpensive alternative to the current systems for monitoring Drosophila

  7. Recent efforts to model human diseases in vivo in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleger, Cathie M; Reiter, Lawrence T

    2008-01-01

    Upon completion of sequencing the Drosophila genome, it was estimated that 61% of human disease-associated genes had sequence homologs in flies, and in some diseases such as cancer, the number was as high as 68%. We now know that as many as 75% of the genes associated with genetic disease have counterparts in Drosophila. Using better tools for mutation detection, association studies and whole genome analysis the number of human genes associated with genetic disease is steadily increasing. These detection efforts are outpacing the ability to assign function and understand the underlying cause of the disease at the molecular level. Drosophila models can therefore advance human disease research in a number of ways by: establishing the normal role of these gene products during development, elucidating the mechanism underlying disease pathology, and even identifying candidate therapeutic agents for the treatment of human disease. At the 49(th) Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego this year, a number of labs presented their exciting findings on Drosophila models of human disease in both platform presentations and poster sessions. Here we can only briefly review some of these developments, and we apologize that we do not have the time or space to review all of the findings presented which use Drosophila to understand human disease etiology.

  8. Drosophila provides rapid modeling of renal development, function, and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, Julian A T; Romero, Michael F

    2010-12-01

    The evolution of specialized excretory cells is a cornerstone of the metazoan radiation, and the basic tasks performed by Drosophila and human renal systems are similar. The development of the Drosophila renal (Malpighian) tubule is a classic example of branched tubular morphogenesis, allowing study of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions, stem cell-mediated regeneration, and the evolution of a glomerular kidney. Tubule function employs conserved transport proteins, such as the Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and V-ATPase, aquaporins, inward rectifier K(+) channels, and organic solute transporters, regulated by cAMP, cGMP, nitric oxide, and calcium. In addition to generation and selective reabsorption of primary urine, the tubule plays roles in metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics, and in innate immunity. The gene expression resource FlyAtlas.org shows that the tubule is an ideal tissue for the modeling of renal diseases, such as nephrolithiasis and Bartter syndrome, or for inborn errors of metabolism. Studies are assisted by uniquely powerful genetic and transgenic resources, the widespread availability of mutant stocks, and low-cost, rapid deployment of new transgenics to allow manipulation of renal function in an organotypic context.

  9. Developing a Drosophila Model of Schwannomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-01

    found to associate with RasV12;scrib–/– tumors and to reduce tumor growth in scrib–/– animals (Pastor- Pareja et al., 2008). The Drosophila genome...2006). Loss of cell polarity drives tumor growth and invasion through JNK activation in Drosophila. Curr. Biol. 16, 1139-1146. Igaki, T., Pastor- Pareja ...genome. Nat. Genet. 36, 288-292. Pastor- Pareja , J. C., Wu, M. and Xu. T. (2008). An innate immune response of blood cells to tumors and tissue damage in

  10. Drosophila as a genetic and cellular model for studies on axonal growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whitington Paul

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One of the most fascinating processes during nervous system development is the establishment of stereotypic neuronal networks. An essential step in this process is the outgrowth and precise navigation (pathfinding of axons and dendrites towards their synaptic partner cells. This phenomenon was first described more than a century ago and, over the past decades, increasing insights have been gained into the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating neuronal growth and navigation. Progress in this area has been greatly assisted by the use of simple and genetically tractable invertebrate model systems, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This review is dedicated to Drosophila as a genetic and cellular model to study axonal growth and demonstrates how it can and has been used for this research. We describe the various cellular systems of Drosophila used for such studies, insights into axonal growth cones and their cytoskeletal dynamics, and summarise identified molecular signalling pathways required for growth cone navigation, with particular focus on pathfinding decisions in the ventral nerve cord of Drosophila embryos. These Drosophila-specific aspects are viewed in the general context of our current knowledge about neuronal growth.

  11. A cellular automaton model for neurogenesis in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luthi, Pascal O.; Chopard, Bastien; Preiss, Anette; Ramsden, Jeremy J.

    1998-07-01

    A cellular automaton (CA) is constructed for the formation of the central nervous system of the Drosophila embryo. This is an experimentally well-studied system in which complex interactions between neighbouring cells appear to drive their differentiation into different types. It appears that all the cells initially have the potential to become neuroblasts, and all strive to this end, but those which differentiate first block their as yet undifferentiated neighbours from doing so. The CA makes use of observational evidence for a lateral inhibition mechanism involving signalling products S of the ‘proneural’ or neuralizing genes. The key concept of the model is that cells are continuously producing S, but the production rate is lowered by inhibitory signals received from neighbouring cells which have advanced further along the developmental pathway. Comparison with experimental data shows that it well accounts for the observed proportion of neuroectodermal cells delaminating as neuroblasts.

  12. Context-specific comparison of sleep acquisition systems in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Garbe

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Sleep is conserved across phyla and can be measured through electrophysiological or behavioral characteristics. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides an excellent model for investigating the genetic and neural mechanisms that regulate sleep. Multiple systems exist for measuring fly activity, including video analysis and single-beam (SB or multi-beam (MB infrared (IR-based monitoring. In this study, we compare multiple sleep parameters of individual flies using a custom-built video-based acquisition system, and commercially available SB- or MB-IR acquisition systems. We report that all three monitoring systems appear sufficiently sensitive to detect changes in sleep duration associated with diet, age, and mating status. Our data also demonstrate that MB-IR detection appeared more sensitive than the SB-IR for detecting baseline nuances in sleep architecture, while architectural changes associated with varying life-history and environment were generally detected across all acquisition types. Finally, video recording of flies in an arena allowed us to measure the effect of ambient environment on sleep. These experiments demonstrate a robust effect of arena shape and size as well as light levels on sleep duration and architecture, and highlighting the versatility of tracking-based sleep acquisition. These findings provide insight into the context-specific basis for choosing between Drosophila sleep acquisition systems, describe a novel cost-effective system for video tracking, and characterize sleep analysis using the MB-IR sleep analysis. Further, we describe a modified dark-place preference sleep assay using video tracking, confirming that flies prefer to sleep in dark locations.

  13. Drosophila as a model for intestinal dysbiosis and chronic inflammatory diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung-Ah; Lee, Won-Jae

    2014-01-01

    The association between deregulated intestinal microbial consortia and host diseases has been recognized since the birth of microbiology over a century ago. Intestinal dysbiosis refers to a state where living metazoans harbor harmful intestinal microflora. However, there is still an issue of whether causality arises from the host or the microbe because it is unclear whether deregulation of the gut microbiota community is the consequence or cause of the host disease. Recent studies using Drosophila and its simple microbiota have provided a valuable model system for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of intestinal dysbiosis. In this review, we examine recent exciting observations in Drosophila gut-microbiota interactions, particularly the links among the host immune genotype, the microbial community structure, and the host inflammatory phenotype. Future genetic analyses using Drosophila model system will provide a valuable outcome for understanding the evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that underlie intestinal dysbiosis and chronic inflammatory diseases.

  14. Chemical genetics and drug screening in Drosophila cancer models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mara Gladstone; Tin Tin Su

    2011-01-01

    Drug candidates often fail in preclinical and clinical testing because of reasons of efficacy and/or safety.It would be time- and cost-efficient to have screening models that reduce the rate of such false positive candidates that appear promising at first but fail later.In this regard,it would be particularly useful to have a rapid and inexpensive whole animal model that can pre-select hits from high-throughput screens but before testing in costly rodent assays.Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as a potential whole animal model for drug screening.Of particular interest have been drugs that must act in the context of multi-cellularity such as those for neurological disorders and cancer.A recent review provides a comprehensive summary of drug screening in Drosophila,but with an emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders.Here,we review Drosophila screens in the literature aimed at cancer therapeutics.

  15. Modeling dietary influences on offspring metabolic programming in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookheart, Rita T; Duncan, Jennifer G

    2016-09-01

    The influence of nutrition on offspring metabolism has become a hot topic in recent years owing to the growing prevalence of maternal and childhood obesity. Studies in mammals have identified several factors correlating with parental and early offspring dietary influences on progeny health; however, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these factors remain undiscovered. Mammalian metabolic tissues and pathways are heavily conserved in Drosophila melanogaster, making the fly an invaluable genetic model organism for studying metabolism. In this review, we discuss the metabolic similarities between mammals and Drosophila and present evidence supporting its use as an emerging model of metabolic programming.

  16. Drosophila as a model for context-dependent tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tipping, Marla; Perrimon, Norbert

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila can exhibit classic hallmarks of cancer, such as evasion of apoptosis, sustained proliferation, metastasis, prolonged survival, genome instability, and metabolic reprogramming, when cancer-related genes are perturbed. In the last two decades, studies in flies have identified several tumor suppressor and oncogenes. However, the greatest strength of the fly lies in its ability to model cancer hallmarks in a variety of tissue types, which enables the study of context-dependent tumorigenesis. We review the organs and tissues that have been used to model tumor formation, and propose new strategies to maximize the potential of Drosophila in cancer research.

  17. Shared visual attention and memory systems in the Drosophila brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno van Swinderen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective attention and memory seem to be related in human experience. This appears to be the case as well in simple model organisms such as the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations affecting olfactory and visual memory formation in Drosophila, such as in dunce and rutabaga, also affect short-term visual processes relevant to selective attention. In particular, increased optomotor responsiveness appears to be predictive of visual attention defects in these mutants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further explore the possible overlap between memory and visual attention systems in the fly brain, we screened a panel of 36 olfactory long term memory (LTM mutants for visual attention-like defects using an optomotor maze paradigm. Three of these mutants yielded high dunce-like optomotor responsiveness. We characterized these three strains by examining their visual distraction in the maze, their visual learning capabilities, and their brain activity responses to visual novelty. We found that one of these mutants, D0067, was almost completely identical to dunce(1 for all measures, while another, D0264, was more like wild type. Exploiting the fact that the LTM mutants are also Gal4 enhancer traps, we explored the sufficiency for the cells subserved by these elements to rescue dunce attention defects and found overlap at the level of the mushroom bodies. Finally, we demonstrate that control of synaptic function in these Gal4 expressing cells specifically modulates a 20-30 Hz local field potential associated with attention-like effects in the fly brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study uncovers genetic and neuroanatomical systems in the fly brain affecting both visual attention and odor memory phenotypes. A common component to these systems appears to be the mushroom bodies, brain structures which have been traditionally associated with odor learning but which we propose might be also involved in generating oscillatory brain activity

  18. Drosophila as a model to study the role of blood cells in inflammation, innate immunity and cancer

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila has a primitive yet effective blood system with three types of haemocytes which function throughout different developmental stages and environmental stimuli. Haemocytes play essential roles in tissue modeling during embryogenesis and morphogenesis, and also in innate immunity. The open circulatory system of Drosophila makes haemocytes ideal signal mediators to cells and tissues in response to events such as infection and wounding. The application of recently developed and sophistic...

  19. Drosophila models of Alzheimer's disease: advances, limits, and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouleau, Sylvina; Tricoire, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    Amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) and the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) are the two key players involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are associated with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles respectively, two key hallmarks of the disease. Besides vertebrate models, Drosophila models have been widely used to understand the complex events leading to AD in relation to aging. Drosophila benefits from the low redundancy of the genome which greatly simplifies the analysis of single gene disruption, sophisticated molecular genetic tools, and reduced cost compared to mammals. The aim of this review is to describe the recent advances in modeling AD using fly and to emphasize some limits of these models. Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed some key aspects of the normal function of Appl and Tau, the fly homologues of AβPP and MAPT that may be disrupted during AD. Drosophila models have also been useful to uncover or validate several pathological pathways or susceptibility genes, and have been readily implemented in drug screening pipelines. We discuss some limitations of the current models that may arise from differences in structure of Appl and Tau compared to their human counterparts or from missing AβPP or MAPT protein interactors in flies. The advent of new genome modification technologies should allow the development of more realistic fly models and to better understand the relationship between AD and aging, taking advantage of the fly's short lifespan.

  20. Modelling planar cell polarity in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    During development, polarity is a common feature of many cell types. One example is the polarisation of whole fields of epithelial cells within the plane of the epithelium, a phenomenon called planar cell polarity (PCP). It is widespread in nature and plays important roles in development and physiology. Prominent examples include the epithelial cells of external structures of insects like the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, polarised tissue morphogenesis in vertebrates and sensory hair cel...

  1. Drosophila as a genetically tractable model for social insect behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison L Camiletti

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The relatively simple communication, breeding and egg-making systems that govern reproduction in female Drosophila retain homology to eusocial species in which these same systems are modified to the social condition. Despite having no parental care, division of labour or subfertile caste, Drosophila may nonetheless offer a living test of certain sociobiological hypotheses framed around gene function. In this review, we make this case, and do so around the recent discovery that the non-social fly, Drosophila melanogaster, can respond to the ovary-suppressing queen pheromone of the honey bee Apis meliffera. Here, we first explain the sociobiological imperative to reconcile kin theory with molecular biology, and qualify a potential role for Drosophila. Then, we offer three applications for the fly-pheromone assay. First, the availability and accessibility of massive mutant libraries makes immediately feasible any number of open or targeted gene screens against the ovary-inhibiting response. The sheer tractability of Drosophila may therefore help to accelerate the search for genes in pheromone-responsive pathways that regulate female reproduction, including potentially any that are preserved with modification to regulate worker sterility in response to queen pheromones in eusocial taxa. Secondly, Drosophila’s powerful Gal4/UAS expression system can complement the pheromone assay by driving target gene expression into living tissue, which could be well applied to the functional testing of genes presumed to drive ovary activation or de-activation in the honey bee or other eusocial taxa. Finally, coupling Gal4 with UAS-RNAi lines can facilitate loss-of-function experiments against perception and response to the ovary inhibiting pheromone, and do so for large numbers of candidates in systematic fashion. Drosophila's utility as an adjunct to the field of insect sociobiology is not ideal, but retains surprising potential.

  2. Modeling Glioma Growth and Invasion in Drosophila melanogaster

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    Hanna Teresa Witte

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma is the most common and most malignant intrinsic human brain tumor, characterized by extensive invasion and proliferation of glial (astrocytic tumor cells, frequent activation of tyrosine kinase receptor signaling pathways, relative resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and poor prognosis. Using the Gal4-UAS system, we have produced glioma models in Drosophila by overexpressing homologs of human tyrosine kinase receptors under control of the glia-specific promoter reversed polarity (repo. Glial overexpression of activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR resulted in enhanced proliferation and migration of larval glial cells with increased numbers in the eye imaginal disc, diffuse tumor-like enlargement of the optic stalk, and marked ectopic invasion of glial cells along the optic nerve. Glial overexpression of the downstream kinase PI3K showed similar pathology. Overexpression of activated pvr (platelet-derived growth factor receptor/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor homolog led to migration of glial cells along the optic nerve, whereas expression of activated htl (fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 homolog and INR (insulin receptor showed markedly elevated numbers of glial cells in the optic stalk. The EGFR/phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate kinase (PI3K phenotype was partly reverted by the administration of the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib and completely rescued by the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin and the Akt inhibitor triciribine. We suggest that Drosophila models will be useful for deciphering signaling cascades underlying abnormal behavior of glioma cells for genetic screens to reveal interacting genes involved in gliomagenesis and for experimental therapy approaches.

  3. Drosophila as a model to study the role of blood cells in inflammation, innate immunity and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lihui; Kounatidis, Ilias; Ligoxygakis, Petros

    2014-01-09

    Drosophila has a primitive yet effective blood system with three types of haemocytes which function throughout different developmental stages and environmental stimuli. Haemocytes play essential roles in tissue modeling during embryogenesis and morphogenesis, and also in innate immunity. The open circulatory system of Drosophila makes haemocytes ideal signal mediators to cells and tissues in response to events such as infection and wounding. The application of recently developed and sophisticated genetic tools to the relatively simple genome of Drosophila has made the fly a popular system for modeling human tumorigensis and metastasis. Drosophila is now used for screening and investigation of genes implicated in human leukemia and also in modeling development of solid tumors. This second line of research offers promising opportunities to determine the seemingly conflicting roles of blood cells in tumor progression and invasion. This review provides an overview of the signaling pathways conserved in Drosophila during haematopoiesis, haemostasis, innate immunity, wound healing and inflammation. We also review the most recent progress in the use of Drosophila as a cancer research model with an emphasis on the roles haemocytes can play in various cancer models and in the links between inflammation and cancer.

  4. Drosophila melanogaster As a Model Organism to Study RNA Toxicity of Repeat Expansion-Associated Neurodegenerative and Neuromuscular Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koon, Alex C.; Chan, Ho Yin Edwin

    2017-01-01

    For nearly a century, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has proven to be a valuable tool in our understanding of fundamental biological processes, and has empowered our discoveries, particularly in the field of neuroscience. In recent years, Drosophila has emerged as a model organism for human neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders. In this review, we highlight a number of recent studies that utilized the Drosophila model to study repeat-expansion associated diseases (READs), such as polyglutamine diseases, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and type 2 (DM2), and C9ORF72-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia (C9-ALS/FTD). Discoveries regarding the possible mechanisms of RNA toxicity will be focused here. These studies demonstrate Drosophila as an excellent in vivo model system that can reveal novel mechanistic insights into human disorders, providing the foundation for translational research and therapeutic development. PMID:28377694

  5. A vertex model of Drosophila ventral furrow formation.

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    Philipp Spahn

    Full Text Available Ventral furrow formation in Drosophila is an outstanding model system to study the mechanisms involved in large-scale tissue rearrangements. Ventral cells accumulate myosin at their apical sides and, while being tightly coupled to each other via apical adherens junctions, execute actomyosin contractions that lead to reduction of their apical cell surface. Thereby, a band of constricted cells along the ventral epithelium emerges which will form a tissue indentation along the ventral midline (the ventral furrow. Here we adopt a 2D vertex model to simulate ventral furrow formation in a surface view allowing easy comparison with confocal live-recordings. We show that in order to reproduce furrow morphology seen in vivo, a gradient of contractility must be assumed in the ventral epithelium which renders cells more contractile the closer they lie to the ventral midline. The model predicts previous experimental findings, such as the gain of eccentric morphology of constricting cells and an incremental fashion of apical cell area reduction. Analysis of the model suggests that this incremental area reduction is caused by the dynamical interplay of cell elasticity and stochastic contractility as well as by the opposing forces from contracting neighbour cells. We underpin results from the model through in vivo analysis of ventral furrow formation in wildtype and twi mutant embryos. Our results show that ventral furrow formation can be accomplished as a "tug-of-war" between stochastically contracting, mechanically coupled cells and may require less rigorous regulation than previously thought.For the developmental biologist it is a fascinating question how cells can coordinate major tissue movements during embryonic development. The so-called ventral furrow of the Drosophila embryo is a well-studied example of such a process when cells from a ventral band, spanning nearly the entire length of the embryo, undergo dramatic shape change by contracting their

  6. Drosophila melanogaster as a Model Organism of Brain Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werner Paulus

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila melanogaster has been utilized to model human brain diseases. In most of these invertebrate transgenic models, some aspects of human disease are reproduced. Although investigation of rodent models has been of significant impact, invertebrate models offer a wide variety of experimental tools that can potentially address some of the outstanding questions underlying neurological disease. This review considers what has been gleaned from invertebrate models of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, metabolic diseases such as Leigh disease, Niemann-Pick disease and ceroid lipofuscinoses, tumor syndromes such as neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis, epilepsy as well as CNS injury. It is to be expected that genetic tools in Drosophila will reveal new pathways and interactions, which hopefully will result in molecular based therapy approaches.

  7. Drosophila Melanogaster as an Emerging Translational Model of Human Nephrolithiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Joe; Chi, Thomas; Kapahi, Pankaj; Kahn, Arnold J.; Kim, Man Su; Hirata, Taku; Romero, Michael F.; Dow, Julian A.T.; Stoller, Marshall L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose The limitations imposed by human clinical studies and mammalian models of nephrolithiasis have hampered the development of effective medical treatments and preventative measures for decades. The simple but elegant Drosophila melanogaster is emerging as a powerful translational model of human disease, including nephrolithiasis and may provide important information essential to our understanding of stone formation. We present the current state of research using D. melanogaster as a model of human nephrolithiasis. Materials and Methods A comprehensive review of the English language literature was performed using PUBMED. When necessary, authoritative texts on relevant subtopics were consulted. Results The genetic composition, anatomic structure and physiologic function of Drosophila Malpighian tubules are remarkably similar to those of the human nephron. The direct effects of dietary manipulation, environmental alteration, and genetic variation on stone formation can be observed and quantified in a matter of days. Several Drosophila models of human nephrolithiasis, including genetically linked and environmentally induced stones, have been developed. A model of calcium oxalate stone formation is among the most recent fly models of human nephrolithiasis. Conclusions The ability to readily manipulate and quantify stone formation in D. melanogaster models of human nephrolithiasis presents the urologic community with a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of this enigmatic disease. PMID:23500641

  8. Modeling congenital disease and inborn errors of development in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Moulton

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Fly models that faithfully recapitulate various aspects of human disease and human health-related biology are being used for research into disease diagnosis and prevention. Established and new genetic strategies in Drosophila have yielded numerous substantial successes in modeling congenital disorders or inborn errors of human development, as well as neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Moreover, although our ability to generate sequence datasets continues to outpace our ability to analyze these datasets, the development of high-throughput analysis platforms in Drosophila has provided access through the bottleneck in the identification of disease gene candidates. In this Review, we describe both the traditional and newer methods that are facilitating the incorporation of Drosophila into the human disease discovery process, with a focus on the models that have enhanced our understanding of human developmental disorders and congenital disease. Enviable features of the Drosophila experimental system, which make it particularly useful in facilitating the much anticipated move from genotype to phenotype (understanding and predicting phenotypes directly from the primary DNA sequence, include its genetic tractability, the low cost for high-throughput discovery, and a genome and underlying biology that are highly evolutionarily conserved. In embracing the fly in the human disease-gene discovery process, we can expect to speed up and reduce the cost of this process, allowing experimental scales that are not feasible and/or would be too costly in higher eukaryotes.

  9. Modeling congenital disease and inborn errors of development in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulton, Matthew J; Letsou, Anthea

    2016-03-01

    Fly models that faithfully recapitulate various aspects of human disease and human health-related biology are being used for research into disease diagnosis and prevention. Established and new genetic strategies in Drosophila have yielded numerous substantial successes in modeling congenital disorders or inborn errors of human development, as well as neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Moreover, although our ability to generate sequence datasets continues to outpace our ability to analyze these datasets, the development of high-throughput analysis platforms in Drosophila has provided access through the bottleneck in the identification of disease gene candidates. In this Review, we describe both the traditional and newer methods that are facilitating the incorporation of Drosophila into the human disease discovery process, with a focus on the models that have enhanced our understanding of human developmental disorders and congenital disease. Enviable features of the Drosophila experimental system, which make it particularly useful in facilitating the much anticipated move from genotype to phenotype (understanding and predicting phenotypes directly from the primary DNA sequence), include its genetic tractability, the low cost for high-throughput discovery, and a genome and underlying biology that are highly evolutionarily conserved. In embracing the fly in the human disease-gene discovery process, we can expect to speed up and reduce the cost of this process, allowing experimental scales that are not feasible and/or would be too costly in higher eukaryotes.

  10. Modeling the Influence of Ion Channels on Neuron Dynamics in Drosophila

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    Sandra eBerger

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Voltage gated ion channels play a major role in determining a neuron's firing behavior, resulting in the specific processing of synaptic input patterns. Drosophila and other invertebrates provide valuable model systems for investigating ion channel kinetics and their impact on firing properties. Despite the increasing importance of Drosophila as a model system, few computational models of its ion channel kinetics have been developed. In this study, experimentally observed biophysical properties of voltage gated ion channels from the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster are used to develop a minimal, conductance based neuron model. We investigate the impact of the densities of these channels on the excitability of the model neuron. Changing the channel densities reproduces different in situ observed firing patterns and induces a switch from integrator to resonator properties. Further, we analyze the preference to input frequency and how it depends on the channel densities and the resulting bifurcation type the system undergoes. An extension to a three dimensional model demonstrates that the inactivation kinetics of the sodium channels play an important role, allowing for firing patterns with a delayed first spike and subsequent high frequency firing as often observed in invertebrates, without altering the delayed rectifier current.

  11. Drosophila as a Model for Context-Dependent Tumorigenesis

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila can exhibit classic hallmarks of cancer, such as evasion of apoptosis, sustained proliferation, metastasis, prolonged survival, genome instability, and metabolic reprogramming, when cancer-related genes are perturbed. In the last two decades, studies in flies have identified several tumor suppressor and oncogenes. However, the greatest strength of the fly lies in its ability to model cancer hallmarks in a variety of tissue types, which enables the study of context-dependent tumorig...

  12. Transgenic Drosophila model to study apolipoprotein E4-induced neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haddadi, Mohammad; Nongthomba, Upendra; Jahromi, Samaneh Reiszadeh; Ramesh, S R

    2016-03-15

    The ε4 isoform of apolipoprotein E (ApoE4) that is involved in neuron-glial lipid metabolism has been demonstrated as the main genetic risk factor in late-onset of Alzheimer's disease. However, the mechanism underlying ApoE4-mediated neurodegeneration remains unclear. We created a transgenic model of neurodegenerative disorder by expressing ε3 and ε4 isoforms of human ApoE in the Drosophila melanogaster. The genetic models exhibited progressive neurodegeneration, shortened lifespan and memory impairment. Genetic interaction studies between amyloid precursor protein and ApoE in axon pathology of the disease revealed that over expression of hApoE in Appl-expressing neurons of Drosophila brain causes neurodegeneration. Moreover, acute oxidative damage in the hApoE transgenic flies triggered a neuroprotective response of hApoE3 while chronic induction of oxidative damage accelerated the rate of neurodegeneration. This Drosophila model may facilitate analysis of the molecular and cellular events implicated in hApoE4 neurotoxicity.

  13. Digital three-dimensional models of Drosophila development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereanu, Wayne; Hartenstein, Volker

    2004-08-01

    Digital models of organs, cells and subcellular structures have become important tools in biological and medical research. Reaching far beyond their traditional widespread use as didactic tools, computer-generated models serve as electronic atlases to identify specific elements in complex patterns, and as analytical tools that reveal relationships between such pattern elements that would remain obscure in two-dimensional sections. Digital models also offer the unique opportunity to store and display gene-expression patterns, and pilot studies have been made in several genetic model organisms, including mouse, Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans, to construct digital graphic databases intended as repositories for gene-expression data.

  14. Drosophila Models of Tauopathies: What Have We Learned?

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    Marc Gistelinck

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Aggregates of the microtubule-associated protein Tau are neuropathological hallmark lesions in Alzheimer's disease (AD and related primary tauopathies. In addition, Tau is genetically implicated in a number of human neurodegenerative disorders including frontotemporal dementia (FTD and Parkinson's disease (PD. The exact mechanism by which Tau exerts its neurotoxicity is incompletely understood. Here, we give an overview of how studies using the genetic model organism Drosophila over the past decade have contributed to the molecular understanding of Tau neurotoxicity. We compare the different available readouts for Tau neurotoxicity in flies and review the molecular pathways in which Tau has been implicated. Finally, we emphasize that the integration of genome-wide approaches in human or mice with high-throughput genetic validation in Drosophila is a fruitful approach.

  15. Evaluation of polylactic acid nanoparticles safety using Drosophila model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legaz, Sophie; Exposito, Jean-Yves; Lethias, Claire; Viginier, Barbara; Terzian, Christophe; Verrier, Bernard

    2016-10-01

    Cytotoxicity of nanoparticles and their sub-lethal effect on cell behavior and cell fate are a high topic of studies in the nanomaterial field. With an explosion of nanoparticle types (size, shape, polarity, stiffness, composition, etc.), Drosophila has become an attractive animal model for high throughput analysis of these nanocarriers in the drug delivery field with applications in cancer therapy, or simply to generate a fast and complete cytotoxic study of a peculiar nanoparticle. In respect to that, we have conducted an in cellulo study of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanoparticle cytotoxicity, and determined that near lethal nanoparticle doses, oxidative stress as well as P53 and ATP pathways may lead to cell cycle arrest at G1, and ultimately to cell death. Neither viability nor the development of Drosophila larvae are affected by the ingestion of PLA nanoparticles at sub-lethal concentrations. Drosophila will be a useful model to study PLA and PLA-modified nanoparticle toxicity, and nanoparticle fate after ingestion.

  16. Drosophila as a model to study the role of blood cells in inflammation, innate immunity and cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihui eWang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila has a blood system with three types of haemocytes which function throughout different developmental stages and environmental stimuli. Haemocytes play essential roles in tissue modelling during embryogenesis and morphogenesis, and also in innate immunity. The open circulatory system of Drosophila makes haemocytes ideal signal mediators to cells and tissues in response to events such as infection, wounding and tumour formation. In this context, Drosophila is now used for screening and investigation of genes implicated in human leukaemia and also in modelling development of solid tumours. This line of research offers promising opportunities to determine the seemingly conflicting roles of blood cells in tumour progression and invasion. This review provides an overview of the signalling pathways conserved in Drosophila during haematopoiesis, haemostasis, innate immunity, wound healing and inflammation. We also review the most recent progress in the use of Drosophila as a cancer research model with an emphasis on the roles haemocytes can play in various cancer models and in the links between inflammation and cancer.

  17. Impaired sense of smell in a Drosophila Parkinson's model.

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    Simone Poddighe

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is one of the most common neurodegenerative disease characterized by the clinical triad: tremor, akinesia and rigidity. Several studies have suggested that PD patients show disturbances in olfaction at the earliest onset of the disease. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is becoming a powerful model organism to study neurodegenerative diseases. We sought to use this system to explore olfactory dysfunction, if any, in PINK1 mutants, which is a model for PD. PINK1 mutants display many important diagnostic symptoms of the disease such as akinetic motor behavior. In the present study, we describe for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, neurophysiological and neuroanatomical results concerning the olfactory function in PINK1 mutant flies. Electroantennograms were recorded in response to synthetic and natural volatiles (essential oils from groups of PINK1 mutant adults at three different time points in their life cycle: one from 3-5 day-old flies, from 15-20 and from 27-30 days. The results obtained were compared with the same age-groups of wild type flies. We found that mutant adults showed a decrease in the olfactory response to 1-hexanol, α-pinene and essential oil volatiles. This olfactory response in mutant adults decreased even more as the flies aged. Immunohistological analysis of the antennal lobes in these mutants revealed structural abnormalities, especially in the expression of Bruchpilot protein, a marker for synaptic active zones. The combination of electrophysiological and morphological results suggests that the altered synaptic organization may be due to a neurodegenerative process. Our results indicate that this model can be used as a tool for understanding PD pathogensis and pathophysiology. These results help to explore the potential of using olfaction as a means of monitoring PD progression and developing new treatments.

  18. Modeling of gap gene expression in Drosophila Kruppel mutants.

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    Konstantin Kozlov

    Full Text Available The segmentation gene network in Drosophila embryo solves the fundamental problem of embryonic patterning: how to establish a periodic pattern of gene expression, which determines both the positions and the identities of body segments. The gap gene network constitutes the first zygotic regulatory tier in this process. Here we have applied the systems-level approach to investigate the regulatory effect of gap gene Kruppel (Kr on segmentation gene expression. We acquired a large dataset on the expression of gap genes in Kr null mutants and demonstrated that the expression levels of these genes are significantly reduced in the second half of cycle 14A. To explain this novel biological result we applied the gene circuit method which extracts regulatory information from spatial gene expression data. Previous attempts to use this formalism to correctly and quantitatively reproduce gap gene expression in mutants for a trunk gap gene failed, therefore here we constructed a revised model and showed that it correctly reproduces the expression patterns of gap genes in Kr null mutants. We found that the remarkable alteration of gap gene expression patterns in Kr mutants can be explained by the dynamic decrease of activating effect of Cad on a target gene and exclusion of Kr gene from the complex network of gap gene interactions, that makes it possible for other interactions, in particular, between hb and gt, to come into effect. The successful modeling of the quantitative aspects of gap gene expression in mutant for the trunk gap gene Kr is a significant achievement of this work. This result also clearly indicates that the oversimplified representation of transcriptional regulation in the previous models is one of the reasons for unsuccessful attempts of mutant simulations.

  19. Modelling of intercellular synchronization in the Drosophila circadian clock

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Jun-Wei; Chen Ai-Min; Zhang Jia-Jun; Yuan Zhan-Jiang; Zhou Tian-Shou

    2009-01-01

    In circadian rhythm generation, intercellular signaling factors are shown to play a crucial role in both sustaining intrinsic cellular rhythmicity and acquiring collective behaviours across a population of circadian neurons. However, the physical mechanism behind their role remains to be fully understood. In this paper, we propose an indirectly coupled multicellular model for the synchronization of Drosophila circadian oscillators combining both intracellular and intercellular dynamics. By simulating different experimental conditions, we find that such an indirect coupling way can synchronize both heterogeneous self-sustained circadian neurons and heterogeneous mutational damped circadian neurons. Moreover, they can also be entrained to ambient light-dark (LD) cycles depending on intercellular signaling.

  20. A drosophila model for EGFR-Ras and PI3K-dependent human glioma.

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    Renee D Read

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Gliomas, the most common malignant tumors of the nervous system, frequently harbor mutations that activate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K signaling pathways. To investigate the genetic basis of this disease, we developed a glioma model in Drosophila. We found that constitutive coactivation of EGFR-Ras and PI3K pathways in Drosophila glia and glial precursors gives rise to neoplastic, invasive glial cells that create transplantable tumor-like growths, mimicking human glioma. Our model represents a robust organotypic and cell-type-specific Drosophila cancer model in which malignant cells are created by mutations in signature genes and pathways thought to be driving forces in a homologous human cancer. Genetic analyses demonstrated that EGFR and PI3K initiate malignant neoplastic transformation via a combinatorial genetic network composed primarily of other pathways commonly mutated or activated in human glioma, including the Tor, Myc, G1 Cyclins-Cdks, and Rb-E2F pathways. This network acts synergistically to coordinately stimulate cell cycle entry and progression, protein translation, and inappropriate cellular growth and migration. In particular, we found that the fly orthologs of CyclinE, Cdc25, and Myc are key rate-limiting genes required for glial neoplasia. Moreover, orthologs of Sin1, Rictor, and Cdk4 are genes required only for abnormal neoplastic glial proliferation but not for glial development. These and other genes within this network may represent important therapeutic targets in human glioma.

  1. An integrated optical coherence microscopy imaging and optical stimulation system for optogenetic pacing in Drosophila melanogaster (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alex, Aneesh; Li, Airong; Men, Jing; Jerwick, Jason; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Zhou, Chao

    2016-03-01

    Electrical stimulation is the clinical standard for cardiac pacing. Although highly effective in controlling cardiac rhythm, the invasive nature, non-specificity to cardiac tissues and possible tissue damage limits its applications. Optogenetic pacing of the heart is a promising alternative, which is non-invasive and more specific, has high spatial and temporal precision, and avoids the shortcomings in electrical stimulation. Drosophila melanogaster, which is a powerful model organism with orthologs of nearly 75% of human disease genes, has not been studied for optogenetic pacing in the heart. Here, we developed a non-invasive integrated optical pacing and optical coherence microscopy (OCM) imaging system to control the heart rhythm of Drosophila at different developmental stages using light. The OCM system is capable of providing high imaging speed (130 frames/s) and ultrahigh imaging resolutions (1.5 μm and 3.9 μm for axial and transverse resolutions, respectively). A light-sensitive pacemaker was developed in Drosophila by specifically expressing the light-gated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in transgenic Drosophila heart. We achieved non-invasive and specific optical control of the Drosophila heart rhythm throughout the fly's life cycle (larva, pupa, and adult) by stimulating the heart with 475 nm pulsed laser light. Heart response to stimulation pulses was monitored non-invasively with OCM. This integrated non-invasive optogenetic control and in vivo imaging technique provides a novel platform for performing research studies in developmental cardiology.

  2. Altered lipid metabolism in a Drosophila model of Friedreich's ataxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Juan A; Ohmann, Elisabeth; Sanchez, Diego; Botella, José A; Liebisch, Gerhard; Moltó, María D; Ganfornina, María D; Schmitz, Gerd; Schneuwly, Stephan

    2010-07-15

    Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is the most common form of autosomal recessive ataxia caused by a deficit in the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Although demyelination is a common symptom in FRDA patients, no multicellular model has yet been developed to study the involvement of glial cells in FRDA. Using the recently established RNAi lines for targeted suppression of frataxin in Drosophila, we were able to study the effects of general versus glial-specific frataxin downregulation. In particular, we wanted to study the interplay between lowered frataxin content, lipid accumulation and peroxidation and the consequences of these effects on the sensitivity to oxidative stress and fly fitness. Interestingly, ubiquitous frataxin reduction leads to an increase in fatty acids catalyzing an enhancement of lipid peroxidation levels, elevating the intracellular toxic potential. Specific loss of frataxin in glial cells triggers a similar phenotype which can be visualized by accumulating lipid droplets in glial cells. This phenotype is associated with a reduced lifespan, an increased sensitivity to oxidative insult, neurodegenerative effects and a serious impairment of locomotor activity. These symptoms fit very well with our observation of an increase in intracellular toxicity by lipid peroxides. Interestingly, co-expression of a Drosophila apolipoprotein D ortholog (glial lazarillo) has a strong protective effect in our frataxin models, mainly by controlling the level of lipid peroxidation. Our results clearly support a strong involvement of glial cells and lipid peroxidation in the generation of FRDA-like symptoms.

  3. Modeling of regulatory networks: theory and applications in the study of the Drosophila circadian clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scribner, Elizabeth Y; Fathallah-Shaykh, Hassan M

    2011-01-01

    Biological networks can be very complex. Mathematical modeling and simulation of regulatory networks can assist in resolving unanswered questions about these complex systems, which are often impossible to explore experimentally. The network regulating the Drosophila circadian clock is particularly amenable to such modeling given its complexity and what we call the clockwork orange (CWO) anomaly. CWO is a protein whose function in the network as an indirect activator of genes per, tim, vri, and pdp1 is counterintuitive--in isolated experiments, CWO inhibits transcription of these genes. Although many different types of modeling frameworks have recently been applied to the Drosophila circadian network, this chapter focuses on the application of continuous deterministic dynamic modeling to this network. In particular, we present three unique systems of ordinary differential equations that have been used to successfully model different aspects of the circadian network. The last model incorporates the newly identified protein CWO, and we explain how this model's unique mathematical equations can be used to explore and resolve the CWO anomaly. Finally, analysis of these equations gives rise to a new network regulatory rule, which clarifies the unusual role of CWO in this dynamical system.

  4. Drosophila Nipped-B Mutants Model Cornelia de Lange Syndrome in Growth and Behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaning Wu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS display diverse developmental deficits, including slow growth, multiple limb and organ abnormalities, and intellectual disabilities. Severely-affected individuals most often have dominant loss-of-function mutations in the Nipped-B-Like (NIPBL gene, and milder cases often have missense or in-frame deletion mutations in genes encoding subunits of the cohesin complex. Cohesin mediates sister chromatid cohesion to facilitate accurate chromosome segregation, and NIPBL is required for cohesin to bind to chromosomes. Individuals with CdLS, however, do not display overt cohesion or segregation defects. Rather, studies in human cells and model organisms indicate that modest decreases in NIPBL and cohesin activity alter the transcription of many genes that regulate growth and development. Sister chromatid cohesion factors, including the Nipped-B ortholog of NIPBL, are also critical for gene expression and development in Drosophila melanogaster. Here we describe how a modest reduction in Nipped-B activity alters growth and neurological function in Drosophila. These studies reveal that Nipped-B heterozygous mutant Drosophila show reduced growth, learning, and memory, and altered circadian rhythms. Importantly, the growth deficits are not caused by changes in systemic growth controls, but reductions in cell number and size attributable in part to reduced expression of myc (diminutive and other growth control genes. The learning, memory and circadian deficits are accompanied by morphological abnormalities in brain structure. These studies confirm that Drosophila Nipped-B mutants provide a useful model for understanding CdLS, and provide new insights into the origins of birth defects.

  5. Synaptic roles for phosphomannomutase type 2 in a new Drosophila congenital disorder of glycosylation disease model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William M. Parkinson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs constitute a rapidly growing family of human diseases resulting from heritable mutations in genes driving the production and modification of glycoproteins. The resulting symptomatic hypoglycosylation causes multisystemic defects that include severe neurological impairments, revealing a particularly critical requirement for tightly regulated glycosylation in the nervous system. The most common CDG, CDG-Ia (PMM2-CDG, arises from phosphomannomutase type 2 (PMM2 mutations. Here, we report the generation and characterization of the first Drosophila CDG-Ia model. CRISPR-generated pmm2-null Drosophila mutants display severely disrupted glycosylation and early lethality, whereas RNAi-targeted knockdown of neuronal PMM2 results in a strong shift in the abundance of pauci-mannose glycan, progressive incoordination and later lethality, closely paralleling human CDG-Ia symptoms of shortened lifespan, movement impairments and defective neural development. Analyses of the well-characterized Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ reveal synaptic glycosylation loss accompanied by defects in both structural architecture and functional neurotransmission. NMJ synaptogenesis is driven by intercellular signals that traverse an extracellular synaptomatrix and are co-regulated by glycosylation and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs. Specifically, trans-synaptic signaling by the Wnt protein Wingless (Wg depends on the heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG co-receptor Dally-like protein (Dlp, which is regulated by synaptic MMP activity. Loss of synaptic MMP2, Wg ligand, Dlp co-receptor and downstream trans-synaptic signaling occurs with PMM2 knockdown. Taken together, this Drosophila CDG disease model provides a new avenue for the dissection of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurological impairments and is a means by which to discover and test novel therapeutic treatment strategies.

  6. Systems neuroscience in Drosophila: Conceptual and technical advantages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazama, H

    2015-06-18

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is ideally suited for investigating the neural circuit basis of behavior. Due to the simplicity and genetic tractability of the fly brain, neurons and circuits are identifiable across animals. Additionally, a large set of transgenic lines has been developed with the aim of specifically labeling small subsets of neurons and manipulating them in sophisticated ways. Electrophysiology and imaging can be applied in behaving individuals to examine the computations performed by each neuron, and even the entire population of relevant neurons in a particular region, because of the small size of the brain. Moreover, a rich repertoire of behaviors that can be studied is expanding to include those requiring cognitive abilities. Thus, the fly brain is an attractive system in which to explore both computations and mechanisms underlying behavior at levels spanning from genes through neurons to circuits. This review summarizes the advantages Drosophila offers in achieving this objective. A recent neurophysiology study on olfactory behavior is also introduced to demonstrate the effectiveness of these advantages.

  7. Functional Analysis of Actin-Binding Proteins in the Central Nervous System of Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Qi; Roblodowski, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Using Drosophila actin-binding protein Dunc-115 as model system, this chapter describes a MARCM (mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker)-based method for analyzing cytoskeletal components for their functions in the nervous system. Following a concise description about the principle, a step-by-step protocol is provided for generating the needed stocks and for histological analysis. Additional details and explanations have been given in the accompanying notes. Together, this should form a practical and sufficient recipe for performing at the single-cell-level loss-of-function and gain-of-function analyses of proteins associated with the cytoskeleton.

  8. Molecular genetics of cancer and tumorigenesis: Drosophila models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wu-Min Deng

    2011-01-01

    Why do some cells not respond to normal control of cell division and become tumorous? Which signals trigger some tumor cells to migrate and colonize other tissues? What genetic factors are responsible for tumorigenesis and cancer development? What environmental factors play a role in cancer formation and progression? In how many ways can our bodies prevent and restrict the growth of cancerous cells?How can we identify and deliver effective drugs to fight cancer? In the fight against cancer,which kills more people than any other disease,these and other questions have long interested researchers from a diverse range of fields.To answer these questions and to fight cancer more effectively,we must increase our understanding of basic cancer biology.Model organisms,including the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster,have played instrumental roles in our understanding of this devastating disease and the search for effective cures.Drosophila and its highly effective,easy-touse,and ever-expanding genetic tools have contributed toand enriched our knowledge of cancer and tumor formation tremendously.

  9. Modeling glial contributions to seizures and epileptogenesis: cation-chloride cotransporters in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeid M Rusan

    Full Text Available Flies carrying a kcc loss-of-function mutation are more seizure-susceptible than wild-type flies. The kcc gene is the highly conserved Drosophila melanogaster ortholog of K+/Cl- cotransporter genes thought to be expressed in all animal cell types. Here, we examined the spatial and temporal requirements for kcc loss-of-function to modify seizure-susceptibility in flies. Targeted RNA interference (RNAi of kcc in various sets of neurons was sufficient to induce severe seizure-sensitivity. Interestingly, kcc RNAi in glia was particularly effective in causing seizure-sensitivity. Knockdown of kcc in glia or neurons during development caused a reduction in seizure induction threshold, cell swelling, and brain volume increase in 24-48 hour old adult flies. Third instar larval peripheral nerves were enlarged when kcc RNAi was expressed in neurons or glia. Results suggest that a threshold of K+/Cl- cotransport dysfunction in the nervous system during development is an important determinant of seizure-susceptibility in Drosophila. The findings presented are the first attributing a causative role for glial cation-chloride cotransporters in seizures and epileptogenesis. The importance of elucidating glial cell contributions to seizure disorders and the utility of Drosophila models is discussed.

  10. Beneficial effects of increased lysozyme levels in Alzheimer's disease modelled in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandin, Linnea; Bergkvist, Liza; Nath, Sangeeta; Kielkopf, Claudia; Janefjord, Camilla; Helmfors, Linda; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Li, Hongyun; Nilsberth, Camilla; Garner, Brett; Brorsson, Ann-Christin; Kågedal, Katarina

    2016-10-01

    Genetic polymorphisms of immune genes that associate with higher risk to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) have led to an increased research interest on the involvement of the immune system in AD pathogenesis. A link between amyloid pathology and immune gene expression was suggested in a genome-wide gene expression study of transgenic amyloid mouse models. In this study, the gene expression of lysozyme, a major player in the innate immune system, was found to be increased in a comparable pattern as the amyloid pathology developed in transgenic mouse models of AD. A similar pattern was seen at protein levels of lysozyme in human AD brain and CSF, but this lysozyme pattern was not seen in a tau transgenic mouse model. Lysozyme was demonstrated to be beneficial for different Drosophila melanogaster models of AD. In flies that expressed Aβ1-42 or AβPP together with BACE1 in the eyes, the rough eye phenotype indicative of toxicity was completely rescued by coexpression of lysozyme. In Drosophila flies bearing the Aβ1-42 variant with the Arctic gene mutation, lysozyme increased the fly survival and decreased locomotor dysfunction dose dependently. An interaction between lysozyme and Aβ1-42 in the Drosophila eye was discovered. We propose that the increased levels of lysozyme, seen in mouse models of AD and in human AD cases, were triggered by Aβ1-42 and caused a beneficial effect by binding of lysozyme to toxic species of Aβ1-42 , which prevented these from exerting their toxic effects. These results emphasize the possibility of lysozyme as biomarker and therapeutic target for AD. © 2016 The Authors. The FEBS Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  11. Lack of Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Causes Synapse Dysfunction in the Drosophila Visual System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Anna B; Ménagé, Cindy; Grégoire, Stéphane; Garcia, Thibault; Ferveur, Jean-François; Bretillon, Lionel; Grosjean, Yael

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients for animals and necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. A lack of PUFAs can result from the consumption of a deficient diet or genetic factors, which impact PUFA uptake and metabolism. Both can cause synaptic dysfunction, which is associated with numerous disorders. However, there is a knowledge gap linking these neuronal dysfunctions and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Because of its genetic manipulability and its easy, fast, and cheap breeding, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as an excellent model organism for genetic screens, helping to identify the genetic bases of such events. As a first step towards the understanding of PUFA implications in Drosophila synaptic physiology we designed a breeding medium containing only very low amounts of PUFAs. We then used the fly's visual system, a well-established model for studying signal transmission and neurological disorders, to measure the effects of a PUFA deficiency on synaptic function. Using both visual performance and eye electrophysiology, we found that PUFA deficiency strongly affected synaptic transmission in the fly's visual system. These defects were rescued by diets containing omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs alone or in combination. In summary, manipulating PUFA contents in the fly's diet was powerful to investigate the role of these nutrients on the fly´s visual synaptic function. This study aims at showing how the first visual synapse of Drosophila can serve as a simple model to study the effects of PUFAs on synapse function. A similar approach could be further used to screen for genetic factors underlying the molecular mechanisms of synaptic dysfunctions associated with altered PUFA levels.

  12. Quantifying adaptive evolution in the Drosophila immune system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren J Obbard

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available It is estimated that a large proportion of amino acid substitutions in Drosophila have been fixed by natural selection, and as organisms are faced with an ever-changing array of pathogens and parasites to which they must adapt, we have investigated the role of parasite-mediated selection as a likely cause. To quantify the effect, and to identify which genes and pathways are most likely to be involved in the host-parasite arms race, we have re-sequenced population samples of 136 immunity and 287 position-matched non-immunity genes in two species of Drosophila. Using these data, and a new extension of the McDonald-Kreitman approach, we estimate that natural selection fixes advantageous amino acid changes in immunity genes at nearly double the rate of other genes. We find the rate of adaptive evolution in immunity genes is also more variable than other genes, with a small subset of immune genes evolving under intense selection. These genes, which are likely to represent hotspots of host-parasite coevolution, tend to share similar functions or belong to the same pathways, such as the antiviral RNAi pathway and the IMD signalling pathway. These patterns appear to be general features of immune system evolution in both species, as rates of adaptive evolution are correlated between the D. melanogaster and D. simulans lineages. In summary, our data provide quantitative estimates of the elevated rate of adaptive evolution in immune system genes relative to the rest of the genome, and they suggest that adaptation to parasites is an important force driving molecular evolution.

  13. Quantifying adaptive evolution in the Drosophila immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obbard, Darren J; Welch, John J; Kim, Kang-Wook; Jiggins, Francis M

    2009-10-01

    It is estimated that a large proportion of amino acid substitutions in Drosophila have been fixed by natural selection, and as organisms are faced with an ever-changing array of pathogens and parasites to which they must adapt, we have investigated the role of parasite-mediated selection as a likely cause. To quantify the effect, and to identify which genes and pathways are most likely to be involved in the host-parasite arms race, we have re-sequenced population samples of 136 immunity and 287 position-matched non-immunity genes in two species of Drosophila. Using these data, and a new extension of the McDonald-Kreitman approach, we estimate that natural selection fixes advantageous amino acid changes in immunity genes at nearly double the rate of other genes. We find the rate of adaptive evolution in immunity genes is also more variable than other genes, with a small subset of immune genes evolving under intense selection. These genes, which are likely to represent hotspots of host-parasite coevolution, tend to share similar functions or belong to the same pathways, such as the antiviral RNAi pathway and the IMD signalling pathway. These patterns appear to be general features of immune system evolution in both species, as rates of adaptive evolution are correlated between the D. melanogaster and D. simulans lineages. In summary, our data provide quantitative estimates of the elevated rate of adaptive evolution in immune system genes relative to the rest of the genome, and they suggest that adaptation to parasites is an important force driving molecular evolution.

  14. Inhalation method for delivery of nanoparticles to the Drosophila respiratory system for toxicity testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Posgai, Ryan; Ahamed, Maqusood [Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 45469-2320 (United States); Hussain, Saber M. [Applied Biotechnology Branch, Human Effectiveness Directorate Air Force Research Laboratory/RHBP, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, 45433 (United States); Rowe, John J. [Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 45469-2320 (United States); Nielsen, Mark G., E-mail: Mark.Nielsen@notes.udayton.edu [Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 45469-2320 (United States)

    2009-12-20

    The growth of the nanotechnology industry and subsequent proliferation of nanoparticle types present the need to rapidly assess nanoparticle toxicity. We present a novel, simple and cost-effective nebulizer-based method to deliver nanoparticles to the Drosophila melanogaster respiratory system, for the purpose of toxicity testing. FluoSpheres (registered) , silver, and CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles of different sizes were effectively aerosolized, showing the system is capable of functioning with a wide range of nanoparticle types and sizes. Red fluorescent CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles were successfully delivered to the fly respiratory system, as visualized by fluorescent microscopy. Silver coated and uncoated nanoparticles were delivered in a toxicity test, and induced Hsp70 expression in flies, confirming the utility of this model in toxicity testing. This is the first method developed capable of such delivery, provides the advantage of the Drosophila health model, and can serve as a link between tissue culture and more expensive mammalian models in a tiered toxicity testing strategy.

  15. Molecular Regulation of Alternative Polyadenylation (APA) within the Drosophila Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallejos Baier, Raul; Picao-Osorio, Joao; Alonso, Claudio R

    2017-03-31

    Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is a widespread gene regulatory mechanism that generates mRNAs with different 3'-ends, allowing them to interact with different sets of RNA regulators such as microRNAs and RNA-binding proteins. Recent studies have shown that during development, neural tissues produce mRNAs with particularly long 3'UTRs, suggesting that such extensions might be important for neural development and function. Despite this, the mechanisms underlying neural APA are not well understood. Here, we investigate this problem within the Drosophila nervous system, focusing on the roles played by general cleavage and polyadenylation factors (CPA factors). In particular, we examine the model that modulations in CPA factor concentration may affect APA during development. For this, we first analyse the expression of the Drosophila orthologues of all mammalian CPA factors and note that their expression decreases during embryogenesis. In contrast to this global developmental decrease in CPA factor expression, we see that cleavage factor I (CFI) expression is actually elevated in the late embryonic central nervous system, suggesting that CFI might play a special role in neural tissues. To test this, we use the UAS/Gal4 system to deplete CFI proteins from neural tissue and observe that in this condition, multiple genes switch their APA patterns, demonstrating a role of CFI in APA control during Drosophila neural development. Furthermore, analysis of genes with 3'UTR extensions of different length leads us to suggest a novel relation between 3'UTR length and sensitivity to CPA factor expression. Our work thus contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms of APA control within the developing central nervous system. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Rodríguez-Trelles

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Current efforts to study the biological effects of global change have focused on ecological responses, particularly shifts in species ranges. Mostly ignored are microevolutionary changes. Genetic changes may be at least as important as ecological ones in determining species' responses. In addition, such changes may be a sensitive indicator of global changes that will provide different information than that provided by range shifts. We discuss potential candidate systems to use in such monitoring programs. Studies of Drosophila subobscura suggest that its chromosomal inversion polymorphisms are responding to global warming. Drosophila inversion polymorphisms can be useful indicators of the effects of climate change on populations and ecosystems. Other species also hold the potential to become important indicators of global change. Such studies might significantly influence ecosystem conservation policies and research priorities.

  17. The Drosophila melanogaster model for Cornelia de Lange syndrome: Implications for etiology and therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorsett, Dale

    2016-06-01

    Discovery of genetic alterations that cause human birth defects provide key opportunities to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and family counseling. Frequently, however, these opportunities are limited by the lack of knowledge about the normal functions of the affected genes. In many cases, there is more information about the gene's orthologs in model organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster. Despite almost a billion years of evolutionary divergence, over three-quarters of genes linked to human diseases have Drosophila homologs. With a short generation time, a twenty-fold smaller genome, and unique genetic tools, the conserved functions of genes are often more easily elucidated in Drosophila than in other organisms. Here we present how this applies to Cornelia de Lange syndrome, as a model for how Drosophila can be used to increase understanding of genetic syndromes caused by mutations with broad effects on gene transcription and exploited to develop novel therapies. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. A computational model clarifies the roles of positive and negative feedback loops in the Drosophila circadian clock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Junwei; Zhou, Tianshou

    2010-06-01

    Previous studies showed that a single negative feedback structure should be sufficient for robust circadian oscillations. It is thus pertinent to ask why current cellular clock models almost universally have interlocked negative feedback loop (NFL) and positive feedback loop (PFL). Here, we propose a molecular model that reflects the essential features of the Drosophila circadian clock to clarify the different roles of negative and positive feedback loops. In agreement with experimental observations, the model can simulate circadian oscillations in constant darkness, entrainment by light-dark cycles, as well as phenotypes of per and clk mutants. Moreover, sustained oscillations persist when the PFL is removed, implying the crucial role of NFL for rhythm generation. Through parameter sensitivity analysis, it is revealed that incorporation of PFL increases the robustness of the system to regulatory processes in PFL itself. Such reduced models can aid understanding of the design principles of circadian clocks in Drosophila and other organisms with complex transcriptional feedback structures.

  19. Dissecting Nck/Dock Signaling Pathways in Drosophila Visual System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available The establishment of neuronal connections during embryonic development requires the precise guidance and targeting of the neuronal growth cone, an expanded cellular structure at the leading tip of a growing axon. The growth cone contains sophisticated signaling systems that allow the rapid communication between guidance receptors and the actin cytoskeleton in generating directed motility. Previous studies demonstrated a specific role for the Nck/Dock SH2/SH3 adapter protein in photoreceptor (R cell axon guidance and target recognition in the Drosophila visual system, suggesting strongly that Nck/Dock is one of the long-sought missing links between cell surface receptors and the actin cytoskeleton. In this review, I discuss the recent progress on dissecting the Nck/Dock signaling pathways in R-cell growth cones. These studies have identified additional key components of the Nck/Dock signaling pathways for linking the receptor signaling to the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton in controlling growth-cone motility.

  20. A simplified model of ephitelial cell hair orientation in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Vergara, Mauricio; Gomez-Correa, Gilberto; Ramirez-Santiago, Guillermo

    2012-02-01

    Epithelia cells are polarized along an axis perpendicular to the apical-basal axis, --``Planar cell polarization'' (PCP)--. In Drosophila adult cuticle cells are hexagonally packed and the PCP gives rise to the elaboration of an actin-rich hair that develops from one of the hexagon vertex and pointing distally. Genetic analyses have identified a group of proteins whose activities are required to polarize each cell and produce the phenomenon of PCP. To describe the PCP in the epithelia some quantitative models intended to explain this phenomenon by invoking diffusion of several proteins and all their interactions. Here we propose a simpler model consisting of two reaction-diffusion equations that describe the redistribution process of two chemical agents inside a cell. This redistribution occurs as a response to an external gradient of a quimio-attractor. We emulate the collective cell polarization by introducing ``interactions'' between neighboring cells that propagate trough the epithelia. This collective polarization gives rise to an orientational pattern in the actin-rich hairs.

  1. Kinetic characterization of the sole nonmuscle myosin-2 from the model organism Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heissler, Sarah M; Chinthalapudi, Krishna; Sellers, James R

    2015-04-01

    Nonmuscle myosin-2 is the primary enzyme complex powering contractility of the F-actin cytoskeleton in the model organism Drosophila. Despite myosin's essential function in fly development and homeostasis, its kinetic features remain elusive. The purpose of this in vitro study is a detailed steady-state and presteady-state kinetic characterization of the Drosophila nonmuscle myosin-2 motor domain. Kinetic features are a slow steady-state ATPase activity, high affinities for F-actin and ADP, and a low duty ratio. Comparative analysis of the overall enzymatic signatures across the nonmuscle myosin-2 complement from model organisms indicates that the Drosophila protein resembles nonmuscle myosin-2s from metazoa rather than protozoa, though modulatory aspects of myosin motor function are distinct. Drosophila nonmuscle myosin-2 is uniquely insensitive toward blebbistatin, a commonly used myosin-2 inhibitor. An in silico modeling approach together with kinetic studies indicate that the nonconsensus amino acid Met466 in the Drosophila nonmuscle myosin-2 active-site loop switch-2 acts as blebbistatin desensitizer. Introduction of the M466I mutation sensitized the protein for blebbistatin, resulting in a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 36.3 ± 4.1 µM. Together, these data show that Drosophila nonmuscle myosin-2 is a bona fide molecular motor and establish an important link between switch-2 and blebbistatin sensitivity.

  2. The serotonergic central nervous system of the Drosophila larva: anatomy and behavioral function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annina Huser

    Full Text Available The Drosophila larva has turned into a particularly simple model system for studying the neuronal basis of innate behaviors and higher brain functions. Neuronal networks involved in olfaction, gustation, vision and learning and memory have been described during the last decade, often up to the single-cell level. Thus, most of these sensory networks are substantially defined, from the sensory level up to third-order neurons. This is especially true for the olfactory system of the larva. Given the wealth of genetic tools in Drosophila it is now possible to address the question how modulatory systems interfere with sensory systems and affect learning and memory. Here we focus on the serotonergic system that was shown to be involved in mammalian and insect sensory perception as well as learning and memory. Larval studies suggested that the serotonergic system is involved in the modulation of olfaction, feeding, vision and heart rate regulation. In a dual anatomical and behavioral approach we describe the basic anatomy of the larval serotonergic system, down to the single-cell level. In parallel, by expressing apoptosis-inducing genes during embryonic and larval development, we ablate most of the serotonergic neurons within the larval central nervous system. When testing these animals for naïve odor, sugar, salt and light perception, no profound phenotype was detectable; even appetitive and aversive learning was normal. Our results provide the first comprehensive description of the neuronal network of the larval serotonergic system. Moreover, they suggest that serotonin per se is not necessary for any of the behaviors tested. However, our data do not exclude that this system may modulate or fine-tune a wide set of behaviors, similar to its reported function in other insect species or in mammals. Based on our observations and the availability of a wide variety of genetic tools, this issue can now be addressed.

  3. The serotonergic central nervous system of the Drosophila larva: anatomy and behavioral function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huser, Annina; Rohwedder, Astrid; Apostolopoulou, Anthi A; Widmann, Annekathrin; Pfitzenmaier, Johanna E; Maiolo, Elena M; Selcho, Mareike; Pauls, Dennis; von Essen, Alina; Gupta, Tripti; Sprecher, Simon G; Birman, Serge; Riemensperger, Thomas; Stocker, Reinhard F; Thum, Andreas S

    2012-01-01

    The Drosophila larva has turned into a particularly simple model system for studying the neuronal basis of innate behaviors and higher brain functions. Neuronal networks involved in olfaction, gustation, vision and learning and memory have been described during the last decade, often up to the single-cell level. Thus, most of these sensory networks are substantially defined, from the sensory level up to third-order neurons. This is especially true for the olfactory system of the larva. Given the wealth of genetic tools in Drosophila it is now possible to address the question how modulatory systems interfere with sensory systems and affect learning and memory. Here we focus on the serotonergic system that was shown to be involved in mammalian and insect sensory perception as well as learning and memory. Larval studies suggested that the serotonergic system is involved in the modulation of olfaction, feeding, vision and heart rate regulation. In a dual anatomical and behavioral approach we describe the basic anatomy of the larval serotonergic system, down to the single-cell level. In parallel, by expressing apoptosis-inducing genes during embryonic and larval development, we ablate most of the serotonergic neurons within the larval central nervous system. When testing these animals for naïve odor, sugar, salt and light perception, no profound phenotype was detectable; even appetitive and aversive learning was normal. Our results provide the first comprehensive description of the neuronal network of the larval serotonergic system. Moreover, they suggest that serotonin per se is not necessary for any of the behaviors tested. However, our data do not exclude that this system may modulate or fine-tune a wide set of behaviors, similar to its reported function in other insect species or in mammals. Based on our observations and the availability of a wide variety of genetic tools, this issue can now be addressed.

  4. In Vivo Imaging Reveals Composite Coding for Diagonal Motion in the Drosophila Visual System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wei; Chang, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding information coding is important for resolving the functions of visual neural circuits. The motion vision system is a classic model for studying information coding as it contains a concise and complete information-processing circuit. In Drosophila, the axon terminals of motion-detection neurons (T4 and T5) project to the lobula plate, which comprises four regions that respond to the four cardinal directions of motion. The lobula plate thus represents a topographic map on a transverse plane. This enables us to study the coding of diagonal motion by investigating its response pattern. By using in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, we found that the axon terminals of T4 and T5 cells in the lobula plate were activated during diagonal motion. Further experiments showed that the response to diagonal motion is distributed over the following two regions compared to the cardinal directions of motion—a diagonal motion selective response region and a non-selective response region—which overlap with the response regions of the two vector-correlated cardinal directions of motion. Interestingly, the sizes of the non-selective response regions are linearly correlated with the angle of the diagonal motion. These results revealed that the Drosophila visual system employs a composite coding for diagonal motion that includes both independent coding and vector decomposition coding. PMID:27695103

  5. Functional studies of TcRjl, a novel GTPase of Trypanosoma cruzi, reveals phenotypes related with MAPK activation during parasite differentiation and after heterologous expression in Drosophila model system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reis Monteiro dos-Santos, Guilherme Rodrigo [Laboratório de Parasitologia Molecular, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Fontenele, Marcio Ribeiro [Laboratório de Biologia Molecular do Desenvolvimento Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, CCS, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Dias, Felipe de Almeida [Laboratório de Bioquímica de Artrópodes Hematófagos, Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, CCS, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Oliveira, Pedro Lagerblad de [Laboratório de Bioquímica de Artrópodes Hematófagos, Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, CCS, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Entomologia Molecular (INCT-EM) (Brazil); Nepomuceno-Silva, José Luciano [Laboratório Integrado de Bioquímica Hatisaburo Masuda, NUPEM/UFRJ, Pólo Barreto, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Campus Macaé, Macaé (Brazil); and others

    2015-11-06

    The life cycle of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi comprises rounds of proliferative cycles and differentiation in distinct host environments. Ras GTPases are molecular switches that play pivotal regulatory functions in cell fate. Rjl is a novel GTPase with unknown function. Herein we show that TcRjl blocks in vivo cell differentiation. The forced expression of TcRjl leads to changes in the overall tyrosine protein phosphorylation profile of parasites. TcRjl expressing parasites sustained DNA synthesis regardless the external stimuli for differentiation. Heterologous expression in the Drosophila melanogaster genetic system strongly suggests a role from TcRjl protein in RTK-dependent pathways and MAPK activation.

  6. Functional studies of TcRjl, a novel GTPase of Trypanosoma cruzi, reveals phenotypes related with MAPK activation during parasite differentiation and after heterologous expression in Drosophila model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos-Santos, Guilherme Rodrigo Reis Monteiro; Fontenele, Marcio Ribeiro; Dias, Felipe de Almeida; de Oliveira, Pedro Lagerblad; Nepomuceno-Silva, José Luciano; de Melo, Luiz Dione Barbosa; Araujo, Helena Maria Marcolla; Lopes, Ulisses Gazos

    2015-11-06

    The life cycle of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi comprises rounds of proliferative cycles and differentiation in distinct host environments. Ras GTPases are molecular switches that play pivotal regulatory functions in cell fate. Rjl is a novel GTPase with unknown function. Herein we show that TcRjl blocks in vivo cell differentiation. The forced expression of TcRjl leads to changes in the overall tyrosine protein phosphorylation profile of parasites. TcRjl expressing parasites sustained DNA synthesis regardless the external stimuli for differentiation. Heterologous expression in the Drosophila melanogaster genetic system strongly suggests a role from TcRjl protein in RTK-dependent pathways and MAPK activation.

  7. Sterol requirements in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    Almeida de Carvalho, Maria Joao

    2009-01-01

    Sterol is an abundant component of eukaryotic cell membranes and is thought to influence membrane properties such as permeability, fluidity and microdomain formation. Drosophila is an excellent model system in which to study functional requirements for membrane sterol because, although it does not synthesize sterol, it nevertheless requires sterols to complete development. Moreover, Drosophila normally incorporates sterols into cell membranes. Thus, dietary sterol depletion can be used to ...

  8. Fly foie gras: modeling fatty liver in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arquier, Nathalie; Léopold, Pierre

    2007-02-01

    Lipids provide an essential source of metabolites and energy in normal development as well as during periods of food deprivation. A recent study in Drosophila (Gutierrez et al., 2007) reveals a novel role in regulating lipid metabolism for specialized cells called oenocytes that present striking functional similarities to mammalian hepatocytes.

  9. Neural circuits for peristaltic wave propagation in crawling Drosophila larvae: analysis and modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Berni, Jimena; Evers, Jan Felix; Eglen, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    Drosophila larvae crawl by peristaltic waves of muscle contractions, which propagate along the animal body and involve the simultaneous contraction of the left and right side of each segment. Coordinated propagation of contraction does not require sensory input, suggesting that movement is generated by a central pattern generator (CPG). We characterized crawling behavior of newly hatched Drosophila larvae by quantifying timing and duration of segmental boundary contractions. We developed a CPG network model that recapitulates these patterns based on segmentally repeated units of excitatory and inhibitory (EI) neuronal populations coupled with immediate neighboring segments. A single network with symmetric coupling between neighboring segments succeeded in generating both forward and backward propagation of activity. The CPG network was robust to changes in amplitude and variability of connectivity strength. Introducing sensory feedback via "stretch-sensitive" neurons improved wave propagation properties such as speed of propagation and segmental contraction duration as observed experimentally. Sensory feedback also restored propagating activity patterns when an inappropriately tuned CPG network failed to generate waves. Finally, in a two-sided CPG model we demonstrated that two types of connectivity could synchronize the activity of two independent networks: connections from excitatory neurons on one side to excitatory contralateral neurons (E to E), and connections from inhibitory neurons on one side to excitatory contralateral neurons (I to E). To our knowledge, such I to E connectivity has not yet been found in any experimental system; however, it provides the most robust mechanism to synchronize activity between contralateral CPGs in our model. Our model provides a general framework for studying the conditions under which a single locally coupled network generates bilaterally synchronized and longitudinally propagating waves in either direction.

  10. Neural Circuits for Peristaltic Wave Propagation in Crawling Drosophila Larvae: Analysis and Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julijana eGjorgjieva

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila larvae crawl by peristaltic waves of muscle contractions, which propagate along the animal body and involve the simultaneous contraction of the left and right side of each segment. Coordinated propagation of contraction does not require sensory input, suggesting that movement is generated by a central pattern generator (CPG. We characterized crawling behavior of newly hatched Drosophila larvae by quantifying timing and duration of segmental boundary contractions. We developed a CPG network model that recapitulates these patterns based on segmentally repeated units of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal populations coupled with immediate neighboring segments. A single network with symmetric coupling between neighboring segments succeeded in generating both forward and backward propagation of activity. The CPG network was robust to changes in amplitude and variability of connectivity strength. Introducing sensory feedback via `stretch-sensitive' neurons improved wave propagation properties such as speed of propagation and segmental contraction duration as observed experimentally. Sensory feedback also restored propagating activity patterns when an inappropriately tuned CPG network failed to generate waves. Finally, in a two-sided CPG model we demonstrated that two types of connectivity could synchronize the activity of two independent networks: connections from excitatory neurons on one side to excitatory contralateral neurons (E to E, and connections from inhibitory neurons on one side to excitatory contralateral neurons (I to E. To our knowledge, such I to E connectivity has not yet been found in any experimental system; however, it provides the most robust mechanism to synchronize activity between contralateral CPGs in our model. Our model provides a general framework for studying the conditions under which a single locally coupled network generates bilaterally synchronized and longitudinally propagating waves in either direction.

  11. Dissecting regulatory networks of filopodia formation in a Drosophila growth cone model.

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    Catarina Gonçalves-Pimentel

    Full Text Available F-actin networks are important structural determinants of cell shape and morphogenesis. They are regulated through a number of actin-binding proteins. The function of many of these proteins is well understood, but very little is known about how they cooperate and integrate their activities in cellular contexts. Here, we have focussed on the cellular roles of actin regulators in controlling filopodial dynamics. Filopodia are needle-shaped, actin-driven cell protrusions with characteristic features that are well conserved amongst vertebrates and invertebrates. However, existing models of filopodia formation are still incomplete and controversial, pieced together from a wide range of different organisms and cell types. Therefore, we used embryonic Drosophila primary neurons as one consistent cellular model to study filopodia regulation. Our data for loss-of-function of capping proteins, enabled, different Arp2/3 complex components, the formin DAAM and profilin reveal characteristic changes in filopodia number and length, providing a promising starting point to study their functional relationships in the cellular context. Furthermore, the results are consistent with effects reported for the respective vertebrate homologues, demonstrating the conserved nature of our Drosophila model system. Using combinatorial genetics, we demonstrate that different classes of nucleators cooperate in filopodia formation. In the absence of Arp2/3 or DAAM filopodia numbers are reduced, in their combined absence filopodia are eliminated, and in genetic assays they display strong functional interactions with regard to filopodia formation. The two nucleators also genetically interact with enabled, but not with profilin. In contrast, enabled shows strong genetic interaction with profilin, although loss of profilin alone does not affect filopodia numbers. Our genetic data support a model in which Arp2/3 and DAAM cooperate in a common mechanism of filopodia formation that

  12. Behavioural system identification of visual flight speed control in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohrseitz, Nicola; Fry, Steven N

    2011-02-06

    Behavioural control in many animals involves complex mechanisms with intricate sensory-motor feedback loops. Modelling allows functional aspects to be captured without relying on a description of the underlying complex, and often unknown, mechanisms. A wide range of engineering techniques are available for modelling, but their ability to describe time-continuous processes is rarely exploited to describe sensory-motor control mechanisms in biological systems. We performed a system identification of visual flight speed control in the fruitfly Drosophila, based on an extensive dataset of open-loop responses previously measured under free flight conditions. We identified a second-order under-damped control model with just six free parameters that well describes both the transient and steady-state characteristics of the open-loop data. We then used the identified control model to predict flight speed responses after a visual perturbation under closed-loop conditions and validated the model with behavioural measurements performed in free-flying flies under the same closed-loop conditions. Our system identification of the fruitfly's flight speed response uncovers the high-level control strategy of a fundamental flight control reflex without depending on assumptions about the underlying physiological mechanisms. The results are relevant for future investigations of the underlying neuromotor processing mechanisms, as well as for the design of biomimetic robots, such as micro-air vehicles.

  13. Drosophila neural stem cells in brain development and tumor formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yanrui; Reichert, Heinrich

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblasts, the neural stem cells in Drosophila, generate the complex neural structure of the central nervous system. Significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms regulating the self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation in Drosophila neuroblast lineages. Deregulation of these mechanisms can lead to severe developmental defects and the formation of malignant brain tumors. Here, the authors review the molecular genetics of Drosophila neuroblasts and discuss some recent advances in stem cell and cancer biology using this model system.

  14. DMPD: Infectious non-self recognition in invertebrates: lessons from Drosophila andother insect models. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 15476918 Infectious non-self recognition in invertebrates: lessons from Drosophila ...fectious non-self recognition in invertebrates: lessons from Drosophila andother insect models. PubmedID 154...76918 Title Infectious non-self recognition in invertebrates: lessons from Drosop

  15. Modeling Novelty Habituation During Exploratory Activity in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Soibam, Benjamin; Shah, Shishir; Gunaratne, Gemunu H.; Roman, Gregg W.

    2013-01-01

    Habituation is a common form of non-associative learning in which the organism gradually decreases its response to repeated stimuli. The decrease in exploratory activity of many animal species during exposure to a novel open field arena is a widely studied habituation paradigm. However, a theoretical framework to quantify how the novelty of the arena is learned during habituation is currently missing. Drosophila melanogaster display a high mean absolute activity and a high probability for dir...

  16. Neuroprotective effects of compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yufeng

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parkinson's disease (PD is the most common movement disorder. Extrapyramidal motor symptoms stem from the degeneration of the dopaminergic pathways in patient brain. Current treatments for PD are symptomatic, alleviating disease symptoms without reversing or retarding disease progression. Although the cause of PD remains unknown, several pathogenic factors have been identified, which cause dopaminergic neuron (DN death in the substantia nigra (SN. These include oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation and excitotoxicity. Manipulation of these factors may allow the development of disease-modifying treatment strategies to slow neuronal death. Inhibition of DJ-1A, the Drosophila homologue of the familial PD gene DJ-1, leads to oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and DN loss, making fly DJ-1A model an excellent in vivo system to test for compounds with therapeutic potential. Results In the present study, a Drosophila DJ-1A model of PD was used to test potential neuroprotective drugs. The drugs applied are the Chinese herb celastrol, the antibiotic minocycline, the bioenergetic amine coenzyme Q10 (coQ10, and the glutamate antagonist 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulphamoylbenzo[f]-quinoxaline (NBQX. All of these drugs target pathogenic processes implicated in PD, thus constitute mechanism-based treatment strategies. We show that celastrol and minocycline, both having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, confer potent dopaminergic neuroprotection in Drosophila DJ-1A model, while coQ10 shows no protective effect. NBQX exerts differential effects on cell survival and brain dopamine content: it protects against DN loss but fails to restore brain dopamine level. Conclusion The present study further validates Drosophila as a valuable model for preclinical testing of drugs with therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases. The lower cost and amenability to high throughput testing make Drosophila PD

  17. A transgenic Drosophila model demonstrates that the Helicobacter pylori CagA protein functions as a eukaryotic Gab adaptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crystal M Botham

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Infection with the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is associated with a spectrum of diseases including gastritis, peptic ulcers, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. The cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA protein of H. pylori, which is translocated into host cells via a type IV secretion system, is a major risk factor for disease development. Experiments in gastric tissue culture cells have shown that once translocated, CagA activates the phosphatase SHP-2, which is a component of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK pathways whose over-activation is associated with cancer formation. Based on CagA's ability to activate SHP-2, it has been proposed that CagA functions as a prokaryotic mimic of the eukaryotic Grb2-associated binder (Gab adaptor protein, which normally activates SHP-2. We have developed a transgenic Drosophila model to test this hypothesis by investigating whether CagA can function in a well-characterized Gab-dependent process: the specification of photoreceptors cells in the Drosophila eye. We demonstrate that CagA expression is sufficient to rescue photoreceptor development in the absence of the Drosophila Gab homologue, Daughter of Sevenless (DOS. Furthermore, CagA's ability to promote photoreceptor development requires the SHP-2 phosphatase Corkscrew (CSW. These results provide the first demonstration that CagA functions as a Gab protein within the tissue of an organism and provide insight into CagA's oncogenic potential. Since many translocated bacterial proteins target highly conserved eukaryotic cellular processes, such as the RTK signaling pathway, the transgenic Drosophila model should be of general use for testing the in vivo function of bacterial effector proteins and for identifying the host genes through which they function.

  18. Investigating inbreeding depression for heat stress tolerance in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kamilla Sofie; Pedersen, Louise Dybdahl; Sørensen, Anders Christian

    2012-01-01

    -year university students and discuss learning outcomes of the exercise as an example of inquiry-based science teaching. We use the model organism Drosophila melanogaster to test the ability of inbred and control (non-inbred) females to survive heat stress exposure. Flies were anaesthetised and collected...

  19. Drosophila embryos as model to assess cellular and developmental toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT in living organisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyin Liu

    Full Text Available Different toxicity tests for carbon nanotubes (CNT have been developed to assess their impact on human health and on aquatic and terrestrial animal and plant life. We present a new model, the fruit fly Drosophila embryo offering the opportunity for rapid, inexpensive and detailed analysis of CNTs toxicity during embryonic development. We show that injected DiI labelled multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs become incorporated into cells in early Drosophila embryos, allowing the study of the consequences of cellular uptake of CNTs on cell communication, tissue and organ formation in living embryos. Fluorescently labelled subcellular structures showed that MWCNTs remained cytoplasmic and were excluded from the nucleus. Analysis of developing ectodermal and neural stem cells in MWCNTs injected embryos revealed normal division patterns and differentiation capacity. However, an increase in cell death of ectodermal but not of neural stem cells was observed, indicating stem cell-specific vulnerability to MWCNT exposure. The ease of CNT embryo injections, the possibility of detailed morphological and genomic analysis and the low costs make Drosophila embryos a system of choice to assess potential developmental and cellular effects of CNTs and test their use in future CNT based new therapies including drug delivery.

  20. Drosophila melanogaster Acetyl-CoA-carboxylase sustains a fatty acid-dependent remote signal to waterproof the respiratory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parvy, Jean-Philippe; Napal, Laura; Rubin, Thomas; Poidevin, Mickael; Perrin, Laurent; Wicker-Thomas, Claude; Montagne, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Fatty acid (FA) metabolism plays a central role in body homeostasis and related diseases. Thus, FA metabolic enzymes are attractive targets for drug therapy. Mouse studies on Acetyl-coenzymeA-carboxylase (ACC), the rate-limiting enzyme for FA synthesis, have highlighted its homeostatic role in liver and adipose tissue. We took advantage of the powerful genetics of Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the role of the unique Drosophila ACC homologue in the fat body and the oenocytes. The fat body accomplishes hepatic and storage functions, whereas the oenocytes are proposed to produce the cuticular lipids and to contribute to the hepatic function. RNA-interfering disruption of ACC in the fat body does not affect viability but does result in a dramatic reduction in triglyceride storage and a concurrent increase in glycogen accumulation. These metabolic perturbations further highlight the role of triglyceride and glycogen storage in controlling circulatory sugar levels, thereby validating Drosophila as a relevant model to explore the tissue-specific function of FA metabolic enzymes. In contrast, ACC disruption in the oenocytes through RNA-interference or tissue-targeted mutation induces lethality, as does oenocyte ablation. Surprisingly, this lethality is associated with a failure in the watertightness of the spiracles-the organs controlling the entry of air into the trachea. At the cellular level, we have observed that, in defective spiracles, lipids fail to transfer from the spiracular gland to the point of air entry. This phenotype is caused by disrupted synthesis of a putative very-long-chain-FA (VLCFA) within the oenocytes, which ultimately results in a lethal anoxic issue. Preventing liquid entry into respiratory systems is a universal issue for air-breathing animals. Here, we have shown that, in Drosophila, this process is controlled by a putative VLCFA produced within the oenocytes.

  1. Drosophila melanogaster Acetyl-CoA-carboxylase sustains a fatty acid-dependent remote signal to waterproof the respiratory system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe Parvy

    Full Text Available Fatty acid (FA metabolism plays a central role in body homeostasis and related diseases. Thus, FA metabolic enzymes are attractive targets for drug therapy. Mouse studies on Acetyl-coenzymeA-carboxylase (ACC, the rate-limiting enzyme for FA synthesis, have highlighted its homeostatic role in liver and adipose tissue. We took advantage of the powerful genetics of Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the role of the unique Drosophila ACC homologue in the fat body and the oenocytes. The fat body accomplishes hepatic and storage functions, whereas the oenocytes are proposed to produce the cuticular lipids and to contribute to the hepatic function. RNA-interfering disruption of ACC in the fat body does not affect viability but does result in a dramatic reduction in triglyceride storage and a concurrent increase in glycogen accumulation. These metabolic perturbations further highlight the role of triglyceride and glycogen storage in controlling circulatory sugar levels, thereby validating Drosophila as a relevant model to explore the tissue-specific function of FA metabolic enzymes. In contrast, ACC disruption in the oenocytes through RNA-interference or tissue-targeted mutation induces lethality, as does oenocyte ablation. Surprisingly, this lethality is associated with a failure in the watertightness of the spiracles-the organs controlling the entry of air into the trachea. At the cellular level, we have observed that, in defective spiracles, lipids fail to transfer from the spiracular gland to the point of air entry. This phenotype is caused by disrupted synthesis of a putative very-long-chain-FA (VLCFA within the oenocytes, which ultimately results in a lethal anoxic issue. Preventing liquid entry into respiratory systems is a universal issue for air-breathing animals. Here, we have shown that, in Drosophila, this process is controlled by a putative VLCFA produced within the oenocytes.

  2. Characterization of two novel lipocalins expressed in the Drosophila embryonic nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, D; Ganfornina, M D; Torres-Schumann, S; Speese, S D; Lora, J M; Bastiani, M J

    2000-06-01

    We have found two novel lipocalins in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster that are homologous to the grasshopper Lazarillo, a singular lipocalin within this protein family which functions in axon guidance during nervous system development. Sequence analysis suggests that the two Drosophila proteins are secreted and possess peptide regions unique in the lipocalin family. The mRNAs of DNLaz (for Drosophila neural Lazarillo) and DGLaz (for Drosophila glial Lazarillo) are expressed with different temporal patterns during embryogenesis. They show low levels of larval expression and are highly expressed in pupa and adult flies. DNLaz mRNA is transcribed in a subset of neurons and neuronal precursors in the embryonic CNS. DGLaz mRNA is found in a subset of glial cells of the CNS: the longitudinal glia and the medial cell body glia. Both lipocalins are also expressed outside the nervous system in the developing gut, fat body and amnioserosa. The DNLaz protein is detected in a subset of axons in the developing CNS. Treatment with a secretion blocker enhances the antibody labeling, indicating the DNLaz secreted nature. These findings make the embryonic nervous system expression of lipocalins a feature more widespread than previously thought. We propose that DNLaz and DGLaz may have a role in axonal outgrowth and pathfinding, although other putative functions are also discussed.

  3. Metabolomics with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in a Drosophila melanogaster Model of Surviving Sepsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakalov, Veli; Amathieu, Roland; Triba, Mohamed N.; Clément, Marie-Jeanne; Reyes Uribe, Laura; Le Moyec, Laurence; Kaynar, Ata Murat

    2016-01-01

    Patients surviving sepsis demonstrate sustained inflammation, which has been associated with long-term complications. One of the main mechanisms behind sustained inflammation is a metabolic switch in parenchymal and immune cells, thus understanding metabolic alterations after sepsis may provide important insights to the pathophysiology of sepsis recovery. In this study, we explored metabolomics in a novel Drosophila melanogaster model of surviving sepsis using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), to determine metabolite profiles. We used a model of percutaneous infection in Drosophila melanogaster to mimic sepsis. We had three experimental groups: sepsis survivors (infected with Staphylococcus aureus and treated with oral linezolid), sham (pricked with an aseptic needle), and unmanipulated (positive control). We performed metabolic measurements seven days after sepsis. We then implemented metabolites detected in NMR spectra into the MetExplore web server in order to identify the metabolic pathway alterations in sepsis surviving Drosophila. Our NMR metabolomic approach in a Drosophila model of recovery from sepsis clearly distinguished between all three groups and showed two different metabolomic signatures of inflammation. Sham flies had decreased levels of maltose, alanine, and glutamine, while their level of choline was increased. Sepsis survivors had a metabolic signature characterized by decreased glucose, maltose, tyrosine, beta-alanine, acetate, glutamine, and succinate. PMID:28009836

  4. Metabolomics with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in a Drosophila melanogaster Model of Surviving Sepsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veli Bakalov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Patients surviving sepsis demonstrate sustained inflammation, which has been associated with long-term complications. One of the main mechanisms behind sustained inflammation is a metabolic switch in parenchymal and immune cells, thus understanding metabolic alterations after sepsis may provide important insights to the pathophysiology of sepsis recovery. In this study, we explored metabolomics in a novel Drosophila melanogaster model of surviving sepsis using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR, to determine metabolite profiles. We used a model of percutaneous infection in Drosophila melanogaster to mimic sepsis. We had three experimental groups: sepsis survivors (infected with Staphylococcus aureus and treated with oral linezolid, sham (pricked with an aseptic needle, and unmanipulated (positive control. We performed metabolic measurements seven days after sepsis. We then implemented metabolites detected in NMR spectra into the MetExplore web server in order to identify the metabolic pathway alterations in sepsis surviving Drosophila. Our NMR metabolomic approach in a Drosophila model of recovery from sepsis clearly distinguished between all three groups and showed two different metabolomic signatures of inflammation. Sham flies had decreased levels of maltose, alanine, and glutamine, while their level of choline was increased. Sepsis survivors had a metabolic signature characterized by decreased glucose, maltose, tyrosine, beta-alanine, acetate, glutamine, and succinate.

  5. A Drosophila model for toxicogenomics: Genetic variation in susceptibility to heavy metal exposure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanshan Zhou

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The genetic factors that give rise to variation in susceptibility to environmental toxins remain largely unexplored. Studies on genetic variation in susceptibility to environmental toxins are challenging in human populations, due to the variety of clinical symptoms and difficulty in determining which symptoms causally result from toxic exposure; uncontrolled environments, often with exposure to multiple toxicants; and difficulty in relating phenotypic effect size to toxic dose, especially when symptoms become manifest with a substantial time lag. Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model that enables genome-wide studies for the identification of allelic variants that contribute to variation in susceptibility to environmental toxins, since the genetic background, environmental rearing conditions and toxic exposure can be precisely controlled. Here, we used extreme QTL mapping in an outbred population derived from the D. melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel to identify alleles associated with resistance to lead and/or cadmium, two ubiquitous environmental toxins that present serious health risks. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs associated with variation in resistance to both heavy metals as well as SNPs associated with resistance specific to each of them. The effects of these SNPs were largely sex-specific. We applied mutational and RNAi analyses to 33 candidate genes and functionally validated 28 of them. We constructed networks of candidate genes as blueprints for orthologous networks of human genes. The latter not only provided functional contexts for known human targets of heavy metal toxicity, but also implicated novel candidate susceptibility genes. These studies validate Drosophila as a translational toxicogenomics gene discovery system.

  6. A Drosophila model to identify polyamine-drug conjugates that target the polyamine transporter in an intact epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsen, Chung; Iltis, Mark; Kaur, Navneet; Bayer, Cynthia; Delcros, Jean-Guy; von Kalm, Laurence; Phanstiel, Otto

    2008-01-24

    Polyamine transport is elevated in many tumor types, suggesting that toxic polyamine-drug conjugates could be targeted to cancer cells via the polyamine transporter (PAT). We have previously reported the use of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and its PAT-deficient mutant cell line, CHO-MG, to screen anthracene-polyamine conjugates for their PAT-selective targeting ability. We report here a novel Drosophila-based model for screening anthracene-polyamine conjugates in a developing and intact epithelium ( Drosophila imaginal discs), wherein cell-cell adhesion properties are maintained. Data from the Drosophila assay are consistent with previous results in CHO cells, indicating that the Drosophila epithelium has a PAT with vertebrate-like characteristics. This assay will be of use to medicinal chemists interested in screening drugs that use PAT for cellular entry, and it offers the possibility of genetic dissection of the polyamine transport process, including identification of a Drosophila PAT.

  7. Novel models for studying the blood-brain and blood-eye barriers in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinsonneault, Robert L; Mayer, Nasima; Mayer, Fahima; Tegegn, Nebiyu; Bainton, Roland J

    2011-01-01

    In species as varied as humans and flies, humoral/central nervous system barrier structures are a major obstacle to the passive penetration of small molecules including endogenous compounds, environmental toxins, and drugs. In vivo measurement of blood-brain physiologic function in vertebrate animal models is difficult and current ex vivo models for more rapid experimentation using, for example, cultured brain endothelial cells, only partially reconstitute the anatomy and physiology of a fully intact blood-brain barrier (BBB). To address these problems, we and others continue to develop in vivo assays for studying the complex physiologic function of central nervous system (CNS) barriers using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster (Dm). These methods involve the introduction of small molecule reporters of BBB physiology into the fly humoral compartment by direct injection. Since these reporters must cross the Dm BBB in order to be visible in the eye, we can directly assess genetic or chemical modulators of BBB function by monitoring retinal fluorescence. This assay has the advantage of utilizing a physiologically intact BBB in a model organism that is economical and highly amenable to genetic manipulation. In combination with other approaches outlined here, such as brain dissection and behavioral assessment, one can produce a fuller picture of BBB biology and physiology. In this chapter, we provide detailed methods for examining BBB biology in the fly, including a Dm visual assay to screen for novel modulators of the BBB.

  8. Eliminating both canonical and short-patch mismatch repair in Drosophila melanogaster suggests a new meiotic recombination model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crown, K Nicole; McMahan, Susan; Sekelsky, Jeff

    2014-09-01

    In most meiotic systems, recombination is essential to form connections between homologs that ensure their accurate segregation from one another. Meiotic recombination is initiated by DNA double-strand breaks that are repaired using the homologous chromosome as a template. Studies of recombination in budding yeast have led to a model in which most early repair intermediates are disassembled to produce noncrossovers. Selected repair events are stabilized so they can proceed to form double-Holliday junction (dHJ) intermediates, which are subsequently resolved into crossovers. This model is supported in yeast by physical isolation of recombination intermediates, but the extent to which it pertains to animals is unknown. We sought to test this model in Drosophila melanogaster by analyzing patterns of heteroduplex DNA (hDNA) in recombination products. Previous attempts to do this have relied on knocking out the canonical mismatch repair (MMR) pathway, but in both yeast and Drosophila the resulting recombination products are complex and difficult to interpret. We show that, in Drosophila, this complexity results from a secondary, short-patch MMR pathway that requires nucleotide excision repair. Knocking out both canonical and short-patch MMR reveals hDNA patterns that reveal that many noncrossovers arise after both ends of the break have engaged with the homolog. Patterns of hDNA in crossovers could be explained by biased resolution of a dHJ; however, considering the noncrossover and crossover results together suggests a model in which a two-end engagement intermediate with unligated HJs can be disassembled by a helicase to a produce noncrossover or nicked by a nuclease to produce a crossover. While some aspects of this model are similar to the model from budding yeast, production of both noncrossovers and crossovers from a single, late intermediate is a fundamental difference that has important implications for crossover control.

  9. Eliminating both canonical and short-patch mismatch repair in Drosophila melanogaster suggests a new meiotic recombination model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Nicole Crown

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In most meiotic systems, recombination is essential to form connections between homologs that ensure their accurate segregation from one another. Meiotic recombination is initiated by DNA double-strand breaks that are repaired using the homologous chromosome as a template. Studies of recombination in budding yeast have led to a model in which most early repair intermediates are disassembled to produce noncrossovers. Selected repair events are stabilized so they can proceed to form double-Holliday junction (dHJ intermediates, which are subsequently resolved into crossovers. This model is supported in yeast by physical isolation of recombination intermediates, but the extent to which it pertains to animals is unknown. We sought to test this model in Drosophila melanogaster by analyzing patterns of heteroduplex DNA (hDNA in recombination products. Previous attempts to do this have relied on knocking out the canonical mismatch repair (MMR pathway, but in both yeast and Drosophila the resulting recombination products are complex and difficult to interpret. We show that, in Drosophila, this complexity results from a secondary, short-patch MMR pathway that requires nucleotide excision repair. Knocking out both canonical and short-patch MMR reveals hDNA patterns that reveal that many noncrossovers arise after both ends of the break have engaged with the homolog. Patterns of hDNA in crossovers could be explained by biased resolution of a dHJ; however, considering the noncrossover and crossover results together suggests a model in which a two-end engagement intermediate with unligated HJs can be disassembled by a helicase to a produce noncrossover or nicked by a nuclease to produce a crossover. While some aspects of this model are similar to the model from budding yeast, production of both noncrossovers and crossovers from a single, late intermediate is a fundamental difference that has important implications for crossover control.

  10. A software tool to model genetic regulatory networks. Applications to the modeling of threshold phenomena and of spatial patterning in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Dilão

    Full Text Available We present a general methodology in order to build mathematical models of genetic regulatory networks. This approach is based on the mass action law and on the Jacob and Monod operon model. The mathematical models are built symbolically by the Mathematica software package GeneticNetworks. This package accepts as input the interaction graphs of the transcriptional activators and repressors of a biological process and, as output, gives the mathematical model in the form of a system of ordinary differential equations. All the relevant biological parameters are chosen automatically by the software. Within this framework, we show that concentration dependent threshold effects in biology emerge from the catalytic properties of genes and its associated conservation laws. We apply this methodology to the segment patterning in Drosophila early development and we calibrate the genetic transcriptional network responsible for the patterning of the gap gene proteins Hunchback and Knirps, along the antero-posterior axis of the Drosophila embryo. In this approach, the zygotically produced proteins Hunchback and Knirps do not diffuse along the antero-posterior axis of the embryo of Drosophila, developing a spatial pattern due to concentration dependent thresholds. This shows that patterning at the gap genes stage can be explained by the concentration gradients along the embryo of the transcriptional regulators.

  11. Cytoskeletal turnover and Myosin contractility drive cell autonomous oscillations in a model of Drosophila Dorsal Closure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, P. F.; Blanchard, G. B.; Duque, J.; Gorfinkiel, N.

    2014-06-01

    Oscillatory behaviour in force-generating systems is a pervasive phenomenon in cell biology. In this work, we investigate how oscillations in the actomyosin cytoskeleton drive cell shape changes during the process of Dorsal Closure (DC), a morphogenetic event in Drosophila embryo development whereby epidermal continuity is generated through the pulsatile apical area reduction of cells constituting the amnioserosa (AS) tissue. We present a theoretical model of AS cell dynamics by which the oscillatory behaviour arises due to a coupling between active myosin-driven forces, actin turnover and cell deformation. Oscillations in our model are cell-autonomous and are modulated by neighbour coupling, and our model accurately reproduces the oscillatory dynamics of AS cells and their amplitude and frequency evolution. A key prediction arising from our model is that the rate of actin turnover and Myosin contractile force must increase during DC in order to reproduce the decrease in amplitude and period of cell area oscillations observed in vivo. This prediction opens up new ways to think about the molecular underpinnings of AS cell oscillations and their link to net tissue contraction and suggests the form of future experimental measurements.

  12. PICK1 expression in the Drosophila central nervous system primarily occurs in the neuroendocrine system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Anna M; Nässel, Dick R; Madsen, Kenneth L

    2009-01-01

    in the adult and larval Drosophila central nervous system. PICK1 was found in cell bodies in the subesophageal ganglion, the antennal lobe, the protocerebrum, and the neuroendocrine center pars intercerebralis. The cell types that express PICK1 were identified using GAL4 enhancer trap lines. The PICK1...... (AMPA) receptor subunit GluR2 and the dopamine transporter. PICK1 is strongly implicated in GluR2 trafficking and synaptic plasticity. In mammals, PICK1 has been characterized extensively in cell culture studies. To study PICK1 in an intact system, we characterized PICK1 expression immunohistochemically...... neurons in the neuroendocrine system, which express the transcription factor DIMM and the amidating enzyme peptidylglycine-alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM). The PICK1-positive cells include neurosecretory cells that produce the insulin-like peptide dILP2. PICK1 expression in insulin-producing cells...

  13. Drosophila in the Heart of Understanding Cardiac Diseases: Modeling Channelopathies and Cardiomyopathies in the Fruitfly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouarda Taghli-Lamallem

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Cardiovascular diseases and, among them, channelopathies and cardiomyopathies are a major cause of death worldwide. The molecular and genetic defects underlying these cardiac disorders are complex, leading to a large range of structural and functional heart phenotypes. Identification of molecular and functional mechanisms disrupted by mutations causing channelopathies and cardiomyopathies is essential to understanding the link between an altered gene and clinical phenotype. The development of animal models has been proven to be efficient for functional studies in channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. In particular, the Drosophila model has been largely applied for deciphering the molecular and cellular pathways affected in these inherited cardiac disorders and for identifying their genetic modifiers. Here we review the utility and the main contributions of the fruitfly models for the better understanding of channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. We also discuss the investigated pathological mechanisms and the discoveries of evolutionarily conserved pathways which reinforce the value of Drosophila in modeling human cardiac diseases.

  14. Drosophila melanogaster as an animal model for the study of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infections in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Mulcahy

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen capable of causing both acute and chronic infections in susceptible hosts. Chronic P. aeruginosa infections are thought to be caused by bacterial biofilms. Biofilms are highly structured, multicellular, microbial communities encased in an extracellular matrix that enable long-term survival in the host. The aim of this research was to develop an animal model that would allow an in vivo study of P. aeruginosa biofilm infections in a Drosophila melanogaster host. At 24 h post oral infection of Drosophila, P. aeruginosa biofilms localized to and were visualized in dissected Drosophila crops. These biofilms had a characteristic aggregate structure and an extracellular matrix composed of DNA and exopolysaccharide. P. aeruginosa cells recovered from in vivo grown biofilms had increased antibiotic resistance relative to planktonically grown cells. In vivo, biofilm formation was dependent on expression of the pel exopolysaccharide genes, as a pelB::lux mutant failed to form biofilms. The pelB::lux mutant was significantly more virulent than PAO1, while a hyperbiofilm strain (PAZHI3 demonstrated significantly less virulence than PAO1, as indicated by survival of infected flies at day 14 postinfection. Biofilm formation, by strains PAO1 and PAZHI3, in the crop was associated with induction of diptericin, cecropin A1 and drosomycin antimicrobial peptide gene expression 24 h postinfection. In contrast, infection with the non-biofilm forming strain pelB::lux resulted in decreased AMP gene expression in the fly. In summary, these results provide novel insights into host-pathogen interactions during P. aeruginosa oral infection of Drosophila and highlight the use of Drosophila as an infection model that permits the study of P. aeruginosa biofilms in vivo.

  15. Modeling congenital disease and inborn errors of development in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Fly models that faithfully recapitulate various aspects of human disease and human health-related biology are being used for research into disease diagnosis and prevention. Established and new genetic strategies in Drosophila have yielded numerous substantial successes in modeling congenital disorders or inborn errors of human development, as well as neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Moreover, although our ability to generate sequence datasets continues to outpace our ability to analyze t...

  16. Modeling congenital disease and inborn errors of development in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Fly models that faithfully recapitulate various aspects of human disease and human health-related biology are being used for research into disease diagnosis and prevention. Established and new genetic strategies in Drosophila have yielded numerous substantial successes in modeling congenital disorders or inborn errors of human development, as well as neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Moreover, although our ability to generate sequence datasets continues to outpace our ability to ...

  17. FGF /FGFR signal induces trachea extension in the drosophila visual system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Chen Chu

    Full Text Available The Drosophila compound eye is a large sensory organ that places a high demand on oxygen supplied by the tracheal system. Although the development and function of the Drosophila visual system has been extensively studied, the development and contribution of its tracheal system has not been systematically examined. To address this issue, we studied the tracheal patterns and developmental process in the Drosophila visual system. We found that the retinal tracheae are derived from air sacs in the head, and the ingrowth of retinal trachea begin at mid-pupal stage. The tracheal development has three stages. First, the air sacs form near the optic lobe in 42-47% of pupal development (pd. Second, in 47-52% pd, air sacs extend branches along the base of the retina following a posterior-to-anterior direction and further form the tracheal network under the fenestrated membrane (TNUFM. Third, the TNUFM extend fine branches into the retina following a proximal-to-distal direction after 60% pd. Furthermore, we found that the trachea extension in both retina and TNUFM are dependent on the FGF(Bnl/FGFR(Btl signaling. Our results also provided strong evidence that the photoreceptors are the source of the Bnl ligand to guide the trachea ingrowth. Our work is the first systematic study of the tracheal development in the visual system, and also the first study demonstrating the interactions of two well-studied systems: the eye and trachea.

  18. Calcium imaging in the Drosophila olfactory system with a genetic indicator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, Cory M; Wong, Allan M; Flores, Jorge; Wang, Jing W

    2013-11-01

    Insects show sophisticated odor-mediated behaviors controlled by an olfactory system that is genetically and anatomically simpler than that of vertebrates, providing an attractive system to investigate the mechanistic link between behavior and odor perception. Advances in neuroscience have been facilitated by modern optical imaging technologies--both in instrumentation and in probe design--that permit the visualization of functional neural circuits. Imaging calcium activity in genetically defined populations of neurons provides an important tool for investigating the function of neural circuits. This article describes a two-photon imaging system for monitoring neural activity in the Drosophila antennal lobe. Odor-evoked calcium activity is followed by measuring the specific expression of the calcium-sensitive green fluorescent protein G-CaMP in Drosophila antennae-brain preparations.

  19. Tip cell-derived RTK signaling initiates cell movements in the Drosophila stomatogastric nervous system anlage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Gaitán, M; Jäckle, H

    2000-10-01

    The stomatogastric nervous system (SNS) of Drosophila is a simply organized neural circuitry that innervates the anterior enteric system. Unlike the central and the peripheral nervous systems, the SNS derives from a compact epithelial anlage in which three invagination centers, each giving rise to an invagination fold headed by a tip cell, are generated. Tip cell selection involves lateral inhibition, a process in which Wingless (Wg) activity adjusts the range of Notch signaling. Here we show that RTK signaling mediated by the Drosophila homolog of the epidermal growth factor receptor, DER, plays a key role in two consecutive steps during early SNS development. Like Wg, DER signaling participates in adjusting the range of Notch-dependent lateral inhibition during tip cell selection. Subsequently, tip cells secrete the DER ligand Spitz and trigger local RTK signaling, which initiates morphogenetic movements resulting in the tip cell-directed invaginations within the SNS anlage.

  20. A novel Drosophila model of TDP-43 proteinopathies: N-terminal sequences combined with the Q/N domain induce protein functional loss and locomotion defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langellotti, Simona; Romano, Valentina; Romano, Giulia; Klima, Raffaella; Feiguin, Fabian; Cragnaz, Lucia; Romano, Maurizio; Baralle, Francisco E

    2016-06-01

    Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43, also known as TBPH in Drosophila melanogaster and TARDBP in mammals) is the main protein component of the pathological inclusions observed in neurons of patients affected by different neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and fronto-temporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The number of studies investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration is constantly growing; however, the role played by TDP-43 in disease onset and progression is still unclear. A fundamental shortcoming that hampers progress is the lack of animal models showing aggregation of TDP-43 without overexpression. In this manuscript, we have extended our cellular model of aggregation to a transgenic Drosophila line. Our fly model is not based on the overexpression of a wild-type TDP-43 transgene. By contrast, we engineered a construct that includes only the specific TDP-43 amino acid sequences necessary to trigger aggregate formation and capable of trapping endogenous Drosophila TDP-43 into a non-functional insoluble form. Importantly, the resulting recombinant product lacks functional RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) and, thus, does not have specific TDP-43-physiological functions (i.e. splicing regulation ability) that might affect the animal phenotype per se. This novel Drosophila model exhibits an evident degenerative phenotype with reduced lifespan and early locomotion defects. Additionally, we show that important proteins involved in neuromuscular junction function, such as syntaxin (SYX), decrease their levels as a consequence of TDP-43 loss of function implying that the degenerative phenotype is a consequence of TDP-43 sequestration into the aggregates. Our data lend further support to the role of TDP-43 loss-of-function in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. The novel transgenic Drosophila model presented in this study will help to gain further insight into the molecular

  1. Bax-inhibitor-1 knockdown phenotypes are suppressed by Buffy and exacerbate degeneration in a Drosophila model of Parkinson disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Background Bax inhibitor-1 (BI-1) is an evolutionarily conserved cytoprotective transmembrane protein that acts as a suppressor of Bax-induced apoptosis by regulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced cell death. We knocked down BI-1 in the sensitive dopa decarboxylase (Ddc) expressing neurons of Drosophila melanogaster to investigate its neuroprotective functions. We additionally sought to rescue the BI-1-induced phenotypes by co-expression with the pro-survival Buffy and determined the effect of BI-1 knockdown on the neurodegenerative α-synuclein-induced Parkinson disease (PD) model. Methods We used organismal assays to assess longevity of the flies to determine the effect of the altered expression of BI-1 in the Ddc-Gal4-expressing neurons by employing two RNAi transgenic fly lines. We measured the locomotor ability of these RNAi lines by computing the climbing indices of the climbing ability and compared them to a control line that expresses the lacZ transgene. Finally, we performed biometric analysis of the developing eye, where we counted the number of ommatidia and calculated the area of ommatidial disruption. Results The knockdown of BI-1 in these neurons was achieved under the direction of the Ddc-Gal4 transgene and resulted in shortened lifespan and precocious loss of locomotor ability. The co-expression of Buffy, the Drosophila anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 homologue, with BI-1-RNAi resulted in suppression of the reduced lifespan and impaired climbing ability. Expression of human α-synuclein in Drosophila dopaminergic neurons results in neuronal degeneration, accompanied by the age-dependent loss in climbing ability. We exploited this neurotoxic system to investigate possible BI-1 neuroprotective function. The co-expression of α-synuclein with BI-1-RNAi results in a slight decrease in lifespan coupled with an impairment in climbing ability. In supportive experiments, we employed the neuron-rich Drosophila compound eye to investigate subtle phenotypes

  2. A computational model clarifies the roles of positive and negative feedback loops in the Drosophila circadian clock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Junwei, E-mail: wangjunweilj@yahoo.com.c [Cisco School of Informatics, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou 510006 (China); Zhou Tianshou [School of Mathematics and Computational Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (China)

    2010-06-14

    Previous studies showed that a single negative feedback structure should be sufficient for robust circadian oscillations. It is thus pertinent to ask why current cellular clock models almost universally have interlocked negative feedback loop (NFL) and positive feedback loop (PFL). Here, we propose a molecular model that reflects the essential features of the Drosophila circadian clock to clarify the different roles of negative and positive feedback loops. In agreement with experimental observations, the model can simulate circadian oscillations in constant darkness, entrainment by light-dark cycles, as well as phenotypes of per{sup 01} and clk{sup Jrk} mutants. Moreover, sustained oscillations persist when the PFL is removed, implying the crucial role of NFL for rhythm generation. Through parameter sensitivity analysis, it is revealed that incorporation of PFL increases the robustness of the system to regulatory processes in PFL itself. Such reduced models can aid understanding of the design principles of circadian clocks in Drosophila and other organisms with complex transcriptional feedback structures.

  3. The adult abdominal neuromuscular junction of Drosophila: a model for synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebbar, Sarita; Hall, Rachel E; Demski, Sarah A; Subramanian, Aswati; Fernandes, Joyce J

    2006-09-01

    During its life cycle, Drosophila makes two sets of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), embryonic/larval and adult, which serve distinct stage-specific functions. During metamorphosis, the larval NMJs are restructured to give rise to their adult counterparts, a process that is integrated into the overall remodeling of the nervous system. The NMJs of the prothoracic muscles and the mesothoracic dorsal longitudinal (flight) muscles have been previously described. Given the diversity and complexity of adult muscle groups, we set out to examine the less complex abdominal muscles. The large bouton sizes of these NMJs are particularly advantageous for easy visualization. Specifically, we have characterized morphological attributes of the ventral abdominal NMJ and show that an embryonic motor neuron identity gene, dHb9, is expressed at these adult junctions. We quantified bouton numbers and size and examined the localization of synaptic markers. We have also examined the formation of boutons during metamorphosis and examined the localization of presynaptic markers at these stages. To test the usefulness of the ventral abdominal NMJs as a model system, we characterized the effects of altering electrical activity and the levels of the cell adhesion molecule, FasciclinII (FasII). We show that both manipulations affect NMJ formation and that the effects are specific as they can be rescued genetically. Our results indicate that both activity and FasII affect development at the adult abdominal NMJ in ways that are distinct from their larval and adult thoracic counterparts

  4. From the Eye to the Brain: Development of the Drosophila Visual System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nériec, Nathalie; Desplan, Claude

    2016-01-01

    How stem cells produce the huge diversity of neurons that form the visual system, and how these cells are assembled in neural circuits are a critical question in developmental neurobiology. Investigations in Drosophila have led to the discovery of several basic principles of neural patterning. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the field by describing the development of the Drosophila visual system, from the embryo to the adult and from the gross anatomy to the cellular level. We then explore the general molecular mechanisms identified that might apply to other neural structures in flies or in vertebrates. Finally, we discuss the major challenges that remain to be addressed in the field. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Highly Efficient Targeted Mutagenesis of Drosophila with the CRISPR/Cas9 System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R. Bassett

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Here, we present a simple and highly efficient method for generating and detecting mutations of any gene in Drosophila melanogaster through the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated. We show that injection of RNA into the Drosophila embryo can induce highly efficient mutagenesis of desired target genes in up to 88% of injected flies. These mutations can be transmitted through the germline to make stable lines. Our system provides at least a 10-fold improvement in efficiency over previously published reports, enabling wider application of this technique. We also describe a simple and highly sensitive method of detecting mutations in the target gene by high-resolution melt analysis and discuss how the new technology enables the study of gene function.

  6. Human pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses in Drosophila: disease modeling, lessons, and shortcomings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panayidou, Stavria; Ioannidou, Eleni; Apidianakis, Yiorgos

    2014-02-15

    Drosophila has been the invertebrate model organism of choice for the study of innate immune responses during the past few decades. Many Drosophila-microbe interaction studies have helped to define innate immunity pathways, and significant effort has been made lately to decipher mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis. Here we catalog 68 bacterial, fungal, and viral species studied in flies, 43 of which are relevant to human health. We discuss studies of human pathogens in flies revealing not only the elicitation and avoidance of immune response but also mechanisms of tolerance, host tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and predisposition to cancer. Prominent among those is the emerging pattern of intestinal regeneration as a defense response induced by pathogenic and innocuous bacteria. Immunopathology mechanisms and many microbial virulence factors have been elucidated, but their relevance to human health conventionally necessitates validation in mammalian models of infection.

  7. Interplay between RNA interference and heat shock response systems in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The genome expression pattern is strongly modified during the heat shock response (HSR) to form an adaptive state. This may be partly achieved by modulating microRNA levels that control the expression of a great number of genes that are embedded within the gene circuitry. Here, we investigated the cross-talk between two highly conserved and universal house-keeping systems, the HSR and microRNA machinery, in Drosophila melanogaster. We demonstrated that pronounced interstrain differences in th...

  8. Harnessing the natural Drosophila-parasitoid model for integrating insect immunity with functional venomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, Mary E; Hudgins, Adam D; Rajwani, Roma; Morales, Jorge; Govind, Shubha

    2014-12-01

    Drosophila species lack most hallmarks of adaptive immunity yet are highly successful against an array of natural microbial pathogens and metazoan enemies. When attacked by figitid parasitoid wasps, fruit flies deploy robust, multi-faceted innate immune responses and overcome many attackers. In turn, parasitoids have evolved immunosuppressive strategies to match, and more frequently to overcome, their hosts. We present methods to examine the evolutionary dynamics underlying anti-parasitoid host defense by teasing apart the specialized immune-modulating venoms of figitid parasitoids and, in turn, possibly delineating the roles of individual venom molecules. This combination of genetic, phylogenomic, and "functional venomics" methods in the Drosophila-parasitoid model should allow entomologists and immunologists to tackle important outstanding questions with implications across disciplines and to pioneer translational applications in agriculture and medicine.

  9. Drosophila yakuba mayottensis, a new model for the study of incipient ecological speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yassin, Amir

    2017-01-02

    A full understanding of how ecological factors drive the fixation of genetic changes during speciation is obscured by the lack of appropriate models with clear natural history and powerful genetic toolkits. In a recent study, we described an early stage of ecological speciation in a population of the generalist species Drosophila yakuba (melanogaster subgroup) on the island of Mayotte (Indian Ocean). On this island, flies are strongly associated with the toxic fruits of noni (Morinda citrifolia) and show a partial degree of pre-zygotic reproductive isolation. Here, I mine the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes and provide a full morphological description of this population. Only 29 nuclear sites (speciation. Based on these differences, the Mayotte population is designated as a new subspecies, Drosophila yakuba mayottensis subsp. nov., and its strong potential in understanding the genetics of speciation and plant-insect interactions is discussed.

  10. Human Disease Models in Drosophila melanogaster and the Role of the Fly in Therapeutic Drug Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Udai Bhan

    2011-01-01

    The common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a well studied and highly tractable genetic model organism for understanding molecular mechanisms of human diseases. Many basic biological, physiological, and neurological properties are conserved between mammals and D. melanogaster, and nearly 75% of human disease-causing genes are believed to have a functional homolog in the fly. In the discovery process for therapeutics, traditional approaches employ high-throughput screening for small molecules that is based primarily on in vitro cell culture, enzymatic assays, or receptor binding assays. The majority of positive hits identified through these types of in vitro screens, unfortunately, are found to be ineffective and/or toxic in subsequent validation experiments in whole-animal models. New tools and platforms are needed in the discovery arena to overcome these limitations. The incorporation of D. melanogaster into the therapeutic discovery process holds tremendous promise for an enhanced rate of discovery of higher quality leads. D. melanogaster models of human diseases provide several unique features such as powerful genetics, highly conserved disease pathways, and very low comparative costs. The fly can effectively be used for low- to high-throughput drug screens as well as in target discovery. Here, we review the basic biology of the fly and discuss models of human diseases and opportunities for therapeutic discovery for central nervous system disorders, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. We also provide information and resources for those interested in pursuing fly models of human disease, as well as those interested in using D. melanogaster in the drug discovery process. PMID:21415126

  11. Modes of metabolic compensation during mitochondrial disease using the Drosophila model of ATP6 dysfunction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia M Celotto

    Full Text Available Numerous mitochondrial DNA mutations cause mitochondrial encephalomyopathy: a collection of related diseases for which there exists no effective treatment. Mitochondrial encephalomyopathies are complex multisystem diseases that exhibit a relentless progression of severity, making them both difficult to treat and study. The pathogenic and compensatory metabolic changes that are associated with chronic mitochondrial dysfunction are not well understood. The Drosophila ATP6(1 mutant models human mitochondrial encephalomyopathy and allows the study of metabolic changes and compensation that occur throughout the lifetime of an affected animal. ATP6(1animals have a nearly complete loss of ATP synthase activity and an acute bioenergetic deficit when they are asymptomatic, but surprisingly we discovered no chronic bioenergetic deficit in these animals during their symptomatic period. Our data demonstrate dynamic metabolic compensatory mechanisms that sustain normal energy availability and activity despite chronic mitochondrial complex V dysfunction resulting from an endogenous mutation in the mitochondrial DNA. ATP6(1animals compensate for their loss of oxidative phosphorylation through increases in glycolytic flux, ketogenesis and Kreb's cycle activity early during pathogenesis. However, succinate dehydrogenase activity is reduced and mitochondrial supercomplex formation is severely disrupted contributing to the pathogenesis seen in ATP6(1 animals. These studies demonstrate the dynamic nature of metabolic compensatory mechanisms and emphasize the need for time course studies in tractable animal systems to elucidate disease pathogenesis and novel therapeutic avenues.

  12. Effects of five Ayurvedic herbs on locomotor behaviour in a Drosophila melanogaster Parkinson's disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, R L M; Brogan, B; Whitworth, A J; Okello, E J

    2014-12-01

    Current conventional treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD) are aimed at symptom management, as there is currently no known cure or treatment that can slow down its progression. Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India, uses a combination of herbs to combat the disease. Herbs commonly used for this purpose are Zandopa (containing Mucuna pruriens), Withania somnifera, Centella asiatica, Sida cordifolia and Bacopa monnieri. In this study, these herbs were tested for their potential ability to improve climbing ability of a fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) PD model based on loss of function of phosphatase and tensin-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1). Fruit flies were cultured on food containing individual herbs or herbal formulations, a combination of all five herbs, levodopa (positive control) or no treatment (negative control). Tests were performed in both PINK1 mutant flies and healthy wild-type (WT) flies. A significant improvement in climbing ability was observed in flies treated with B. monnieri compared with untreated PINK1 mutant flies. However, a significant decrease in climbing ability was observed in WT flies for the same herb. Centella asiatica also significantly decreased climbing ability in WT flies. No significant effects were observed with any of the other herbs in either PINK1 or WT flies compared with untreated flies.

  13. Insulin Signaling Misregulation underlies Circadian and Cognitive Deficits in a Drosophila Fragile X Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monyak, Rachel E.; Emerson, Danielle; Schoenfeld, Brian P.; Zheng, Xiangzhong; Chambers, Daniel B.; Rosenfelt, Cory; Langer, Steven; Hinchey, Paul; Choi, Catherine H.; McDonald, Thomas V.; Bolduc, Francois V.; Sehgal, Amita; McBride, Sean M.J.; Jongens, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an undertreated neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by low IQ and a wide range of other symptoms including disordered sleep and autism. Although FXS is the most prevalent inherited cause of intellectual disability, its mechanistic underpinnings are not well understood. Using Drosophila as a model of FXS, we showed that select expression of dfmr1 in the insulin-producing cells (IPCs) of the brain was sufficient to restore normal circadian behavior and to rescue the memory deficits in the fragile X mutant fly. Examination of the insulin-signaling (IS) pathway revealed elevated levels of Drosophila insulin-like peptide 2 (Dilp2) in the IPCs and elevated IS in the dfmr1 mutant brain. Consistent with a causal role for elevated IS in dfmr1 mutant phenotypes, expression of dfmr1 specifically in the IPCs reduced IS, and genetic reduction of the insulin pathway also led to amelioration of circadian and memory defects. Furthermore we showed that treatment with the FDA approved drug metformin also rescued memory. Finally, we showed that reduction of IS is required at different time points to rescue circadian behavior and memory. Our results indicate that insulin misregulation underlies the circadian and cognitive phenotypes displayed by the Drosophila fragile X model, and thus reveal a metabolic pathway that can be targeted by new and already approved drugs to treat fragile X patients. PMID:27090306

  14. Modeling Pathogenic Mutations of Human Twinkle in Drosophila Suggests an Apoptosis Role in Response to Mitochondrial Defects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Martinez, Alvaro; Calleja, Manuel; Peralta, Susana; Matsushima, Yuichi; Hernandez-Sierra, Rosana; Whitworth, Alexander J.; Kaguni, Laurie S.; Garesse, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    The human gene C10orf2 encodes the mitochondrial replicative DNA helicase Twinkle, mutations of which are responsible for a significant fraction of cases of autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO), a human mitochondrial disease caused by defects in intergenomic communication. We report the analysis of orthologous mutations in the Drosophila melanogaster mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) helicase gene, d-mtDNA helicase. Increased expression of wild type d-mtDNA helicase using the UAS-GAL4 system leads to an increase in mtDNA copy number throughout adult life without any noteworthy phenotype, whereas overexpression of d-mtDNA helicase containing the K388A mutation in the helicase active site results in a severe depletion of mtDNA and a lethal phenotype. Overexpression of two d-mtDNA helicase variants equivalent to two human adPEO mutations shows differential effects. The A442P mutation exhibits a dominant negative effect similar to that of the active site mutant. In contrast, overexpression of d-mtDNA helicase containing the W441C mutation results in a slight decrease in mtDNA copy number during the third instar larval stage, and a moderate decrease in life span in the adult population. Overexpression of d-mtDNA helicase containing either the K388A or A442P mutations causes a mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) defect that significantly reduces cell proliferation. The mitochondrial impairment caused by these mutations promotes apoptosis, arguing that mitochondria regulate programmed cell death in Drosophila. Our study of d-mtDNA helicase overexpression provides a tractable Drosophila model for understanding the cellular and molecular effects of human adPEO mutations. PMID:22952820

  15. On the Morphology of the Drosophila Heart

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Rotstein

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The circulatory system of Drosophila melanogaster represents an easily amenable genetic model whose analysis at different levels, i.e., from single molecules up to functional anatomy, has provided new insights into general aspects of cardiogenesis, heart physiology and cardiac aging, to name a few examples. In recent years, the Drosophila heart has also attracted the attention of researchers in the field of biomedicine. This development is mainly due to the fact that several genes causing human heart disease are also present in Drosophila, where they play the same or similar roles in heart development, maintenance or physiology as their respective counterparts in humans. This review will attempt to briefly introduce the anatomy of the Drosophila circulatory system and then focus on the different cell types and non-cellular tissue that constitute the heart.

  16. Generation of Driver and Reporter Constructs for the GAL4 Expression System in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southall, Tony D; Brand, Andrea H

    2008-07-01

    INTRODUCTIONThe GAL4 system is a method for ectopic gene expression that allows the selective activation of any cloned gene in a wide variety of tissue- and cell-specific patterns. This protocol describes the generation of driver and reporter lines for use with the GAL4 system in Drosophila. A promoter-GAL4 fusion is constructed using a P-element transformable vector, and a GAL4-responsive target gene is created via generation of an upstream activation sequence (UAS)-reporter construct. An alternative strategy for integration using the phiC31 system is also provided. Transformant lines are generated using standard procedures for microinjection.

  17. Neuroarchitecture of peptidergic systems in the larval ventral ganglion of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Jonathan G; Vömel, Matthias; Struck, Rafael; Homberg, Uwe; Nässel, Dick R; Wegener, Christian

    2007-08-01

    Recent studies on Drosophila melanogaster and other insects have revealed important insights into the functions and evolution of neuropeptide signaling. In contrast, in- and output connections of insect peptidergic circuits are largely unexplored. Existing morphological descriptions typically do not determine the exact spatial location of peptidergic axonal pathways and arborizations within the neuropil, and do not identify peptidergic in- and output compartments. Such information is however fundamental to screen for possible peptidergic network connections, a prerequisite to understand how the CNS controls the activity of peptidergic neurons at the synaptic level. We provide a precise 3D morphological description of peptidergic neurons in the thoracic and abdominal neuromeres of the Drosophila larva based on fasciclin-2 (Fas2) immunopositive tracts as landmarks. Comparing the Fas2 "coordinates" of projections of sensory or other neurons with those of peptidergic neurons, it is possible to identify candidate in- and output connections of specific peptidergic systems. These connections can subsequently be more rigorously tested. By immunolabeling and GAL4-directed expression of marker proteins, we analyzed the projections and compartmentalization of neurons expressing 12 different peptide genes, encoding approximately 75% of the neuropeptides chemically identified within the Drosophila CNS. Results are assembled into standardized plates which provide a guide to identify candidate afferent or target neurons with overlapping projections. In general, we found that putative dendritic compartments of peptidergic neurons are concentrated around the median Fas2 tracts and the terminal plexus. Putative peptide release sites in the ventral nerve cord were also more laterally situated. Our results suggest that i) peptidergic neurons in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord have separated in- and output compartments in specific areas, and ii) volume transmission is a prevailing

  18. Neuroarchitecture of peptidergic systems in the larval ventral ganglion of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan G Santos

    Full Text Available Recent studies on Drosophila melanogaster and other insects have revealed important insights into the functions and evolution of neuropeptide signaling. In contrast, in- and output connections of insect peptidergic circuits are largely unexplored. Existing morphological descriptions typically do not determine the exact spatial location of peptidergic axonal pathways and arborizations within the neuropil, and do not identify peptidergic in- and output compartments. Such information is however fundamental to screen for possible peptidergic network connections, a prerequisite to understand how the CNS controls the activity of peptidergic neurons at the synaptic level. We provide a precise 3D morphological description of peptidergic neurons in the thoracic and abdominal neuromeres of the Drosophila larva based on fasciclin-2 (Fas2 immunopositive tracts as landmarks. Comparing the Fas2 "coordinates" of projections of sensory or other neurons with those of peptidergic neurons, it is possible to identify candidate in- and output connections of specific peptidergic systems. These connections can subsequently be more rigorously tested. By immunolabeling and GAL4-directed expression of marker proteins, we analyzed the projections and compartmentalization of neurons expressing 12 different peptide genes, encoding approximately 75% of the neuropeptides chemically identified within the Drosophila CNS. Results are assembled into standardized plates which provide a guide to identify candidate afferent or target neurons with overlapping projections. In general, we found that putative dendritic compartments of peptidergic neurons are concentrated around the median Fas2 tracts and the terminal plexus. Putative peptide release sites in the ventral nerve cord were also more laterally situated. Our results suggest that i peptidergic neurons in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord have separated in- and output compartments in specific areas, and ii volume transmission

  19. Enhancing Mitofusin/Marf ameliorates neuromuscular dysfunction in Drosophila models of TDP-43 proteinopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Bilal; Cabirol-Pol, Marie-Jeanne; Miguel, Laetitia; Whitworth, Alexander J; Lecourtois, Magalie; Liévens, Jean-Charles

    2017-06-01

    Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) is considered a major pathological protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The precise mechanisms by which TDP-43 dysregulation leads to toxicity in neurons are not fully understood. Using TDP-43-expressing Drosophila, we examined whether mitochondrial dysfunction is a central determinant in TDP-43 pathogenesis. Expression of human wild-type TDP-43 in Drosophila neurons results in abnormally small mitochondria. The mitochondrial fragmentation is correlated with a specific decrease in the mRNA and protein levels of the Drosophila profusion gene mitofusin/marf. Importantly, overexpression of Marf ameliorates defects in spontaneous walking activity and startle-induced climbing response of TDP-43-expressing flies. Partial inactivation of the mitochondrial profission factor, dynamin-related protein 1, also mitigates TDP-43-induced locomotor deficits. Expression of TDP-43 impairs neuromuscular junction transmission upon repetitive stimulation of the giant fiber circuit that controls flight muscles, which is also ameliorated by Marf overexpression. We show here for the first time that enhancing the profusion gene mitofusin/marf is beneficial in an in vivo model of TDP-43 proteinopathies, serving as a potential therapeutic target. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A Drosophila Melanogaster Model of Diastolic Dysfunction and Cardiomyopathy Based on Impaired Troponin-T Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanathan, Meera Cozhimuttam; Kaushik, Gaurav; Engler, Adam J.; Lehman, William; Cammarato, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Regulation of striated muscle contraction is achieved by Ca2+-dependent steric modulation of myosin cross-bridge cycling on actin by the thin filament troponin-tropomyosin complex. Alterations in the complex can induce contractile dysregulation and disease. For example, mutations between or near residues 112–136 of cardiac troponin-T, the crucial N-terminal TnT1 tropomyosin-binding region, cause cardiomyopathy. The Drosophila up101 Glu/Lys amino acid substitution lies C-terminally adjacent to this phylogenetically conserved sequence. Objective Using a highly integrative approach, we sought to determine the molecular trigger of up101 myofibrillar degeneration, to evaluate contractile performance in the mutant cardiomyocytes, and to examine the effects of the mutation on the entire Drosophila heart to elucidate regulatory roles for conserved TnT1 regions and provide possible mechanistic insight into cardiac dysfunction. Methods and Results Live video imaging of Drosophila cardiac tubes revealed the troponin-T mutation prolongs systole and restricts diastolic dimensions of the heart, due to increased numbers of actively cycling myosin cross-bridges. Elevated resting myocardial stiffness, consistent with up101 diastolic dysfunction, was confirmed by an atomic force microscopy-based nanoindentation approach. Direct visualization of mutant thin filaments via electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction resolved destabilized tropomyosin positioning and aberrantly exposed myosin binding sites under low Ca2+ conditions. Conclusions As a result of troponin-tropomyosin dysinhibition, up101 hearts exhibit cardiac dysfunction and remodeling comparable to that observed during human restrictive cardiomyopathy. Thus, reversal of charged residues about the conserved tropomyosin-binding region of TnT1 may perturb critical intermolecular associations required for proper steric regulation, which likely elicits myopathy in our Drosophila model. PMID:24221941

  1. The calcineurin inhibitor Sarah (Nebula exacerbates Aβ42 phenotypes in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease

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    Soojin Lee

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Expression of the Down syndrome critical region 1 (DSCR1 protein, an inhibitor of the Ca2+-dependent phosphatase calcineurin, is elevated in the brains of individuals with Down syndrome (DS or Alzheimer's disease (AD. Although increased levels of DSCR1 were often observed to be deleterious to neuronal health, its beneficial effects against AD neuropathology have also been reported, and the roles of DSCR1 on the pathogenesis of AD remain controversial. Here, we investigated the role of sarah (sra; also known as nebula, a Drosophila DSCR1 ortholog, in amyloid-β42 (Aβ42-induced neurological phenotypes in Drosophila. We detected sra expression in the mushroom bodies of the fly brain, which are a center for learning and memory in flies. Moreover, similar to humans with AD, Aβ42-expressing flies showed increased Sra levels in the brain, demonstrating that the expression pattern of DSCR1 with regard to AD pathogenesis is conserved in Drosophila. Interestingly, overexpression of sra using the UAS-GAL4 system exacerbated the rough-eye phenotype, decreased survival rates and increased neuronal cell death in Aβ42-expressing flies, without modulating Aβ42 expression. Moreover, neuronal overexpression of sra in combination with Aβ42 dramatically reduced both locomotor activity and the adult lifespan of flies, whereas flies with overexpression of sra alone showed normal climbing ability, albeit with a slightly reduced lifespan. Similarly, treatment with chemical inhibitors of calcineurin, such as FK506 and cyclosporin A, or knockdown of calcineurin expression by RNA interference (RNAi, exacerbated the Aβ42-induced rough-eye phenotype. Furthermore, sra-overexpressing flies displayed significantly decreased mitochondrial DNA and ATP levels, as well as increased susceptibility to oxidative stress compared to that of control flies. Taken together, our results demonstrating that sra overexpression augments Aβ42 cytotoxicity in Drosophila suggest that DSCR1

  2. Cardiomyocyte Regulation of Systemic Lipid Metabolism by the Apolipoprotein B-Containing Lipoproteins in Drosophila

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    Ishikawa, Zachary

    2017-01-01

    The heart has emerged as an important organ in the regulation of systemic lipid homeostasis; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we show that Drosophila cardiomyocytes regulate systemic lipid metabolism by producing apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins (apoB-lipoproteins), essential lipid carriers that are so far known to be generated only in the fat body. In a Drosophila genetic screen, we discovered that when haplo-insufficient, microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (mtp), required for the biosynthesis of apoB-lipoproteins, suppressed the development of diet-induced obesity. Tissue-specific inhibition of Mtp revealed that whereas knockdown of mtp only in the fat body decreases systemic triglyceride (TG) content on normal food diet (NFD) as expected, knockdown of mtp only in the cardiomyocytes also equally decreases systemic TG content on NFD, suggesting that the cardiomyocyte- and fat body-derived apoB-lipoproteins serve similarly important roles in regulating whole-body lipid metabolism. Unexpectedly, on high fat diet (HFD), knockdown of mtp in the cardiomyocytes, but not in fat body, protects against the gain in systemic TG levels. We further showed that inhibition of the Drosophila apoB homologue, apolipophorin or apoLpp, another gene essential for apoB-lipoprotein biosynthesis, affects systemic TG levels similarly to that of Mtp inhibition in the cardiomyocytes on NFD or HFD. Finally, we determined that HFD differentially alters Mtp and apoLpp expression in the cardiomyocytes versus the fat body, culminating in higher Mtp and apoLpp levels in the cardiomyocytes than in fat body and possibly underlying the predominant role of cardiomyocyte-derived apoB-lipoproteins in lipid metabolic regulation. Our findings reveal a novel and significant function of heart-mediated apoB-lipoproteins in controlling lipid homeostasis. PMID:28095410

  3. The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction as a model for scaffold complexes at glutamatergic synapses: benefits and limitations.

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    Thomas, Ulrich; Kobler, Oliver; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2010-09-01

    Based on unbeatable genetic accessibility and relative simplicity, the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction has become a widely used model system for studying functional and structural aspects of excitatory glutamatergic synapses. Membrane-associated guanylate kinase-like proteins (MAGUKs) are first-order scaffolding molecules enriched at many cellular junctions, including synapses, where they coordinate multiple binding partners, including cell adhesion molecules and ion channels. The enrichment of the prototypic MAGUK Discs-Large at larval NMJs apparently parallels the high abundance of its homologs at excitatory synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. Here, the authors review selected aspects of the long-standing work on Dlg at fly neuromuscular junctions, thereby scrutinizing its subcellular localization, function, and regulation with regard to corresponding aspects of MAGUKs in vertebrate neurons.

  4. Role for sumoylation in systemic inflammation and immune homeostasis in Drosophila larvae.

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    Indira Paddibhatla

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available To counter systemic risk of infection by parasitic wasps, Drosophila larvae activate humoral immunity in the fat body and mount a robust cellular response resulting in encapsulation of the wasp egg. Innate immune reactions are tightly regulated and are resolved within hours. To understand the mechanisms underlying activation and resolution of the egg encapsulation response and examine if failure of the latter develops into systemic inflammatory disease, we correlated parasitic wasp-induced changes in the Drosophila larva with systemic chronic conditions in sumoylation-deficient mutants. We have previously reported that loss of either Cactus, the Drosophila (IκB protein or Ubc9, the SUMO-conjugating enzyme, leads to constitutive activation of the humoral and cellular pathways, hematopoietic overproliferation and tumorogenesis. Here we report that parasite infection simultaneously activates NF-κB-dependent transcription of Spätzle processing enzyme (SPE and cactus. Endogenous Spätzle protein (the Toll ligand is expressed in immune cells and excessive SPE or Spätzle is pro-inflammatory. Consistent with this function, loss of Spz suppresses Ubc9⁻ defects. In contrast to the pro-inflammatory roles of SPE and Spätzle, Cactus and Ubc9 exert an anti-inflammatory effect. We show that Ubc9 maintains steady state levels of Cactus protein. In a series of immuno-genetic experiments, we demonstrate the existence of a robust bidirectional interaction between blood cells and the fat body and propose that wasp infection activates Toll signaling in both compartments via extracellular activation of Spätzle. Within each organ, the IκB/Ubc9-dependent inhibitory feedback resolves immune signaling and restores homeostasis. The loss of this feedback leads to chronic inflammation. Our studies not only provide an integrated framework for understanding the molecular basis of the evolutionary arms race between insect hosts and their parasites, but also offer

  5. Role for sumoylation in systemic inflammation and immune homeostasis in Drosophila larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indira Paddibhatla

    Full Text Available To counter systemic risk of infection by parasitic wasps, Drosophila larvae activate humoral immunity in the fat body and mount a robust cellular response resulting in encapsulation of the wasp egg. Innate immune reactions are tightly regulated and are resolved within hours. To understand the mechanisms underlying activation and resolution of the egg encapsulation response and examine if failure of the latter develops into systemic inflammatory disease, we correlated parasitic wasp-induced changes in the Drosophila larva with systemic chronic conditions in sumoylation-deficient mutants. We have previously reported that loss of either Cactus, the Drosophila (IκB protein or Ubc9, the SUMO-conjugating enzyme, leads to constitutive activation of the humoral and cellular pathways, hematopoietic overproliferation and tumorogenesis. Here we report that parasite infection simultaneously activates NF-κB-dependent transcription of Spätzle processing enzyme (SPE and cactus. Endogenous Spätzle protein (the Toll ligand is expressed in immune cells and excessive SPE or Spätzle is pro-inflammatory. Consistent with this function, loss of Spz suppresses Ubc9⁻ defects. In contrast to the pro-inflammatory roles of SPE and Spätzle, Cactus and Ubc9 exert an anti-inflammatory effect. We show that Ubc9 maintains steady state levels of Cactus protein. In a series of immuno-genetic experiments, we demonstrate the existence of a robust bidirectional interaction between blood cells and the fat body and propose that wasp infection activates Toll signaling in both compartments via extracellular activation of Spätzle. Within each organ, the IκB/Ubc9-dependent inhibitory feedback resolves immune signaling and restores homeostasis. The loss of this feedback leads to chronic inflammation. Our studies not only provide an integrated framework for understanding the molecular basis of the evolutionary arms race between insect hosts and their parasites, but also offer

  6. Oxidative stress contributes to outcome severity in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia

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    Patricia P. Jumbo-Lucioni

    2013-01-01

    Classic galactosemia is a genetic disorder that results from profound loss of galactose-1P-uridylyltransferase (GALT. Affected infants experience a rapid escalation of potentially lethal acute symptoms following exposure to milk. Dietary restriction of galactose prevents or resolves the acute sequelae; however, many patients experience profound long-term complications. Despite decades of research, the mechanisms that underlie pathophysiology in classic galactosemia remain unclear. Recently, we developed a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia and demonstrated that, like patients, GALT-null Drosophila succumb in development if exposed to galactose but live if maintained on a galactose-restricted diet. Prior models of experimental galactosemia have implicated a possible association between galactose exposure and oxidative stress. Here we describe application of our fly genetic model of galactosemia to the question of whether oxidative stress contributes to the acute galactose sensitivity of GALT-null animals. Our first approach tested the impact of pro- and antioxidant food supplements on the survival of GALT-null and control larvae. We observed a clear pattern: the oxidants paraquat and DMSO each had a negative impact on the survival of mutant but not control animals exposed to galactose, and the antioxidants vitamin C and α-mangostin each had the opposite effect. Biochemical markers also confirmed that galactose and paraquat synergistically increased oxidative stress on all cohorts tested but, interestingly, the mutant animals showed a decreased response relative to controls. Finally, we tested the expression levels of two transcripts responsive to oxidative stress, GSTD6 and GSTE7, in mutant and control larvae exposed to galactose and found that both genes were induced, one by more than 40-fold. Combined, these results implicate oxidative stress and response as contributing factors in the acute galactose sensitivity of GALT-null Drosophila and, by

  7. Oxidative stress contributes to outcome severity in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jumbo-Lucioni, Patricia P; Hopson, Marquise L; Hang, Darwin; Liang, Yongliang; Jones, Dean P; Fridovich-Keil, Judith L

    2013-01-01

    Classic galactosemia is a genetic disorder that results from profound loss of galactose-1P-uridylyltransferase (GALT). Affected infants experience a rapid escalation of potentially lethal acute symptoms following exposure to milk. Dietary restriction of galactose prevents or resolves the acute sequelae; however, many patients experience profound long-term complications. Despite decades of research, the mechanisms that underlie pathophysiology in classic galactosemia remain unclear. Recently, we developed a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia and demonstrated that, like patients, GALT-null Drosophila succumb in development if exposed to galactose but live if maintained on a galactose-restricted diet. Prior models of experimental galactosemia have implicated a possible association between galactose exposure and oxidative stress. Here we describe application of our fly genetic model of galactosemia to the question of whether oxidative stress contributes to the acute galactose sensitivity of GALT-null animals. Our first approach tested the impact of pro- and antioxidant food supplements on the survival of GALT-null and control larvae. We observed a clear pattern: the oxidants paraquat and DMSO each had a negative impact on the survival of mutant but not control animals exposed to galactose, and the antioxidants vitamin C and α-mangostin each had the opposite effect. Biochemical markers also confirmed that galactose and paraquat synergistically increased oxidative stress on all cohorts tested but, interestingly, the mutant animals showed a decreased response relative to controls. Finally, we tested the expression levels of two transcripts responsive to oxidative stress, GSTD6 and GSTE7, in mutant and control larvae exposed to galactose and found that both genes were induced, one by more than 40-fold. Combined, these results implicate oxidative stress and response as contributing factors in the acute galactose sensitivity of GALT-null Drosophila and

  8. Recent Advances in the Use of Drosophila melanogaster as a Model to Study Immunopathogenesis of Medically Important Filamentous Fungi

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    Georgios Hamilos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Airborne opportunistic fungi, including Aspergillus and other less common saprophytic molds, have recently emerged as important causes of mortality in immunocompromised individuals. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of host-fungal interplay in robust experimental pathosystems is becoming a research priority for development of novel therapeutics to combat these devastating infections. Over the past decade, invertebrate hosts with evolutionarily conserved innate immune signaling pathways and powerful genetics, such as Drosophila melanogaster, have been employed as a means to overcome logistic restrains associated with the use mammalian models of fungal infections. Recent studies in Drosophila models of filamentous fungi demonstrated that several genes implicated in fungal virulence in mammals also play a similarly important pathogenic role in fruit flies, and important host-related aspects in fungal pathogenesis are evolutionarily conserved. In view of recent advances in Drosophila genetics, fruit flies will become an invaluable surrogate model to study immunopathogenesis of fungal diseases.

  9. Factors affecting mito-nuclear codon usage interactions in the OXPHOS system of Drosophila melanogaster

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Codon usage bias varies considerably among genomes and even within the genes of the same genome.In eukaryotic organisms,energy production in the form of oxidative phosphorylation(OXPHOS)is the only process under control of both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.Although factors affecting codon usage in a single genome have been studied,this has not occurred when both interactional genomes are involved.Consequently, we investigated whether or not other factors influence codon usage of coevolved genes.We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.Our χ2 test on the number of codons of nuclear and mitochondrial genes involved in the OXPHOS system was significantly different (χ2=7945.16,P<0.01).A plot of effective number of codons against GC3s content of nuclear genes showed that few genes lie on the expected curve,indicating that codon usage was random.Correspondence analysis indicated a significant correlation between axis 1 and codon adaptation index(R=0.947,P<0.01)in every nuclear gene sequence.Thus,codon usage bias of nuclear genes appeared to be affected by translational selection.Correlation between axis 1 coordinates and GC content(R=0.814.P<0.01)indicated that the codon usage of nuclear genes was also affected by GC composition.Analysis of mitochondrial genes did not reveal a significant correlation between axis 1 and any parameter.Statistical analyses indicated that codon usages of both nDNA and mtDNA were subjected to context-dependent mutations.

  10. TORC1 Inhibition by Rapamycin Promotes Antioxidant Defences in a Drosophila Model of Friedreich's Ataxia.

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    Pablo Calap-Quintana

    Full Text Available Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA, the most common inherited ataxia in the Caucasian population, is a multisystemic disease caused by a significant decrease in the frataxin level. To identify genes capable of modifying the severity of the symptoms of frataxin depletion, we performed a candidate genetic screen in a Drosophila RNAi-based model of FRDA. We found that genetic reduction in TOR Complex 1 (TORC1 signalling improves the impaired motor performance phenotype of FRDA model flies. Pharmacologic inhibition of TORC1 signalling by rapamycin also restored this phenotype and increased the lifespan and ATP levels. Furthermore, rapamycin reduced the altered levels of malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenals and total glutathione of the model flies. The rapamycin-mediated protection against oxidative stress is due in part to an increase in the transcription of antioxidant genes mediated by cap-n-collar (Drosophila ortholog of Nrf2. Our results suggest that autophagy is indeed necessary for the protective effect of rapamycin in hyperoxia. Rapamycin increased the survival and aconitase activity of model flies subjected to high oxidative insult, and this improvement was abolished by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine. These results point to the TORC1 pathway as a new potential therapeutic target for FRDA and as a guide to finding new promising molecules for disease treatment.

  11. Regulation of sleep by neuropeptide Y-like system in Drosophila melanogaster.

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    Chunxia He

    Full Text Available Sleep is important for maintenance of normal physiology in animals. In mammals, neuropeptide Y (NPY, a homolog of Drosophila neuropeptide F (NPF, is involved in sleep regulation, with different effects in human and rat. However, the function of NPF on sleep in Drosophila melanogaster has not yet been described. In this study, we investigated the effects of NPF and its receptor-neuropeptide F receptor (NPFR1 on Drosophila sleep. Male flies over-expressing NPF or NPFR1 exhibited increased sleep during the nighttime. Further analysis demonstrated that sleep episode duration during nighttime was greatly increased and sleep latency was significantly reduced, indicating that NPF and NPFR1 promote sleep quality, and their action on sleep is not because of an impact of the NPF signal system on development. Moreover, the homeostatic regulation of flies after sleep deprivation was disrupted by altered NPF signaling, since sleep deprivation decreased transcription of NPF in control flies, and there were less sleep loss during sleep deprivation and less sleep gain after sleep deprivation in flies overexpressing NPF and NPFR1 than in control flies, suggesting that NPF system auto-regulation plays an important role in sleep homeostasis. However, these effects did not occur in females, suggesting a sex-dependent regulatory function in sleep for NPF and NPFR1. NPF in D1 brain neurons showed male-specific expression, providing the cellular locus for male-specific regulation of sleep by NPF and NPFR1. This study brings a new understanding into sleep studies of a sexually dimorphic regulatory mode in female and male flies.

  12. Drosophila type IV collagen mutation associates with immune system activation and intestinal dysfunction.

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    Kiss, Márton; Kiss, András A; Radics, Monika; Popovics, Nikoletta; Hermesz, Edit; Csiszár, Katalin; Mink, Mátyás

    2016-01-01

    The basal lamina (BM) contains numerous components with a predominance of type IV collagens. Clinical manifestations associated with mutations of the human COL4A1 gene include perinatal cerebral hemorrhage and porencephaly, hereditary angiopathy, nephropathy, aneurysms and muscle cramps (HANAC), ocular dysgenesis, myopathy, Walker–Warburg syndrome and systemic tissue degeneration. In Drosophila, the phenotype associated with dominant temperature sensitive mutations of col4a1 include severe myopathy resulting from massive degradation of striated muscle fibers, and in the gut, degeneration of circular visceral muscle cells and epithelial cells following detachment from the BM. In order to determine the consequences of altered BMfunctions due to aberrant COL4A1 protein, we have carried out a series of tests using Drosophila DTS-L3 mutants from our allelic series of col4a1 mutations with confirmed degeneration of various cell types and lowest survival rate among the col4a1 mutant lines at restrictive temperature. Results demonstrated epithelial cell degeneration in the gut, shortened gut, enlarged midgut with multiple diverticulae, intestinal dysfunction and shortened life span. Midgut immunohistochemistry analyses confirmed altered expression and distribution of BM components integrin PSI and PSII alpha subunits, laminin gamma 1, and COL4A1 both in larvae and adults. Global gene expression analysis revealed activation of the effector AMP genes of the primary innate immune system including Metchnikowin, Diptericin, Diptericin B, and edin that preceded morphological changes. Attacin::GFP midgut expression pattern further supported these changes. An increase in ROS production and changes in gut bacterial flora were also noted and may have further enhanced an immune response. The phenotypic features of Drosophila col4a1 mutants confirmed an essential role for type IV collagen in maintaining epithelial integrity, gut morphology and intestinal function and suggest that

  13. Exploring Autophagy in Drosophila

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    Péter Lőrincz

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a catabolic process in eukaryotic cells promoting bulk or selective degradation of cellular components within lysosomes. In recent decades, several model systems were utilized to dissect the molecular machinery of autophagy and to identify the impact of this cellular “self-eating” process on various physiological and pathological processes. Here we briefly discuss the advantages and limitations of using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a popular model in cell and developmental biology, to apprehend the main pathway of autophagy in a complete animal.

  14. Quality assessment and control of tissue specific RNA-seq libraries of Drosophila transgenic RNAi models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Andreia J; Brito, Francisco F; Chobanyan, Tamar; Yoshikawa, Seiko; Yokokura, Takakazu; Van Vactor, David; Gama-Carvalho, Margarida

    2014-01-01

    RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) is rapidly emerging as the technology of choice for whole-transcriptome studies. However, RNA-seq is not a bias free technique. It requires large amounts of RNA and library preparation can introduce multiple artifacts, compounded by problems from later stages in the process. Nevertheless, RNA-seq is increasingly used in multiple studies, including the characterization of tissue-specific transcriptomes from invertebrate models of human disease. The generation of samples in this context is complex, involving the establishment of mutant strains and the delicate contamination prone process of dissecting the target tissue. Moreover, in order to achieve the required amount of RNA, multiple samples need to be pooled. Such datasets pose extra challenges due to the large variability that may occur between similar pools, mostly due to the presence of cells from surrounding tissues. Therefore, in addition to standard quality control of RNA-seq data, analytical procedures for control of "biological quality" are critical for successful comparison of gene expression profiles. In this study, the transcriptome of the central nervous system (CNS) of a Drosophila transgenic strain with neuronal-specific RNAi of an ubiquitous gene was profiled using RNA-seq. After observing the existence of an unusual variance in our dataset, we showed that the expression profile of a small panel of marker genes, including GAL4 under control of a tissue specific driver, can identify libraries with low levels of contamination from neighboring tissues, enabling the selection of a robust dataset for differential expression analysis. We further analyzed the potential of profiling a complex tissue to identify cell-type specific changes in response to target gene down-regulation. Finally, we showed that trimming 5' ends of reads decreases nucleotide frequency biases, increasing the coverage of protein coding genes with a potential positive impact in the incurrence of systematic

  15. Quality assessment and control of tissue specific RNA-seq libraries of Drosophila transgenic RNAi models

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    Andreia J Amaral

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq is rapidly emerging as the technology of choice for whole-transcriptome studies. However, RNA-seq is not a bias free technique. It requires large amounts of RNA and library preparation can introduce multiple artifacts, compounded by problems from later stages in the process. Nevertheless, RNA-seq is increasingly used in multiple studies, including the characterization of tissue-specific transcriptomes from invertebrate models of human disease. The generation of samples in this context is complex, involving the establishment of mutant strains and the delicate contamination prone process of dissecting the target tissue. Moreover, in order achieve the required amount of RNA, multiple samples need to be pooled. Such datasets pose extra challenges due to the large variability that may occur between similar pools, mostly due to the presence of cells from surrounding tissues. Therefore, in addition to standard quality control of RNA-seq data, analytical procedures for control of 'biological quality’ are critical for successful comparison of gene expression profiles. In this study, the transcriptome of the central nervous system of a Drosophila transgenic strain with neuronal-specific RNAi of an ubiquitous gene was profiled using RNA-seq. After observing the existence of an unusual variance in our dataset, we showed that the expression profile of a small panel of marker genes, including GAL4 under control of a tissue specific driver, can identify libraries with low levels of contamination from neighboring tissues, enabling the selection of a robust dataset for differential expression analysis. We further analyzed the potential of profiling a complex tissue to identify cell-type specific changes in response to target gene down-regulation. Finally, we showed that trimming 5’ ends of reads decreases nucleotide frequency biases, increasing the coverage of protein coding genes and decreasing the occurrence of systematic technical

  16. Mediators of a long-term movement abnormality in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Emily L; DuBoff, Brian; Feany, Mel B; Fridovich-Keil, Judith L

    2012-11-01

    Despite neonatal diagnosis and life-long dietary restriction of galactose, many patients with classic galactosemia grow to experience significant long-term complications. Among the more common are speech, cognitive, behavioral, ovarian and neurological/movement difficulties. Despite decades of research, the pathophysiology of these long-term complications remains obscure, hindering prognosis and attempts at improved intervention. As a first step to overcome this roadblock we have begun to explore long-term outcomes in our previously reported GALT-null Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia. Here we describe the first of these studies. Using a countercurrent device, a simple climbing assay, and a startle response test to characterize and quantify an apparent movement abnormality, we explored the impact of cryptic GALT expression on phenotype, tested the role of sublethal galactose exposure and galactose-1-phosphate (gal-1P) accumulation, tested the impact of age, and searched for potential anatomical defects in brain and muscle. We found that about 2.5% residual GALT activity was sufficient to reduce outcome severity. Surprisingly, sublethal galactose exposure and gal-1P accumulation during development showed no effect on the adult phenotype. Finally, despite the apparent neurological or neuromuscular nature of the complication we found no clear morphological differences between mutants and controls in brain or muscle, suggesting that the defect is subtle and/or is physiologic rather than structural. Combined, our results confirm that, like human patients, GALT-null Drosophila experience significant long-term complications that occur independently of galactose exposure, and serve as a proof of principle demonstrating utility of the GALT-null Drosophila model as a tool for exploring genetic and environmental modifiers of long-term outcome in GALT deficiency.

  17. Mediators of a long-term movement abnormality in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily L. Ryan

    2012-11-01

    Despite neonatal diagnosis and life-long dietary restriction of galactose, many patients with classic galactosemia grow to experience significant long-term complications. Among the more common are speech, cognitive, behavioral, ovarian and neurological/movement difficulties. Despite decades of research, the pathophysiology of these long-term complications remains obscure, hindering prognosis and attempts at improved intervention. As a first step to overcome this roadblock we have begun to explore long-term outcomes in our previously reported GALT-null Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia. Here we describe the first of these studies. Using a countercurrent device, a simple climbing assay, and a startle response test to characterize and quantify an apparent movement abnormality, we explored the impact of cryptic GALT expression on phenotype, tested the role of sublethal galactose exposure and galactose-1-phosphate (gal-1P accumulation, tested the impact of age, and searched for potential anatomical defects in brain and muscle. We found that about 2.5% residual GALT activity was sufficient to reduce outcome severity. Surprisingly, sublethal galactose exposure and gal-1P accumulation during development showed no effect on the adult phenotype. Finally, despite the apparent neurological or neuromuscular nature of the complication we found no clear morphological differences between mutants and controls in brain or muscle, suggesting that the defect is subtle and/or is physiologic rather than structural. Combined, our results confirm that, like human patients, GALT-null Drosophila experience significant long-term complications that occur independently of galactose exposure, and serve as a proof of principle demonstrating utility of the GALT-null Drosophila model as a tool for exploring genetic and environmental modifiers of long-term outcome in GALT deficiency.

  18. Characterization of Autophagic Responses in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, T; Kumar, S; Denton, D

    2017-01-01

    Drosophila is an excellent model system for studying autophagy during animal development due to the availability of genetic reagents and opportunity for in vivo cell biological analysis. The regulation and mechanism of autophagy are highly evolutionarily conserved and the role of autophagy has been characterized during various stages of Drosophila development as well as following starvation. Studies in Drosophila have revealed novel insights into the role of distinct components of the autophagy machinery. This chapter describes protocols for examining autophagy during Drosophila development. A crucial step in the induction of autophagy is the incorporation of Atg8a into the autophagosome. This can be measured as autophagic puncta using live fluorescent imaging, immunostaining, or immunoblot analysis of LC3/Atg8a processing. The level of autophagy can also be examined using other specific components of the autophagy pathway as markers detected by immunofluorescent imaging. Based on the distinct morphology of autophagy, it can also be examined by transmission electron microscopy. In addition, one of the advantages of using Drosophila as a model is the ability to undertake genetic analysis of individual components of the autophagy machinery. Current approaches that can be used to monitor autophagy, including the overall flux and individual steps in Drosophila melanogaster, will be discussed. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Goodness of fit to a mathematical model for Drosophila sleep behavior is reduced in hyposomnolent mutants

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    Joshua M. Diamond

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The conserved nature of sleep in Drosophila has allowed the fruit fly to emerge in the last decade as a powerful model organism in which to study sleep. Recent sleep studies in Drosophila have focused on the discovery and characterization of hyposomnolent mutants. One common feature of these animals is a change in sleep architecture: sleep bout count tends to be greater, and sleep bout length lower, in hyposomnolent mutants. I propose a mathematical model, produced by least-squares nonlinear regression to fit the form Y = aX∧b, which can explain sleep behavior in the healthy animal as well as previously-reported changes in total sleep and sleep architecture in hyposomnolent mutants. This model, fit to sleep data, yields coefficient of determination R squared, which describes goodness of fit. R squared is lower, as compared to control, in hyposomnolent mutants insomniac and fumin. My findings raise the possibility that low R squared is a feature of all hyposomnolent mutants, not just insomniac and fumin. If this were the case, R squared could emerge as a novel means by which sleep researchers might assess sleep dysfunction.

  20. Discerning the complexity of community interactions using a Drosophila model of polymicrobial infections.

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    Christopher D Sibley

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available A number of human infections are characterized by the presence of more than one bacterial species and are defined as polymicrobial diseases. Methods for the analysis of the complex biological interactions in mixed infections with a large number of microorganisms are limited and do not effectively determine the contribution of each bacterial species to the pathogenesis of the polymicrobial community. We have developed a novel Drosophila melanogaster infection model to study microbe-microbe interactions and polymicrobe-host interactions. Using this infection model, we examined the interaction of 40 oropharyngeal isolates with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We observe three classes of microorganisms, one of which acts synergistically with the principal pathogen, while being avirulent or even beneficial on its own. This synergy involves microbe-microbe interactions that result in the modulation of P. aeruginosa virulence factor gene expression within infected Drosophila. The host innate immune response to these natural-route polymicrobial infections is complex and characterized by additive, suppressive, and synergistic transcriptional activation of antimicrobial peptide genes. The polymicrobial infection model was used to differentiate the bacterial flora in cystic fibrosis (CF sputum, revealing that a large proportion of the organisms in CF airways has the ability to influence the outcome of an infection when in combination with the principal CF pathogen P. aeruginosa.

  1. Discerning the complexity of community interactions using a Drosophila model of polymicrobial infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibley, Christopher D; Duan, Kangmin; Fischer, Carrie; Parkins, Michael D; Storey, Douglas G; Rabin, Harvey R; Surette, Michael G

    2008-10-01

    A number of human infections are characterized by the presence of more than one bacterial species and are defined as polymicrobial diseases. Methods for the analysis of the complex biological interactions in mixed infections with a large number of microorganisms are limited and do not effectively determine the contribution of each bacterial species to the pathogenesis of the polymicrobial community. We have developed a novel Drosophila melanogaster infection model to study microbe-microbe interactions and polymicrobe-host interactions. Using this infection model, we examined the interaction of 40 oropharyngeal isolates with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We observe three classes of microorganisms, one of which acts synergistically with the principal pathogen, while being avirulent or even beneficial on its own. This synergy involves microbe-microbe interactions that result in the modulation of P. aeruginosa virulence factor gene expression within infected Drosophila. The host innate immune response to these natural-route polymicrobial infections is complex and characterized by additive, suppressive, and synergistic transcriptional activation of antimicrobial peptide genes. The polymicrobial infection model was used to differentiate the bacterial flora in cystic fibrosis (CF) sputum, revealing that a large proportion of the organisms in CF airways has the ability to influence the outcome of an infection when in combination with the principal CF pathogen P. aeruginosa.

  2. Hybrid Lethal Systems in the Drosophila Melanogaster Species Complex. I. the Maternal Hybrid Rescue (Mhr) Gene of Drosophila Simulans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawamura, K.; Taira, T.; Watanabe, T. K.

    1993-01-01

    Hybrid females from Drosophila simulans females X Drosophila melanogaster males die as embryos while hybrid males from the reciprocal cross die as late larvae. The other two classes are sterile adults. Letting C, X, and Y designate egg cytoplasm, X, and Y chromosomes, respectively, and subscripts m and s stand for melanogaster and simulans, C(m)X(m)Y(s) males are lethal in the larval stage and are rescued by the previously reported genes, Lhr (Lethal hybrid rescue) in simulans or Hmr (Hybrid male rescue) in melanogaster. We report here another rescue gene located on the second chromosome of simulans, mhr (maternal hybrid rescue) that, when present in the mother, rescues C(s)X(m)X(s) females from embryonic lethality. It has been postulated that the hybrids not carrying the X(s) like C(m)X(m)Y(s) males are larval lethal and that the hybrids carrying both the C(s) and the X(m) like C(s)X(m)X(s) females are embryonic lethal. According to these postulates C(s)X(m)Y(s) males (obtained by mating attached-X simulans females to melanogaster males) should be doubly lethal, at both embryo and larval stages. When both rescuing genes are present, Hmr in the father and mhr in the mother, males of this genotype are fully viable, as predicted. PMID:8436276

  3. Stochastic model for gene transcription on Drosophila melanogaster embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prata, Guilherme N.; Hornos, José Eduardo M.; Ramos, Alexandre F.

    2016-02-01

    We examine immunostaining experimental data for the formation of stripe 2 of even-skipped (eve) transcripts on D. melanogaster embryos. An estimate of the factor converting immunofluorescence intensity units into molecular numbers is given. The analysis of the eve dynamics at the region of stripe 2 suggests that the promoter site of the gene has two distinct regimes: an earlier phase when it is predominantly activated until a critical time when it becomes mainly repressed. That suggests proposing a stochastic binary model for gene transcription on D. melanogaster embryos. Our model has two random variables: the transcripts number and the state of the source of mRNAs given as active or repressed. We are able to reproduce available experimental data for the average number of transcripts. An analysis of the random fluctuations on the number of eves and their consequences on the spatial precision of stripe 2 is presented. We show that the position of the anterior or posterior borders fluctuate around their average position by ˜1 % of the embryo length, which is similar to what is found experimentally. The fitting of data by such a simple model suggests that it can be useful to understand the functions of randomness during developmental processes.

  4. Copper overload and deficiency both adversely affect the central nervous system of Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Joab E C; de Bruyne, Marinus; Warr, Coral G; Burke, Richard

    2014-12-01

    The human copper homeostasis disorders Menkes and Wilson disease both have severe neurological symptoms. Menkes is a copper deficiency disorder whereas Wilson disease patients suffer from copper toxicity, indicating that tight control of neuronal copper levels is essential for proper nervous system development and function. Here we examine the consequences of neuronal copper deficiency and excess in the Drosophila melanogaster nervous system, using targeted manipulation of the copper uptake genes Ctr1A and Ctr1B and efflux gene ATP7 in combination with altered dietary copper levels. We find that pan-neuronal over expression of Ctr1B and ATP7 both result in a reduction in viability. The effects of Ctr1B over expression are exacerbated by dietary copper supplementation and rescued by copper limitation indicating a copper toxicity phenotype. Dietary manipulation has the opposite effect on ATP7 over expression, indicating that this causes neuronal copper deficiency due to excessive copper efflux. Copper deficiency also causes a highly penetrant developmental defect in surviving adult flies which can be replicated by both copper excess and copper deficiency targeted specifically to a small subset of neuropeptidergic cells. We conclude that both copper overload and excess have detrimental effects on Drosophila neuronal function, reducing overall fly viability as well as impacting on a specific neuropeptide pathway.

  5. Differentiated muscles are mandatory for gas-filling of the Drosophila airway system

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    Yiwen Wang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available At the end of development, organs acquire functionality, thereby ensuring autonomy of an organism when it separates from its mother or a protective egg. In insects, respiratory competence starts when the tracheal system fills with gas just before hatching of the juvenile animal. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of this process are not fully understood. Analyses of the phenotype of Drosophila embryos with malformed muscles revealed that they fail to gas-fill their tracheal system. Indeed, we show that major regulators of muscle formation like Lame duck and Blown fuse are important, while factors involved in the development of subsets of muscles including cardiac and visceral muscles are dispensable for this process, suggesting that somatic muscles (or parts of them are essential to enable tracheal terminal differentiation. Based on our phenotypic data, we assume that somatic muscle defect severity correlates with the penetrance of the gas-filling phenotype. This argues that a limiting molecular or mechanical muscle-borne signal tunes tracheal differentiation. We think that in analogy to the function of smooth muscles in vertebrate lungs, a balance of physical forces between muscles and the elasticity of tracheal walls may be decisive for tracheal terminal differentiation in Drosophila.

  6. Mechanisms of skeletal muscle aging: insights from Drosophila and mammalian models

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    Fabio Demontis

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available A characteristic feature of aged humans and other mammals is the debilitating, progressive loss of skeletal muscle function and mass that is known as sarcopenia. Age-related muscle dysfunction occurs to an even greater extent during the relatively short lifespan of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Studies in model organisms indicate that sarcopenia is driven by a combination of muscle tissue extrinsic and intrinsic factors, and that it fundamentally differs from the rapid atrophy of muscles observed following disuse and fasting. Extrinsic changes in innervation, stem cell function and endocrine regulation of muscle homeostasis contribute to muscle aging. In addition, organelle dysfunction and compromised protein homeostasis are among the primary intrinsic causes. Some of these age-related changes can in turn contribute to the induction of compensatory stress responses that have a protective role during muscle aging. In this Review, we outline how studies in Drosophila and mammalian model organisms can each provide distinct advantages to facilitate the understanding of this complex multifactorial condition and how they can be used to identify suitable therapies.

  7. A simplified and efficient germline-specific CRISPR/Cas9 system for Drosophila genomic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebo, Zachary L; Lee, Han B; Peng, Ying; Guo, Yi

    2014-01-01

    The type II CRISPR/Cas9 system (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated) has recently emerged as an efficient and simple tool for site-specific engineering of eukaryotic genomes. To improve its applications in Drosophila genome engineering, we simplified the standard two-component CRISPR/Cas9 system by generating a stable transgenic fly line expressing the Cas9 endonuclease in the germline (Vasa-Cas9 line). By injecting vectors expressing engineered target-specific guide RNAs into Vasa-Cas9 fly embryos, mutations were generated from site-specific DNA cleavages and efficiently transmitted into progenies. Because Cas9 endonuclease is the universal component of the type II CRISPR/Cas9 system, site-specific genomic engineering based on this improved platform can be achieved with lower complexity and toxicity, greater consistency, and excellent versatility.

  8. Birth order dependent growth cone segregation determines synaptic layer identity in the Drosophila visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Abhishek; Ertekin, Deniz; Lee, Chi-Hon; Hummel, Thomas

    2016-03-17

    The precise recognition of appropriate synaptic partner neurons is a critical step during neural circuit assembly. However, little is known about the developmental context in which recognition specificity is important to establish synaptic contacts. We show that in the Drosophila visual system, sequential segregation of photoreceptor afferents, reflecting their birth order, lead to differential positioning of their growth cones in the early target region. By combining loss- and gain-of-function analyses we demonstrate that relative differences in the expression of the transcription factor Sequoia regulate R cell growth cone segregation. This initial growth cone positioning is consolidated via cell-adhesion molecule Capricious in R8 axons. Further, we show that the initial growth cone positioning determines synaptic layer selection through proximity-based axon-target interactions. Taken together, we demonstrate that birth order dependent pre-patterning of afferent growth cones is an essential pre-requisite for the identification of synaptic partner neurons during visual map formation in Drosophila.

  9. Age-dependent diastolic heart failure in an in vivo Drosophila model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klassen, Matthew P; Peters, Christian J; Zhou, Shiwei; Williams, Hannah H; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung

    2017-01-01

    While the signals and complexes that coordinate the heartbeat are well established, how the heart maintains its electromechanical rhythm over a lifetime remains an open question with significant implications to human health. Reasoning that this homeostatic challenge confronts all pulsatile organs, we developed a high resolution imaging and analysis toolset for measuring cardiac function in intact, unanesthetized Drosophila melanogaster. We demonstrate that, as in humans, normal aging primarily manifests as defects in relaxation (diastole) while preserving contractile performance. Using this approach, we discovered that a pair of two-pore potassium channel (K2P) subunits, largely dispensable early in life, are necessary for terminating contraction (systole) in aged animals, where their loss culminates in fibrillatory cardiac arrest. As the pumping function of its heart is acutely dispensable for survival, Drosophila represents a uniquely accessible model for understanding the signaling networks maintaining cardiac performance during normal aging. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20851.001 PMID:28328397

  10. Drosophila as a Model for Intractable Epilepsy: Gilgamesh Suppresses Seizures in parabss1 Heterozygote Flies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howlett, Iris C.; Rusan, Zeid M.; Parker, Louise; Tanouye, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Intractable epilepsies, that is, seizure disorders that do not respond to currently available therapies, are difficult, often tragic, neurological disorders. Na+ channelopathies have been implicated in some intractable epilepsies, including Dravet syndrome (Dravet 1978), but little progress has been forthcoming in therapeutics. Here we examine a Drosophila model for intractable epilepsy, the Na+ channel gain-of-function mutant parabss1 that resembles Dravet syndrome in some aspects (parker et al. 2011a). In particular, we identify second-site mutations that interact with parabss1, seizure enhancers, and seizure suppressors. We describe one seizure-enhancer mutation named charlatan (chn). The chn gene normally encodes an Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor/RE1-Silencing Transcription factor transcriptional repressor of neuronal-specific genes. We identify a second-site seizure-suppressor mutation, gilgamesh (gish), that reduces the severity of several seizure-like phenotypes of parabss1/+ heterozygotes. The gish gene normally encodes the Drosophila ortholog of casein kinase CK1g3, a member of the CK1 family of serine-threonine kinases. We suggest that CK1g3 is an unexpected but promising new target for seizure therapeutics. PMID:23797108

  11. Impaired Coenzyme A metabolism affects histone and tubulin acetylation in Drosophila and human cell models of pantothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Siudeja, Katarzyna; Srinivasan, Balaji; Xu, Lanjun; Rana, Anil; de Jong, Jannie; Nollen, Ellen A. A.; Jackowski, Suzanne; Sanford, Lynn; Hayflick, Susan; Sibon, Ody C. M.

    2011-01-01

    Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN is a neurodegenerative disease with unresolved pathophysiology. Previously, we observed reduced Coenzyme A levels in a Drosophila model for PKAN. Coenzyme A is required for acetyl-Coenzyme A synthesis and acyl groups from the latter are

  12. Effect of Withania somnifera leaf extract on the dietary supplementation in transgenic Drosophila model of Parkinson’s disease

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    YASIR HASAN SIDDIQUE

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The role of Withania somnifera L. leaf extract was studied on the transgenic Drosophila model flies expressing normal human alpha synuclein (h-αS in the neurons. The leaf extract was prepared in acetone and was subjected to GC-MS analysis. W. somnifera extract at final concentration of 0.25, 0.50 and 1.0 µL/mL was mixed with the diet and the flies were allowed to feed for 24 days. The effect of extract was studied on the climbing ability, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonyl content in the brains of transgenic Drosophila. The exposure of extract to PD model flies did not show any significant delay in the loss of climbing ability nor reduced the oxidative stress in the brains of transgenic Drosophila as compared to untreated PD model flies. The results suggest that W. somnifera leaf extract is not potent in reducing the PD symptoms in transgenic Drosophila model of Parkinson’s disease.

  13. A putative vesicular transporter expressed in Drosophila mushroom bodies that mediates sexual behavior may define a novel neurotransmitter system

    OpenAIRE

    Brooks, Elizabeth S.; Greer, Christina L.; Romero-Calderón, Rafael; Serway, Christine N.; Grygoruk, Anna; Haimovitz, Jasmine M.; Nguyen, Bac T.; Najibi, Rod; Tabone, Christopher J.; de Belle, J. Steven; Krantz, David E.

    2011-01-01

    Storage and release of classical and amino acid neurotransmitters requires vesicular transporters. Some neurons lack known vesicular transporters, suggesting additional neurotransmitter systems remain unidentified. Insect mushroom bodies (MBs) are critical for several behaviors, including learning, but the neurotransmitters released by the intrinsic Kenyon cells (KCs) remain unknown. Likewise, KCs do not express a known vesicular transporter. We report the identification of a novel Drosophila...

  14. A putative vesicular transporter expressed in Drosophila mushroom bodies that mediates sexual behavior may define a novel neurotransmitter system

    OpenAIRE

    Brooks, Elizabeth S.; Greer, Christina L.; Romero-Calderón, Rafael; Serway, Christine N.; Grygoruk, Anna; Haimovitz, Jasmine M.; Nguyen, Bac T.; Najibi, Rod; Tabone, Christopher J.; de Belle, J. Steven; Krantz, David E.

    2011-01-01

    Storage and release of classical and amino acid neurotransmitters requires vesicular transporters. Some neurons lack known vesicular transporters, suggesting additional neurotransmitter systems remain unidentified. Insect mushroom bodies (MBs) are critical for several behaviors, including learning, but the neurotransmitters released by the intrinsic Kenyon cells (KCs) remain unknown. Likewise, KCs do not express a known vesicular transporter. We report the identification of a novel Drosophila...

  15. Novel Organelles with Elements of Bacterial and Eukaryotic Secretion Systems Weaponize Parasites of Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, Mary Ellen; Ramroop, Johnny; Gueguen, Gwenaelle; Ramrattan, Girish; Dolios, Georgia; Scarpati, Michael; Kwiat, Jonathan; Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Wang, Rong; Singh, Shaneen; Govind, Shubha

    2017-09-06

    The evolutionary success of parasitoid wasps, a highly diverse group of insects widely used in biocontrol, depends on a variety of life history strategies in conflict with those of their hosts [1]. Drosophila melanogaster is a natural host of parasitic wasps of the genus Leptopilina. Attack by L. boulardi (Lb), a specialist wasp to flies of the melanogaster group, activates NF-κB-mediated humoral and cellular immunity. Inflammatory blood cells mobilize and encapsulate Lb eggs and embryos [2-5]. L. heterotoma (Lh), a generalist wasp, kills larval blood cells and actively suppresses immune responses. Spiked virus-like particles (VLPs) in wasp venom have clearly been linked to wasps' successful parasitism of Drosophila [6], but the composition of VLPs and their biotic nature have remained mysterious. Our proteomics studies reveal that VLPs lack viral coat proteins but possess a pharmacopoeia of (1) the eukaryotic vesicular transport system, (2) immunity, and (3) previously unknown proteins. These novel proteins distinguish Lh from Lb VLPs; notably, some proteins specific to Lh VLPs possess sequence similarities with bacterial secretion system proteins. Structure-informed analyses of an abundant Lh VLP surface and spike-tip protein, p40, reveal similarities to the needle-tip invasin proteins SipD and IpaD of Gram-negative bacterial type-3 secretion systems that breach immune barriers and deliver virulence factors into mammalian cells. Our studies suggest that Lh VLPs represent a new class of extracellular organelles and share pathways for protein delivery with both eukaryotic microvesicles and bacterial surface secretion systems. Given their mixed prokaryotic and eukaryotic properties, we propose the term mixed-strategy extracellular vesicle (MSEV) to replace VLP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Pentamidine rescues contractility and rhythmicity in a Drosophila model of myotonic dystrophy heart dysfunction

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    Mouli Chakraborty

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Up to 80% of individuals with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1 will develop cardiac abnormalities at some point during the progression of their disease, the most common of which is heart blockage of varying degrees. Such blockage is characterized by conduction defects and supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia, and carries a high risk of sudden cardiac death. Despite its importance, very few animal model studies have focused on the heart dysfunction in DM1. Here, we describe the characterization of the heart phenotype in a Drosophila model expressing pure expanded CUG repeats under the control of the cardiomyocyte-specific driver GMH5-Gal4. Morphologically, expression of 250 CUG repeats caused abnormalities in the parallel alignment of the spiral myofibrils in dissected fly hearts, as revealed by phalloidin staining. Moreover, combined immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization of Muscleblind and CUG repeats, respectively, confirmed detectable ribonuclear foci and Muscleblind sequestration, characteristic features of DM1, exclusively in flies expressing the expanded CTG repeats. Similarly to what has been reported in humans with DM1, heart-specific expression of toxic RNA resulted in reduced survival, increased arrhythmia, altered diastolic and systolic function, reduced heart tube diameters and reduced contractility in the model flies. As a proof of concept that the fly heart model can be used for in vivo testing of promising therapeutic compounds, we fed flies with pentamidine, a compound previously described to improve DM1 phenotypes. Pentamidine not only released Muscleblind from the CUG RNA repeats and reduced ribonuclear formation in the Drosophila heart, but also rescued heart arrhythmicity and contractility, and improved fly survival in animals expressing 250 CUG repeats.

  17. Pentamidine rescues contractility and rhythmicity in a Drosophila model of myotonic dystrophy heart dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Mouli; Selma-Soriano, Estela; Magny, Emile; Couso, Juan Pablo; Pérez-Alonso, Manuel; Charlet-Berguerand, Nicolas; Artero, Ruben; Llamusi, Beatriz

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Up to 80% of individuals with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) will develop cardiac abnormalities at some point during the progression of their disease, the most common of which is heart blockage of varying degrees. Such blockage is characterized by conduction defects and supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia, and carries a high risk of sudden cardiac death. Despite its importance, very few animal model studies have focused on the heart dysfunction in DM1. Here, we describe the characterization of the heart phenotype in a Drosophila model expressing pure expanded CUG repeats under the control of the cardiomyocyte-specific driver GMH5-Gal4. Morphologically, expression of 250 CUG repeats caused abnormalities in the parallel alignment of the spiral myofibrils in dissected fly hearts, as revealed by phalloidin staining. Moreover, combined immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization of Muscleblind and CUG repeats, respectively, confirmed detectable ribonuclear foci and Muscleblind sequestration, characteristic features of DM1, exclusively in flies expressing the expanded CTG repeats. Similarly to what has been reported in humans with DM1, heart-specific expression of toxic RNA resulted in reduced survival, increased arrhythmia, altered diastolic and systolic function, reduced heart tube diameters and reduced contractility in the model flies. As a proof of concept that the fly heart model can be used for in vivo testing of promising therapeutic compounds, we fed flies with pentamidine, a compound previously described to improve DM1 phenotypes. Pentamidine not only released Muscleblind from the CUG RNA repeats and reduced ribonuclear formation in the Drosophila heart, but also rescued heart arrhythmicity and contractility, and improved fly survival in animals expressing 250 CUG repeats. PMID:26515653

  18. Pentamidine rescues contractility and rhythmicity in a Drosophila model of myotonic dystrophy heart dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Mouli; Selma-Soriano, Estela; Magny, Emile; Couso, Juan Pablo; Pérez-Alonso, Manuel; Charlet-Berguerand, Nicolas; Artero, Ruben; Llamusi, Beatriz

    2015-12-01

    Up to 80% of individuals with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) will develop cardiac abnormalities at some point during the progression of their disease, the most common of which is heart blockage of varying degrees. Such blockage is characterized by conduction defects and supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia, and carries a high risk of sudden cardiac death. Despite its importance, very few animal model studies have focused on the heart dysfunction in DM1. Here, we describe the characterization of the heart phenotype in a Drosophila model expressing pure expanded CUG repeats under the control of the cardiomyocyte-specific driver GMH5-Gal4. Morphologically, expression of 250 CUG repeats caused abnormalities in the parallel alignment of the spiral myofibrils in dissected fly hearts, as revealed by phalloidin staining. Moreover, combined immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization of Muscleblind and CUG repeats, respectively, confirmed detectable ribonuclear foci and Muscleblind sequestration, characteristic features of DM1, exclusively in flies expressing the expanded CTG repeats. Similarly to what has been reported in humans with DM1, heart-specific expression of toxic RNA resulted in reduced survival, increased arrhythmia, altered diastolic and systolic function, reduced heart tube diameters and reduced contractility in the model flies. As a proof of concept that the fly heart model can be used for in vivo testing of promising therapeutic compounds, we fed flies with pentamidine, a compound previously described to improve DM1 phenotypes. Pentamidine not only released Muscleblind from the CUG RNA repeats and reduced ribonuclear formation in the Drosophila heart, but also rescued heart arrhythmicity and contractility, and improved fly survival in animals expressing 250 CUG repeats.

  19. Phylogeography, Interaction Patterns and the Evolution of Host Choice in Drosophila-Parasitoid Systems in Ryukyu Archipelago and Taiwan.

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    Biljana Novković

    Full Text Available Island biotas provide a great opportunity to study not only the phylogeographic patterns of a group of species, but also to explore the differentiation in their coevolutionary interactions. Drosophila and their parasitoids are exemplary systems for studying complex interaction patterns. However, there is a lack of studies combining interaction-based and molecular marker-based methods. We applied an integrated approach combining phylogeography, interaction, and host-choice behavior studies, with the aim to understand how coevolutionary interactions evolve in Drosophila-parasitoid island populations. The study focused on the three most abundant Drosophila species in Ryukyu archipelago and Taiwan: D. albomicans, D. bipectinata, and D. takahashii, and the Drosophila-parasitoid Leptopilina ryukyuensis. We determined mitochondrial COI haplotypes for samples representing five island populations of Drosophila and four island populations of L. ryukyuensis. We additionally sequenced parts of the autosomal Gpdh for Drosophila samples, and the ITS2 for parasitoid samples. Phylogenetic and coalescent analyses were used to test for demographic events and to place them in a temporal framework. Geographical differences in Drosophila-parasitoid interactions were studied in host-acceptance, host-suitability, and host-choice experiments. All four species showed species-specific phylogeographic patterns. A general trend of the haplotype diversity increasing towards the south was observed. D. albomicans showed very high COI haplotype diversity, and had the most phylogeographically structured populations, with differentiation into the northern and the southern population-group, divided by the Kerama gap. Differentiation in host suitability was observed only between highly structured populations of D. albomicans, possibly facilitated by restricted gene flow. Differentiation in host-acceptance in D. takahashii, and host-acceptance and host-choice in L. ryukyuensis was

  20. Disruption of an EAAT-Mediated Chloride Channel in a Drosophila Model of Ataxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parinejad, Neda; Peco, Emilie; Ferreira, Tiago; Stacey, Stephanie M; van Meyel, Donald J

    2016-07-20

    Patients with Type 6 episodic ataxia (EA6) have mutations of the excitatory amino acid transporter EAAT1 (also known as GLAST), but the underlying pathophysiological mechanism for EA6 is not known. EAAT1 is a glutamate transporter expressed by astrocytes and other glia, and it serves dual function as an anion channel. One EA6-associated mutation is a P>R substitution (EAAT1(P>R)) that in transfected cells has a reduced rate of glutamate transport and an abnormal anion conductance. We expressed this EAAT1(P>R) mutation in glial cells of Drosophila larvae and found that these larvae exhibit episodic paralysis, and their astrocytes poorly infiltrate the CNS neuropil. These defects are not seen in Eaat1-null mutants, and so they cannot be explained by loss of glutamate transport. We instead explored the role of the abnormal anion conductance of the EAAT1(P>R) mutation, and to do this we expressed chloride cotransporters in astrocytes. Like the EAAT1(P>R) mutation, the chloride-extruding K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter KccB also caused astroglial malformation and paralysis, supporting the idea that the EAAT1(P>R) mutation causes abnormal chloride flow from CNS glia. In contrast, the Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter Ncc69, which normally allows chloride into cells, rescued the effects of the EAAT1(P>R) mutation. Together, our results indicate that the cytopathology and episodic paralysis in our Drosophila EA6 model stem from a gain-of-function chloride channelopathy of glial cells. We studied a mutation found in episodic ataxia of the dual-function glutamate transporter/anion channel EAAT1, and discovered it caused malformation of astrocytes and episodes of paralysis in a Drosophila model. These effects were mimicked by a chloride-extruding cotransporter and were rescued by restoring chloride homeostasis to glial cells with a Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter. Our findings reveal a new pathophysiological mechanism in which astrocyte cytopathology and neural circuit dysfunction

  1. Visualization of Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Fixed and Live Drosophila Egg Chambers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groen, Christopher M; Tootle, Tina L

    2015-01-01

    Visualization of actin cytoskeletal dynamics is critical for understanding the spatial and temporal regulation of actin remodeling. Drosophila oogenesis provides an excellent model system for visualizing the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we present methods for imaging the actin cytoskeleton in Drosophila egg chambers in both fixed samples by phalloidin staining and in live egg chambers using transgenic actin labeling tools.

  2. Delivery of circulating lipoproteins to specific neurons in the Drosophila brain regulates systemic insulin signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brankatschk, Marko; Dunst, Sebastian; Nemetschke, Linda; Eaton, Suzanne

    2014-10-02

    The Insulin signaling pathway couples growth, development and lifespan to nutritional conditions. Here, we demonstrate a function for the Drosophila lipoprotein LTP in conveying information about dietary lipid composition to the brain to regulate Insulin signaling. When yeast lipids are present in the diet, free calcium levels rise in Blood Brain Barrier glial cells. This induces transport of LTP across the Blood Brain Barrier by two LDL receptor-related proteins: LRP1 and Megalin. LTP accumulates on specific neurons that connect to cells that produce Insulin-like peptides, and induces their release into the circulation. This increases systemic Insulin signaling and the rate of larval development on yeast-containing food compared with a plant-based food of similar nutritional content.

  3. Metal Homeostasis Regulators Suppress FRDA Phenotypes in a Drosophila Model of the Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirena Soriano

    Full Text Available Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA, the most commonly inherited ataxia in populations of European origin, is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a decrease in frataxin levels. One of the hallmarks of the disease is the accumulation of iron in several tissues including the brain, and frataxin has been proposed to play a key role in iron homeostasis. We found that the levels of zinc, copper, manganese and aluminum were also increased in a Drosophila model of FRDA, and that copper and zinc chelation improve their impaired motor performance. By means of a candidate genetic screen, we identified that genes implicated in iron, zinc and copper transport and metal detoxification can restore frataxin deficiency-induced phenotypes. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the metal dysregulation in FRDA includes other metals besides iron, therefore providing a new set of potential therapeutic targets.

  4. Metal Homeostasis Regulators Suppress FRDA Phenotypes in a Drosophila Model of the Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Sirena; Calap-Quintana, Pablo; Llorens, José Vicente; Al-Ramahi, Ismael; Gutiérrez, Lucía; Martínez-Sebastián, María José; Botas, Juan; Moltó, María Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA), the most commonly inherited ataxia in populations of European origin, is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a decrease in frataxin levels. One of the hallmarks of the disease is the accumulation of iron in several tissues including the brain, and frataxin has been proposed to play a key role in iron homeostasis. We found that the levels of zinc, copper, manganese and aluminum were also increased in a Drosophila model of FRDA, and that copper and zinc chelation improve their impaired motor performance. By means of a candidate genetic screen, we identified that genes implicated in iron, zinc and copper transport and metal detoxification can restore frataxin deficiency-induced phenotypes. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the metal dysregulation in FRDA includes other metals besides iron, therefore providing a new set of potential therapeutic targets. PMID:27433942

  5. A Single Dopamine Pathway Underlies Progressive Locomotor Deficits in a Drosophila Model of Parkinson Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Riemensperger

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Expression of the human Parkinson-disease-associated protein α-synuclein in all Drosophila neurons induces progressive locomotor deficits. Here, we identify a group of 15 dopaminergic neurons per hemisphere in the anterior medial region of the brain whose disruption correlates with climbing impairments in this model. These neurons selectively innervate the horizontal β and β′ lobes of the mushroom bodies, and their connections to the Kenyon cells are markedly reduced when they express α-synuclein. Using selective mushroom body drivers, we show that blocking or overstimulating neuronal activity in the β′ lobe, but not the β or γ lobes, significantly inhibits negative geotaxis behavior. This suggests that modulation of the mushroom body β′ lobes by this dopaminergic pathway is specifically required for an efficient control of startle-induced locomotion in flies.

  6. The insulin receptor is required for the development of the Drosophila peripheral nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Dutriaux

    Full Text Available The Insulin Receptor (InR in Drosophila presents features conserved in its mammalian counterparts. InR is required for growth; it is expressed in the central and embryonic nervous system and modulates the time of differentiation of the eye photoreceptor without altering cell fate. We show that the InR is required for the formation of the peripheral nervous system during larval development and more particularly for the formation of sensory organ precursors (SOPs on the fly notum and scutellum. SOPs arise in the proneural cluster that expresses high levels of the proneural proteins Achaete (Ac and Scute (Sc. The other cells will become epidermis due to lateral inhibition induced by the Notch (N receptor signal that prevents its neighbors from adopting a neural fate. In addition, misexpression of the InR or of other components of the pathway (PTEN, Akt, FOXO induces the development of an abnormal number of macrochaetes that are Drosophila mechanoreceptors. Our data suggest that InR regulates the neural genes ac, sc and sens. The FOXO transcription factor which is localized in the cytoplasm upon insulin uptake, displays strong genetic interaction with the InR and is involved in Ac regulation. The genetic interactions between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, Ras and InR/FOXO suggest that these proteins cooperate to induce neural gene expression. Moreover, InR/FOXO is probably involved in the lateral inhibition process, since genetic interactions with N are highly significant. These results show that the InR can alter cell fate, independently of its function in cell growth and proliferation.

  7. Local and systemic effects of targeted zinc redistribution in Drosophila neuronal and gastrointestinal tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christopher D; Burke, Richard

    2015-12-01

    While the effects of systemic zinc ion deficiency and toxicity on animal health are well documented, the impacts of localized, tissue-specific disturbances in zinc homeostasis are less well understood. Previously we have identified zinc dyshomeostasis scenarios caused by the targeted manipulation of zinc transport genes in the Drosophila eye. Over expression of the uptake transporter dZIP42C.1 (dZIP1) combined with knockdown of the efflux transporter dZNT63C (dZNT1) causes a zinc toxicity phenotype, as does over expression of dZIP71B or dZNT86D. However, all three genotypes result in different morphologies, responses to dietary zinc, and genetic interactions with the remaining zinc transport genes, indicating that each causes a different redistribution of zinc within affected cells. dZNT86D (eGFP) over expression generates a completely different phenotype, interpreted as a Golgi zinc deficiency. Here we assess the effect of each of these transgenes when targeted to a range of Drosophila tissues. We find that dZIP71B is a particularly potent zinc uptake gene, causing early developmental lethality when targeted to multiple different tissue types. dZNT86D over expression (Golgi-only zinc toxicity) is less deleterious, but causes highly penetrant adult cuticle, sensory bristle and wing expansion defects. The dZIP42C.1 over expression, dZNT63C knockdown combination causes only moderate adult cuticle defects and sensitivity to dietary zinc when expressed in the midgut. The Golgi-only zinc deficiency caused by dZNT86D (eGFP) expression results in mild cuticle defects, highly penetrant wing expansion defects and developmental lethality when targeted to the central nervous system and, uniquely, the fat bodies.

  8. Overelaborated synaptic architecture and reduced synaptomatrix glycosylation in a Drosophila classic galactosemia disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jumbo-Lucioni, Patricia; Parkinson, William; Broadie, Kendal

    2014-12-01

    Classic galactosemia (CG) is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT), which catalyzes conversion of galactose-1-phosphate and uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose to glucose-1-phosphate and UDP-galactose, immediately upstream of UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine synthesis. These four UDP-sugars are essential donors for driving the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, which heavily decorate cell surfaces and extracellular spaces. In addition to acute, potentially lethal neonatal symptoms, maturing individuals with CG develop striking neurodevelopmental, motor and cognitive impairments. Previous studies suggest that neurological symptoms are associated with glycosylation defects, with CG recently being described as a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG), showing defects in both N- and O-linked glycans. Here, we characterize behavioral traits, synaptic development and glycosylated synaptomatrix formation in a GALT-deficient Drosophila disease model. Loss of Drosophila GALT (dGALT) greatly impairs coordinated movement and results in structural overelaboration and architectural abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Dietary galactose and mutation of galactokinase (dGALK) or UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (sugarless) genes are identified, respectively, as critical environmental and genetic modifiers of behavioral and cellular defects. Assaying the NMJ extracellular synaptomatrix with a broad panel of lectin probes reveals profound alterations in dGALT mutants, including depletion of galactosyl, N-acetylgalactosamine and fucosylated horseradish peroxidase (HRP) moieties, which are differentially corrected by dGALK co-removal and sugarless overexpression. Synaptogenesis relies on trans-synaptic signals modulated by this synaptomatrix carbohydrate environment, and dGALT-null NMJs display striking changes in heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) co-receptor and Wnt ligand levels

  9. Predictive Models of Recombination Rate Variation across the Drosophila melanogaster Genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian, Andrew B.; Corchado, Johnny Cruz; Comeron, Josep M.

    2016-01-01

    In all eukaryotic species examined, meiotic recombination, and crossovers in particular, occur non‐randomly along chromosomes. The cause for this non-random distribution remains poorly understood but some specific DNA sequence motifs have been shown to be enriched near crossover hotspots in a number of species. We present analyses using machine learning algorithms to investigate whether DNA motif distribution across the genome can be used to predict crossover variation in Drosophila melanogaster, a species without hotspots. Our study exposes a combinatorial non-linear influence of motif presence able to account for a significant fraction of the genome-wide variation in crossover rates at all genomic scales investigated, from 20% at 5-kb to almost 70% at 2,500-kb scale. The models are particularly predictive for regions with the highest and lowest crossover rates and remain highly informative after removing sub-telomeric and -centromeric regions known to have strongly reduced crossover rates. Transcriptional activity during early meiosis and differences in motif use between autosomes and the X chromosome add to the predictive power of the models. Moreover, we show that population-specific differences in crossover rates can be partly explained by differences in motif presence. Our results suggest that crossover distribution in Drosophila is influenced by both meiosis-specific chromatin dynamics and very local constitutive open chromatin associated with DNA motifs that prevent nucleosome stabilization. These findings provide new information on the genetic factors influencing variation in recombination rates and a baseline to study epigenetic mechanisms responsible for plastic recombination as response to different biotic and abiotic conditions and stresses. PMID:27492232

  10. Overelaborated synaptic architecture and reduced synaptomatrix glycosylation in a Drosophila classic galactosemia disease model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Jumbo-Lucioni

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Classic galactosemia (CG is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT, which catalyzes conversion of galactose-1-phosphate and uridine diphosphate (UDP-glucose to glucose-1-phosphate and UDP-galactose, immediately upstream of UDP–N-acetylgalactosamine and UDP–N-acetylglucosamine synthesis. These four UDP-sugars are essential donors for driving the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, which heavily decorate cell surfaces and extracellular spaces. In addition to acute, potentially lethal neonatal symptoms, maturing individuals with CG develop striking neurodevelopmental, motor and cognitive impairments. Previous studies suggest that neurological symptoms are associated with glycosylation defects, with CG recently being described as a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG, showing defects in both N- and O-linked glycans. Here, we characterize behavioral traits, synaptic development and glycosylated synaptomatrix formation in a GALT-deficient Drosophila disease model. Loss of Drosophila GALT (dGALT greatly impairs coordinated movement and results in structural overelaboration and architectural abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. Dietary galactose and mutation of galactokinase (dGALK or UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (sugarless genes are identified, respectively, as critical environmental and genetic modifiers of behavioral and cellular defects. Assaying the NMJ extracellular synaptomatrix with a broad panel of lectin probes reveals profound alterations in dGALT mutants, including depletion of galactosyl, N-acetylgalactosamine and fucosylated horseradish peroxidase (HRP moieties, which are differentially corrected by dGALK co-removal and sugarless overexpression. Synaptogenesis relies on trans-synaptic signals modulated by this synaptomatrix carbohydrate environment, and dGALT-null NMJs display striking changes in heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG co-receptor and Wnt

  11. Interactions between Drosophila and its natural yeast symbionts—Is Saccharomyces cerevisiae a good model for studying the fly-yeast relationship?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Hoang

    2015-08-01

    preference of D. melanogaster when given the choice between a naturally associated yeast and S. cerevisiae. We do not find a correlation between preferred yeasts and those that persist in the intestine. Notably, in no instances is S. cerevisiae preferred over the naturally associated strains. Overall, our results show that D. melanogaster-yeast interactions are more complex than might be revealed in experiments that use only S. cerevisiae. We propose that future research utilize other yeasts, and especially those that are naturally associated with Drosophila, to more fully understand the role of yeasts in Drosophila biology. Since the genetic basis of host–microbe interactions is shared across taxa and since many of these genes are initially discovered in D. melanogaster, a more realistic fly-yeast model system will benefit our understanding of host–microbe interactions throughout the animal kingdom.

  12. Glia ECM interactions are required to shape the Drosophila nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Silke; Schmidt, Imke; Klämbt, Christian

    2014-08-01

    Organs are characterized by a specific shape that is often remodeled during development. The dynamics of organ shape is in particular evident during the formation of the Drosophila nervous system. During embryonic stages the central nervous system compacts, whereas selective growth occurs during larval stages. The nervous system is covered by a layer of surface glial cells that form the blood brain barrier and a thick extracellular matrix called neural lamella. The size of the neural lamella is dynamically adjusted to the growing nervous system and we show here that perineurial glial cells secrete proteases to remodel this matrix. Moreover, an imbalance in proteolytic activity results in an abnormal shape of the nervous system. To identify further components controlling nervous system shape we performed an RNAi based screen and identified the gene nolo, which encodes an ADAMTS-like protein. We generated loss of function alleles and demonstrate a requirement in glial cells. Mutant nolo larvae, however, do not show an abnormal nervous system shape. The only predicted off-target of the nolo(dsRNA) is Oatp30B, which encodes an organic anion transporting protein characterized by an extracellular protease inhibitor domain. Loss of function mutants were generated and double mutant analyses demonstrate a genetic interaction between nolo and Oatp30B which prevented the generation of maternal zygotic mutant larvae.

  13. Drosophila melanogaster "a potential model organism" for identification of pharmacological properties of plants/plant-derived components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panchal, Komal; Tiwari, Anand K

    2017-03-18

    Plants/plant-derived components have been used from ancient times to treat/cure several human diseases. Plants and their parts possess several chemical components that play the vital role in the improvement of human health and their life expectancy. Allopathic medicines have been playing a key role in the treatment of several diseases. Though allopathic medicines provide fast relief, long time consumption cause serious health concerns such as hyperallergic reactions, liver damage, etc. So, the study of medicinal plants which rarely cause any side effect is very important to mankind. Plants contain many health benefit properties like antioxidant, anti-aging, neuroprotective, anti-genotoxic, anti-mutagenic and bioinsecticidal activity. Thus, identification of pharmacological properties of plants/plant-derived components are of utmost importance to be explored. Several model organisms have been used to identify the pharmacological properties of the different plants or active components therein and Drosophila is one of them. Drosophila melanogaster "fruit fly" is a well understood, high-throughput model organism being used more than 110 years to study the different biological aspects related to the development and diseases. Most of the developmental and cell signaling pathways and ∼75% human disease-related genes are conserved between human and Drosophila. Using Drosophila, one can easily analyze the pharmacological properties of plants/plant-derived components by performing several assays available with flies such as survivorship, locomotor, antioxidant, cell death, etc. The current review focuses on the potential of Drosophila melanogaster for the identification of medicinal/pharmacological properties associated with plants/plant-derived components.

  14. Relationships between the circadian system and Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dani M Long

    Full Text Available Circadian clocks coordinate physiological, neurological, and behavioral functions into circa 24 hour rhythms, and the molecular mechanisms underlying circadian clock oscillations are conserved from Drosophila to humans. Clock oscillations and clock-controlled rhythms are known to dampen during aging; additionally, genetic or environmental clock disruption leads to accelerated aging and increased susceptibility to age-related pathologies. Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD, are associated with a decay of circadian rhythms, but it is not clear whether circadian disruption accelerates neuronal and motor decline associated with these diseases. To address this question, we utilized transgenic Drosophila expressing various Amyloid-β (Aβ peptides, which are prone to form aggregates characteristic of AD pathology in humans. We compared development of AD-like symptoms in adult flies expressing Aβ peptides in the wild type background and in flies with clocks disrupted via a null mutation in the clock gene period (per01. No significant differences were observed in longevity, climbing ability and brain neurodegeneration levels between control and clock-deficient flies, suggesting that loss of clock function does not exacerbate pathogenicity caused by human-derived Aβ peptides in flies. However, AD-like pathologies affected the circadian system in aging flies. We report that rest/activity rhythms were impaired in an age-dependent manner. Flies expressing the highly pathogenic arctic Aβ peptide showed a dramatic degradation of these rhythms in tune with their reduced longevity and impaired climbing ability. At the same time, the central pacemaker remained intact in these flies providing evidence that expression of Aβ peptides causes rhythm degradation downstream from the central clock mechanism.

  15. Neuroarchitecture of aminergic systems in the larval ventral ganglion of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vömel, Matthias; Wegener, Christian

    2008-03-26

    Biogenic amines are important signaling molecules in the central nervous system of both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, biogenic amines take part in the regulation of various vital physiological processes such as feeding, learning/memory, locomotion, sexual behavior, and sleep/arousal. Consequently, several morphological studies have analyzed the distribution of aminergic neurons in the CNS. Previous descriptions, however, did not determine the exact spatial location of aminergic neurite arborizations within the neuropil. The release sites and pre-/postsynaptic compartments of aminergic neurons also remained largely unidentified. We here used gal4-driven marker gene expression and immunocytochemistry to map presumed serotonergic (5-HT), dopaminergic, and tyraminergic/octopaminergic neurons in the thoracic and abdominal neuromeres of the Drosophila larval ventral ganglion relying on Fasciclin2-immunoreactive tracts as three-dimensional landmarks. With tyrosine hydroxylase- (TH) or tyrosine decarboxylase 2 (TDC2)-specific gal4-drivers, we also analyzed the distribution of ectopically expressed neuronal compartment markers in presumptive dopaminergic TH and tyraminergic/octopaminergic TDC2 neurons, respectively. Our results suggest that thoracic and abdominal 5-HT and TH neurons are exclusively interneurons whereas most TDC2 neurons are efferent. 5-HT and TH neurons are ideally positioned to integrate sensory information and to modulate neuronal transmission within the ventral ganglion, while most TDC2 neurons appear to act peripherally. In contrast to 5-HT neurons, TH and TDC2 neurons each comprise morphologically different neuron subsets with separated in- and output compartments in specific neuropil regions. The three-dimensional mapping of aminergic neurons now facilitates the identification of neuronal network contacts and co-localized signaling molecules, as exemplified for DOPA decarboxylase-synthesizing neurons that co

  16. Neuroarchitecture of aminergic systems in the larval ventral ganglion of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Vömel

    Full Text Available Biogenic amines are important signaling molecules in the central nervous system of both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, biogenic amines take part in the regulation of various vital physiological processes such as feeding, learning/memory, locomotion, sexual behavior, and sleep/arousal. Consequently, several morphological studies have analyzed the distribution of aminergic neurons in the CNS. Previous descriptions, however, did not determine the exact spatial location of aminergic neurite arborizations within the neuropil. The release sites and pre-/postsynaptic compartments of aminergic neurons also remained largely unidentified. We here used gal4-driven marker gene expression and immunocytochemistry to map presumed serotonergic (5-HT, dopaminergic, and tyraminergic/octopaminergic neurons in the thoracic and abdominal neuromeres of the Drosophila larval ventral ganglion relying on Fasciclin2-immunoreactive tracts as three-dimensional landmarks. With tyrosine hydroxylase- (TH or tyrosine decarboxylase 2 (TDC2-specific gal4-drivers, we also analyzed the distribution of ectopically expressed neuronal compartment markers in presumptive dopaminergic TH and tyraminergic/octopaminergic TDC2 neurons, respectively. Our results suggest that thoracic and abdominal 5-HT and TH neurons are exclusively interneurons whereas most TDC2 neurons are efferent. 5-HT and TH neurons are ideally positioned to integrate sensory information and to modulate neuronal transmission within the ventral ganglion, while most TDC2 neurons appear to act peripherally. In contrast to 5-HT neurons, TH and TDC2 neurons each comprise morphologically different neuron subsets with separated in- and output compartments in specific neuropil regions. The three-dimensional mapping of aminergic neurons now facilitates the identification of neuronal network contacts and co-localized signaling molecules, as exemplified for DOPA decarboxylase

  17. Navigation-specific neural coding in the visual system of Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewar, Alex D M; Wystrach, Antoine; Graham, Paul; Philippides, Andrew

    2015-10-01

    Drosophila melanogaster are a good system in which to understand the minimal requirements for widespread visually guided behaviours such as navigation, due to their small brains (adults possess only 100,000 neurons) and the availability of neurogenetic techniques which allow the identification of task-specific cell types. Recently published data describe the receptive fields for two classes of visually responsive neurons (R2 and R3/R4d ring neurons in the central complex) that are essential for visual tasks such as orientation memory for salient objects and simple pattern discriminations. What is interesting is that these cells have very large receptive fields and are very small in number, suggesting that each sub-population of cells might be a bottleneck in the processing of visual information for a specific behaviour, as each subset of cells effectively condenses information from approximately 3000 visual receptors in the eye, to fewer than 50 neurons in total. It has recently been shown how R1 ring neurons, which receive input from the same areas as the R2 and R3/R4d cells, are necessary for place learning in Drosophila. However, how R1 neurons enable place learning is unknown. By examining the information provided by different populations of hypothetical visual neurons in simulations of experimental arenas, we show that neurons with ring neuron-like receptive fields are sufficient for defining a location visually. In this way we provide a link between the type of information conveyed by ring neurons and the behaviour they support.

  18. Adult Neurogenesis in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Ismael Fernández-Hernández; Christa Rhiner; Eduardo Moreno

    2013-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis has been linked to several cognitive functions and neurological disorders. Description of adult neurogenesis in a model organism like Drosophila could facilitate the genetic study of normal and abnormal neurogenesis in the adult brain. So far, formation of new neurons has not been detected in adult fly brains and hence has been thought to be absent in Drosophila. Here, we used an improved lineage-labeling method to show that, surprisingly, adult neurogenesis occurs in the m...

  19. The Effects of Hempseed Meal Intake and Linoleic Acid on Drosophila Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Hypercholesterolemia

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Hempseed is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have potential as therapeutic compounds for the treatment of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular dis-ease. However, the effect of hempseed meal (HSM) intake on the animal models of these diseases has yet to be elucidated. In this study, we assessed the effects of the intake of HSM and PUFAs on oxidative stress, cytotoxicity and neurological phenotypes, and cholesterol uptake, using Drosophila models. HSM intake was shown to reduc...

  20. Muscleblind, BSF and TBPH are mislocalized in the muscle sarcomere of a Drosophila myotonic dystrophy model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Llamusi

    2013-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1 is a genetic disease caused by the pathological expansion of a CTG trinucleotide repeat in the 3′ UTR of the DMPK gene. In the DMPK transcripts, the CUG expansions sequester RNA-binding proteins into nuclear foci, including transcription factors and alternative splicing regulators such as MBNL1. MBNL1 sequestration has been associated with key features of DM1. However, the basis behind a number of molecular and histological alterations in DM1 remain unclear. To help identify new pathogenic components of the disease, we carried out a genetic screen using a Drosophila model of DM1 that expresses 480 interrupted CTG repeats, i(CTG480, and a collection of 1215 transgenic RNA interference (RNAi fly lines. Of the 34 modifiers identified, two RNA-binding proteins, TBPH (homolog of human TAR DNA-binding protein 43 or TDP-43 and BSF (Bicoid stability factor; homolog of human LRPPRC, were of particular interest. These factors modified i(CTG480 phenotypes in the fly eye and wing, and TBPH silencing also suppressed CTG-induced defects in the flight muscles. In Drosophila flight muscle, TBPH, BSF and the fly ortholog of MBNL1, Muscleblind (Mbl, were detected in sarcomeric bands. Expression of i(CTG480 resulted in changes in the sarcomeric patterns of these proteins, which could be restored by coexpression with human MBNL1. Epistasis studies showed that Mbl silencing was sufficient to induce a subcellular redistribution of TBPH and BSF proteins in the muscle, which mimicked the effect of i(CTG480 expression. These results provide the first description of TBPH and BSF as targets of Mbl-mediated CTG toxicity, and they suggest an important role of these proteins in DM1 muscle pathology.

  1. Mathematical modeling of planar cell polarity signaling in the Drosophila melanogaster wing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amonlirdviman, Keith

    Planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling refers to the coordinated polarization of cells within the plane of various epithelial tissues to generate sub-cellular asymmetry along an axis orthogonal to their apical-basal axes. For example, in the Drosophila wing, PCP is seen in the parallel orientation of hairs that protrude from each of the approximately 30,000 epithelial cells to robustly point toward the wing tip. Through a poorly understood mechanism, cell clones mutant for some PCP signaling components, including some, but not all alleles of the receptor frizzled, cause polarity disruptions of neighboring, wild-type cells, a phenomenon referred to as domineering nonautonomy. Previous models have proposed diffusible factors to explain nonautonomy, but no such factors have yet been found. This dissertation describes the mathematical modeling of PCP in the Drosophila wing, based on a contact dependent signaling hypothesis derived from experimental results. Intuition alone is insufficient to deduce that this hypothesis, which relies on a local feedback loop acting at the cell membrane, underlies the complex patterns observed in large fields of cells containing mutant clones, and others have argued that it cannot account for observed phenotypes. Through reaction-diffusion, partial differential equation modeling and simulation, the feedback loop is shown to fully reproduce PCP phenotypes, including domineering nonautonomy. The sufficiency of this model and the experimental validation of model predictions argue that previously proposed diffusible factors need not be invoked to explain PCP signaling and reveal how specific protein-protein interactions lead to autonomy or domineering nonautonomy. Based on these results, an ordinary differential equation model is derived to study the relationship of the feedback loop with upstream signaling components. The cadherin Fat transduces a cue to the local feedback loop, biasing the polarity direction of each cell toward the wing tip

  2. Asymmetric stem cell division: lessons from Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Pao-Shu; Egger, Boris; Brand, Andrea H

    2008-06-01

    Asymmetric cell division is an important and conserved strategy in the generation of cellular diversity during animal development. Many of our insights into the underlying mechanisms of asymmetric cell division have been gained from Drosophila, including the establishment of polarity, orientation of mitotic spindles and segregation of cell fate determinants. Recent studies are also beginning to reveal the connection between the misregulation of asymmetric cell division and cancer. What we are learning from Drosophila as a model system has implication both for stem cell biology and also cancer research.

  3. Hybridization, transgressive segregation and evolution of new genetic systems in Drosophila

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    H. A. Ranganath; S. Aruna

    2003-12-01

    Introgressive hybridization facilitates incorporation of genes from one species into the gene pool of another. Studies on long-term effects of introgressive hybridization in animal systems are sparse. Drosophila nasuta ($2n = 8$) and D. albomicans ($2n = 6$)—a pair of allopatric, morphologically almost identical, cross-fertile members of the nasuta subgroup of the immigrans species group—constitute an excellent system to analyse the impact of hybridization followed by transgressive segregation of parental characters in the hybrid progeny. Hybrid populations of D. nasuta and D. albomicans maintained for over 500 generations in the laboratory constitute new recombinant hybrid genomes, here termed cytoraces. The impact of hybridization, followed by introgression and transgressive segregation, on chromosomal constitution and karyotypes, some fitness parameters, isozymes, components of mating behaviour and mating preference reveals a complex pattern of interracial divergence among parental species and cytoraces. This assemblage of characters in different combinations in a laboratory hybrid zone allows us to study the emergence of new genetic systems. Here, we summarize results from our ongoing studies comparing these hybrid cytoraces with the parental species, and discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of the evolution of new genetic systems.

  4. A Model of the Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Drosophila Eye Disc Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Patrick; Sánchez-Aragón, Máximo; Lehtinen, Birgitta; Casares, Fernando; Iber, Dagmar

    2016-01-01

    Patterning and growth are linked during early development and have to be tightly controlled to result in a functional tissue or organ. During the development of the Drosophila eye, this linkage is particularly clear: the growth of the eye primordium mainly results from proliferating cells ahead of the morphogenetic furrow (MF), a moving signaling wave that sweeps across the tissue from the posterior to the anterior side, that induces proliferating cells anterior to it to differentiate and become cell cycle quiescent in its wake. Therefore, final eye disc size depends on the proliferation rate of undifferentiated cells and on the speed with which the MF sweeps across the eye disc. We developed a spatio-temporal model of the growing eye disc based on the regulatory interactions controlled by the signals Decapentaplegic (Dpp), Hedgehog (Hh) and the transcription factor Homothorax (Hth) and explored how the signaling patterns affect the movement of the MF and impact on eye disc growth. We used published and new quantitative data to parameterize the model. In particular, two crucial parameter values, the degradation rate of Hth and the diffusion coefficient of Hh, were measured. The model is able to reproduce the linear movement of the MF and the termination of growth of the primordium. We further show that the model can explain several mutant phenotypes, but fails to reproduce the previously observed scaling of the Dpp gradient in the anterior compartment. PMID:27626238

  5. A glial variant of the vesicular monoamine transporter is required to store histamine in the Drosophila visual system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Romero-Calderón

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Unlike other monoamine neurotransmitters, the mechanism by which the brain's histamine content is regulated remains unclear. In mammals, vesicular monoamine transporters (VMATs are expressed exclusively in neurons and mediate the storage of histamine and other monoamines. We have studied the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster in which histamine is the primary neurotransmitter released from photoreceptor cells. We report here that a novel mRNA splice variant of Drosophila VMAT (DVMAT-B is expressed not in neurons but rather in a small subset of glia in the lamina of the fly's optic lobe. Histamine contents are reduced by mutation of dVMAT, but can be partially restored by specifically expressing DVMAT-B in glia. Our results suggest a novel role for a monoamine transporter in glia that may be relevant to histamine homeostasis in other systems.

  6. Splicing factors act as genetic modulators of TDP-43 production in a new autoregulatory TDP-43 Drosophila model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pons, Marine; Miguel, Laetitia; Miel, Camille; Avequin, Tracey; Juge, François; Frebourg, Thierry; Campion, Dominique; Lecourtois, Magalie

    2017-09-01

    TDP-43 is a critical RNA-binding factor associated with RNA metabolism. In the physiological state, maintaining normal TDP-43 protein levels is critical for proper physiological functions of the cells. As such, TDP-43 expression is tightly regulated through an autoregulatory negative feedback loop. TDP-43 is a major disease-causing protein in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD). Several studies argue for a pathogenic role of elevated TDP-43 levels in these disorders. Modulating the cycle of TDP-43 production might therefore provide a new therapeutic strategy. In this study, we developed a new transgenic Drosophila model mimicking the TDP-43 autoregulatory feedback loop in order to identify genetic modulators of TDP-43 protein steady-state levels in vivo. First, we showed that our TDP-43_TDPBR Drosophila model recapitulates key features of the TDP-43 autoregulatory processes previously described in mammalian and cellular models, namely alternative splicing events, differential usage of polyadenylation sites, nuclear retention of the transcript and a decrease in steady-state mRNA levels. Using this new Drosophila model, we identified several splicing factors, including SF2, Rbp1 and Sf3b1, as genetic modulators of TDP-43 production. Interestingly, our data indicate that these three RNA-binding proteins regulate TDP-43 protein production, at least in part, by controlling mRNA steady-state levels. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Live cell imaging in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, Richard M; Vallés, Ana Maria; Dobbie, Ian M; Davis, Ilan

    2010-04-01

    Although many of the techniques of live cell imaging in Drosophila melanogaster are also used by the greater community of cell biologists working on other model systems, studying living fly tissues presents unique difficulties with regard to keeping the cells alive, introducing fluorescent probes, and imaging through thick, hazy cytoplasm. This article outlines the major tissue types amenable to study by time-lapse cinematography and different methods for keeping the cells alive. It describes various imaging and associated techniques best suited to following changes in the distribution of fluorescently labeled molecules in real time in these tissues. Imaging, in general, is a rapidly developing discipline, and recent advances in imaging technology are able to greatly extend what can be achieved with live cell imaging of Drosophila tissues. As far as possible, this article includes the latest technical developments and discusses likely future developments in imaging methods that could have an impact on research using Drosophila.

  8. Reactive oxygen species act remotely to cause synapse loss in a Drosophila model of developmental mitochondrial encephalopathy

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, yet its precise role in disease pathology remains unclear. To examine this link directly, we subtly perturbed electron transport chain function in the Drosophila retina, creating a model of Leigh Syndrome, an early-onset neurodegenerative disorder. Using mutations that affect mitochondrial complex II, we demonstrate that mild disruptions of mitochondrial function have no effect on the initial stages of photoreceptor d...

  9. Drosophila melanogaster as a High-Throughput Model for Host–Microbiota Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor Reid

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbiota research often assumes that differences in abundance and identity of microorganisms have unique influences on host physiology. To test this concept mechanistically, germ-free mice are colonized with microbial communities to assess causation. Due to the cost, infrastructure challenges, and time-consuming nature of germ-free mouse models, an alternative approach is needed to investigate host–microbial interactions. Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies can be used as a high throughput in vivo screening model of host–microbiome interactions as they are affordable, convenient, and replicable. D. melanogaster were essential in discovering components of the innate immune response to pathogens. However, axenic D. melanogaster can easily be generated for microbiome studies without the need for ethical considerations. The simplified microbiota structure enables researchers to evaluate permutations of how each microbial species within the microbiota contribute to host phenotypes of interest. This enables the possibility of thorough strain-level analysis of host and microbial properties relevant to physiological outcomes. Moreover, a wide range of mutant D. melanogaster strains can be affordably obtained from public stock centers. Given this, D. melanogaster can be used to identify candidate mechanisms of host–microbe symbioses relevant to pathogen exclusion, innate immunity modulation, diet, xenobiotics, and probiotic/prebiotic properties in a high throughput manner. This perspective comments on the most promising areas of microbiota research that could immediately benefit from using the D. melanogaster model.

  10. A biomechanical model for cell polarization and intercalation during Drosophila germband extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Haihan; Wang, Qiming; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Rodrigo; Feng, James J.

    2015-10-01

    Germband extension during Drosophila development features the merging of cells along the dorsal-ventral (DV) axis and their separation along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. This intercalation process involves planar cell polarity, anisotropic contractile forces along cell edges, and concerted cell deformation and movement. Although prior experiments have probed each of these factors separately, the connection among them remains unclear. This paper presents a chemo-mechanical model that integrates the three factors into a coherent framework. The model predicts the polarization of Rho-kinase, myosin and Bazooka downstream of an anisotropic Shroom distribution. In particular, myosin accumulates on cell edges along the DV axis, causing them to contract into a vertex. Subsequently, medial myosin in the cells anterior and posterior to the vertex helps to elongate it into a new edge parallel to the body axis. Thus, the tissue extends along the AP axis and narrows in the transverse direction through neighbor exchange. Model predictions of the polarity of the proteins and cell and tissue deformation are in good agreement with experimental observations.

  11. Drosophila Mutant Model of Parkinson's Disease Revealed an Unexpected Olfactory Performance: Morphofunctional Evidences

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Rose, Francescaelena; Corda, Valentina; Belcari, Antonio; Poddighe, Simone; Marrosu, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the clinical triad: tremor, akinesia, and rigidity. Several studies have suggested that PD patients show disturbances in olfaction as one of the earliest, nonspecific nonmotor symptoms of disease onset. We sought to use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to explore olfactory function in LRRK loss-of-function mutants, which was previously demonstrated to be a useful model for PD. Surprisingly, our results showed that the LRRK mutant, compared to the wild flies, presents a dramatic increase in the amplitude of the electroantennogram responses and this is coupled with a higher number of olfactory sensilla. In spite of the above reported results, the behavioural response to olfactory stimuli in mutant flies is impaired compared to that obtained in wild type flies. Thus, behaviour modifications and morphofunctional changes in the olfaction of LRRK loss-of-function mutants might be used as an index to explore the progression of parkinsonism in this specific model, also with the aim of studying and developing new treatments. PMID:27648340

  12. Model-based analysis for qualitative data: an application in Drosophila germline stem cell regulation.

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    Michael Pargett

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Discovery in developmental biology is often driven by intuition that relies on the integration of multiple types of data such as fluorescent images, phenotypes, and the outcomes of biochemical assays. Mathematical modeling helps elucidate the biological mechanisms at play as the networks become increasingly large and complex. However, the available data is frequently under-utilized due to incompatibility with quantitative model tuning techniques. This is the case for stem cell regulation mechanisms explored in the Drosophila germarium through fluorescent immunohistochemistry. To enable better integration of biological data with modeling in this and similar situations, we have developed a general parameter estimation process to quantitatively optimize models with qualitative data. The process employs a modified version of the Optimal Scaling method from social and behavioral sciences, and multi-objective optimization to evaluate the trade-off between fitting different datasets (e.g. wild type vs. mutant. Using only published imaging data in the germarium, we first evaluated support for a published intracellular regulatory network by considering alternative connections of the same regulatory players. Simply screening networks against wild type data identified hundreds of feasible alternatives. Of these, five parsimonious variants were found and compared by multi-objective analysis including mutant data and dynamic constraints. With these data, the current model is supported over the alternatives, but support for a biochemically observed feedback element is weak (i.e. these data do not measure the feedback effect well. When also comparing new hypothetical models, the available data do not discriminate. To begin addressing the limitations in data, we performed a model-based experiment design and provide recommendations for experiments to refine model parameters and discriminate increasingly complex hypotheses.

  13. Neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of adrenoleukodystrophy: the roles of the Bubblegum and Double bubble acyl-CoA synthetases

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    Anna Sivachenko

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Debilitating neurodegenerative conditions with metabolic origins affect millions of individuals worldwide. Still, for most of these neurometabolic disorders there are neither cures nor disease-modifying therapies, and novel animal models are needed for elucidation of disease pathology and identification of potential therapeutic agents. To date, metabolic neurodegenerative disease has been modeled in animals with only limited success, in part because existing models constitute analyses of single mutants and have thus overlooked potential redundancy within metabolic gene pathways associated with disease. Here, we present the first analysis of a very-long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase (ACS double mutant. We show that the Drosophila bubblegum (bgm and double bubble (dbb genes have overlapping functions, and that the consequences of double knockout of both bubblegum and double bubble in the fly brain are profound, affecting behavior and brain morphology, and providing the best paradigm to date for an animal model of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD, a fatal childhood neurodegenerative disease associated with the accumulation of very-long-chain fatty acids. Using this more fully penetrant model of disease to interrogate brain morphology at the level of electron microscopy, we show that dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism via disruption of ACS function in vivo is causal of neurodegenerative pathologies that are evident in both neuronal cells and their supporting cell populations, and leads ultimately to lytic cell death in affected areas of the brain. Finally, in an extension of our model system to the study of human disease, we describe our identification of an individual with leukodystrophy who harbors a rare mutation in SLC27a6 (encoding a very-long-chain ACS, a human homolog of bgm and dbb.

  14. Effect of Centella asiatica Leaf Extract on the Dietary Supplementation in Transgenic Drosophila Model of Parkinson’s Disease

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    Yasir Hasan Siddique

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of Centella asiatica L. leaf extract was studied on the transgenic Drosophila model flies expressing normal human alpha synuclein (h-αS in the neurons. The leaf extract was prepared in acetone and was subjected to GC-MS analysis. C. asiatica extract at final concentration of 0.25, 0.50, and 1.0 μL/mL was mixed with the diet and the flies were allowed feeding on it for 24 days. The effect of extract was studied on the climbing ability, activity pattern, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl content, glutathione content, and glutathione-S-transferase activity in the brains of transgenic Drosophila. The exposure of extract to PD model flies results in a significant delay in the loss of climbing ability and activity pattern and reduced the oxidative stress (P<0.05 in the brains of PD flies as compared to untreated PD flies. The results suggest that C. asiatica leaf extract is potent in reducing the PD symptoms in transgenic Drosophila model of Parkinson’s disease.

  15. Restless led syndrome model Drosophila melanogaster show successful olfactory learning and 1-day retention of the acquired memory

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    Mika F. Asaba

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS is a prevalent but poorly understood disorder that ischaracterized by uncontrollable movements during sleep, resulting in sleep disturbance.Olfactory memory in Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be a useful tool for the study ofcognitive deficits caused by sleep disturbances, such as those seen in RLS. A recently generatedDrosophila model of RLS exhibited disturbed sleep patterns similar to those seen in humans withRLS. This research seeks to improve understanding of the relationship between cognitivefunctioning and sleep disturbances in a new model for RLS. Here, we tested learning andmemory in wild type and dBTBD9 mutant flies by Pavlovian olfactory conditioning, duringwhich a shock was paired with one of two odors. Flies were then placed in a T-maze with oneodor on either side, and successful associative learning was recorded when the flies chose theside with the unpaired odor. We hypothesized that due to disrupted sleep patterns, dBTBD9mutant flies would be unable to learn the shock-odor association. However, the current studyreports that the recently generated Drosophila model of RLS shows successful olfactorylearning, despite disturbed sleep patterns, with learning performance levels matching or betterthan wild type flies.

  16. Fruitless isoforms and target genes specify the sexually dimorphic nervous system underlying Drosophila reproductive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nojima, Tetsuya; Neville, Megan C; Goodwin, Stephen F

    2014-01-01

    Courtship is pivotal to successful reproduction throughout the animal kingdom. Sexual differences in the nervous system are thought to underlie courtship behavior. Male courtship behavior in Drosophila is in large part regulated by the gene fruitless (fru). fru has been reported to encode at least three putative BTB-zinc-finger transcription factors predicted to have different DNA-binding specificities. Although a large number of previous studies have demonstrated that fru plays essential roles in male courtship behavior, we know little about the function of Fru isoforms at the molecular level. Our recent study revealed that male-specific Fru isoforms are expressed in highly overlapping subsets of neurons in the male brain and ventral nerve cord. Fru isoforms play both distinct and redundant roles in male courtship behavior. Importantly, we have identified for the first time, by means of the DamID technique, direct Fru transcriptional target genes. Fru target genes overwhelmingly represent genes previously reported to be involved in the nervous system development, such as CadN, lola and pdm2. Our study provides important insight into how the sexually dimorphic neural circuits underlying reproductive behavior are established.

  17. Increased autophagy and apoptosis contribute to muscle atrophy in a myotonic dystrophy type 1 Drosophila model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariadna Bargiela

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Muscle mass wasting is one of the most debilitating symptoms of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1 disease, ultimately leading to immobility, respiratory defects, dysarthria, dysphagia and death in advanced stages of the disease. In order to study the molecular mechanisms leading to the degenerative loss of adult muscle tissue in DM1, we generated an inducible Drosophila model of expanded CTG trinucleotide repeat toxicity that resembles an adult-onset form of the disease. Heat-shock induced expression of 480 CUG repeats in adult flies resulted in a reduction in the area of the indirect flight muscles. In these model flies, reduction of muscle area was concomitant with increased apoptosis and autophagy. Inhibition of apoptosis or autophagy mediated by the overexpression of DIAP1, mTOR (also known as Tor or muscleblind, or by RNA interference (RNAi-mediated silencing of autophagy regulatory genes, achieved a rescue of the muscle-loss phenotype. In fact, mTOR overexpression rescued muscle size to a size comparable to that in control flies. These results were validated in skeletal muscle biopsies from DM1 patients in which we found downregulated autophagy and apoptosis repressor genes, and also in DM1 myoblasts where we found increased autophagy. These findings provide new insights into the signaling pathways involved in DM1 disease pathogenesis.

  18. Increased autophagy and apoptosis contribute to muscle atrophy in a myotonic dystrophy type 1 Drosophila model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiela, Ariadna; Cerro-Herreros, Estefanía; Fernandez-Costa, Juan M; Vilchez, Juan J; Llamusi, Beatriz; Artero, Ruben

    2015-07-01

    Muscle mass wasting is one of the most debilitating symptoms of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) disease, ultimately leading to immobility, respiratory defects, dysarthria, dysphagia and death in advanced stages of the disease. In order to study the molecular mechanisms leading to the degenerative loss of adult muscle tissue in DM1, we generated an inducible Drosophila model of expanded CTG trinucleotide repeat toxicity that resembles an adult-onset form of the disease. Heat-shock induced expression of 480 CUG repeats in adult flies resulted in a reduction in the area of the indirect flight muscles. In these model flies, reduction of muscle area was concomitant with increased apoptosis and autophagy. Inhibition of apoptosis or autophagy mediated by the overexpression of DIAP1, mTOR (also known as Tor) or muscleblind, or by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of autophagy regulatory genes, achieved a rescue of the muscle-loss phenotype. In fact, mTOR overexpression rescued muscle size to a size comparable to that in control flies. These results were validated in skeletal muscle biopsies from DM1 patients in which we found downregulated autophagy and apoptosis repressor genes, and also in DM1 myoblasts where we found increased autophagy. These findings provide new insights into the signaling pathways involved in DM1 disease pathogenesis.

  19. Evolutionary modeling and prediction of non-coding RNAs in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert K Bradley

    Full Text Available We performed benchmarks of phylogenetic grammar-based ncRNA gene prediction, experimenting with eight different models of structural evolution and two different programs for genome alignment. We evaluated our models using alignments of twelve Drosophila genomes. We find that ncRNA prediction performance can vary greatly between different gene predictors and subfamilies of ncRNA gene. Our estimates for false positive rates are based on simulations which preserve local islands of conservation; using these simulations, we predict a higher rate of false positives than previous computational ncRNA screens have reported. Using one of the tested prediction grammars, we provide an updated set of ncRNA predictions for D. melanogaster and compare them to previously-published predictions and experimental data. Many of our predictions show correlations with protein-coding genes. We found significant depletion of intergenic predictions near the 3' end of coding regions and furthermore depletion of predictions in the first intron of protein-coding genes. Some of our predictions are colocated with larger putative unannotated genes: for example, 17 of our predictions showing homology to the RFAM family snoR28 appear in a tandem array on the X chromosome; the 4.5 Kbp spanned by the predicted tandem array is contained within a FlyBase-annotated cDNA.

  20. Genetic modifiers of abnormal organelle biogenesis in a Drosophila model of BLOC-1 deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheli, Verónica T; Daniels, Richard W; Godoy, Ruth; Hoyle, Diego J; Kandachar, Vasundhara; Starcevic, Marta; Martinez-Agosto, Julian A; Poole, Stephen; DiAntonio, Aaron; Lloyd, Vett K; Chang, Henry C; Krantz, David E; Dell'Angelica, Esteban C

    2010-03-01

    Biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex 1 (BLOC-1) is a protein complex formed by the products of eight distinct genes. Loss-of-function mutations in two of these genes, DTNBP1 and BLOC1S3, cause Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, a human disorder characterized by defective biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles. In addition, haplotype variants within the same two genes have been postulated to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. However, the molecular function of BLOC-1 remains unknown. Here, we have generated a fly model of BLOC-1 deficiency. Mutant flies lacking the conserved Blos1 subunit displayed eye pigmentation defects due to abnormal pigment granules, which are lysosome-related organelles, as well as abnormal glutamatergic transmission and behavior. Epistatic analyses revealed that BLOC-1 function in pigment granule biogenesis requires the activities of BLOC-2 and a putative Rab guanine-nucleotide-exchange factor named Claret. The eye pigmentation phenotype was modified by misexpression of proteins involved in intracellular protein trafficking; in particular, the phenotype was partially ameliorated by Rab11 and strongly enhanced by the clathrin-disassembly factor, Auxilin. These observations validate Drosophila melanogaster as a powerful model for the study of BLOC-1 function and its interactions with modifier genes.

  1. Molecular evolution of a Drosophila homolog of human BRCA2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Sarah M; Noor, Mohamed A F

    2009-11-01

    The human cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, functions in double-strand break repair by homologous recombination, and it appears to function via interaction of a repetitive region ("BRC repeats") with RAD-51. A putatively simpler homolog, dmbrca2, was identified in Drosophila melanogaster recently and also affects mitotic and meiotic double-strand break repair. In this study, we examined patterns of repeat variation both within Drosophila pseudoobscura and among available Drosophila genome sequences. We identified extensive variation within and among closely related Drosophila species in BRC repeat number, to the extent that variation within this genus recapitulates the extent of variation found across the entire animal kingdom. We describe patterns of evolution across species by documenting recent repeat expansions (sometimes in tandem arrays) and homogenizations within available genome sequences. Overall, we have documented patterns and modes of evolution in a new model system of a gene which is important to human health.

  2. Slit/Robo-mediated axon guidance in Tribolium and Drosophila: divergent genetic programs build insect nervous systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Timothy A; Bashaw, Greg J

    2012-03-01

    As the complexity of animal nervous systems has increased during evolution, developmental control of neuronal connectivity has become increasingly refined. How has functional diversification within related axon guidance molecules contributed to the evolution of nervous systems? To address this question, we explore the evolution of functional diversity within the Roundabout (Robo) family of axon guidance receptors. In Drosophila, Robo and Robo2 promote midline repulsion, while Robo2 and Robo3 specify the position of longitudinal axon pathways. The Robo family has expanded by gene duplication in insects; robo2 and robo3 exist as distinct genes only within dipterans, while other insects, like the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, retain an ancestral robo2/3 gene. Both Robos from Tribolium can mediate midline repulsion in Drosophila, but unlike the fly Robos cannot be down-regulated by Commissureless. The overall architecture and arrangement of longitudinal pathways are remarkably conserved in Tribolium, despite it having only two Robos. Loss of TcSlit causes midline collapse of axons in the beetle, a phenotype recapitulated by simultaneous knockdown of both Robos. Single gene knockdowns reveal that beetle Robos have specialized axon guidance functions: TcRobo is dedicated to midline repulsion, while TcRobo2/3 also regulates longitudinal pathway formation. TcRobo2/3 knockdown reproduces aspects of both Drosophila robo2 and robo3 mutants, suggesting that TcRobo2/3 has two functions that in Drosophila are divided between Robo2 and Robo3. The ability of Tribolium to organize longitudinal axons into three discrete medial-lateral zones with only two Robo receptors demonstrates that beetle and fly achieve equivalent developmental outcomes using divergent genetic programs.

  3. Effects of curcuminoids identified in rhizomes of Curcuma longa on BACE-1 inhibitory and behavioral activity and lifespan of Alzheimer’s disease Drosophila models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of presenile and senile dementia. The human β-amyloid precursor cleavage enzyme (BACE-1) is a key enzyme responsible for amyloid plaque production, which implicates the progress and symptoms of AD. Here we assessed the anti-BACE-1 and behavioral activities of curcuminoids from rhizomes of Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae), diarylalkyls curcumin (CCN), demethoxycurcumin (DMCCN), and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMCCN) against AD Drosophila melanogaster models. Methods Neuro-protective ability of the curcuminoids was assessed using Drosophila melanogaster model system overexpressing BACE-1 and its substrate APP in compound eyes and entire neurons. Feeding and climbing activity, lifespan, and morphostructural changes in fly eyes also were evaluated. Results BDMCCN has the strongest inhibitory activity toward BACE-1 with 17 μM IC50, which was 20 and 13 times lower than those of CCN and DMCCN respectively. Overexpression of APP/BACE-1 resulted in the progressive and measurable defects in morphology of eyes and locomotion. Remarkably, supplementing diet with either 1 mM BDMCCN or 1 mM CCN rescued APP/BACE1-expressing flies and kept them from developing both morphological and behavioral defects. Our results suggest that structural characteristics, such as degrees of saturation, types of carbon skeleton and functional group, and hydrophobicity appear to play a role in determining inhibitory potency of curcuminoids on BACE-1. Conclusion Further studies will warrant possible applications of curcuminoids as therapeutic BACE-1 blockers. PMID:24597901

  4. A transcriptional network controlling glial development in the Drosophila visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauke, Ann-Christin; Sasse, Sofia; Matzat, Till; Klämbt, Christian

    2015-06-15

    In the nervous system, glial cells need to be specified from a set of progenitor cells. In the developing Drosophila eye, perineurial glia proliferate and differentiate as wrapping glia in response to a neuronal signal conveyed by the FGF receptor pathway. To unravel the underlying transcriptional network we silenced all genes encoding predicted DNA-binding proteins in glial cells using RNAi. Dref and other factors of the TATA box-binding protein-related factor 2 (TRF2) complex were previously predicted to be involved in cellular metabolism and cell growth. Silencing of these genes impaired early glia proliferation and subsequent differentiation. Dref controls proliferation via activation of the Pdm3 transcription factor, whereas glial differentiation is regulated via Dref and the homeodomain protein Cut. Cut expression is controlled independently of Dref by FGF receptor activity. Loss- and gain-of-function studies show that Cut is required for glial differentiation and is sufficient to instruct the formation of membrane protrusions, a hallmark of wrapping glial morphology. Our work discloses a network of transcriptional regulators controlling the progression of a naïve perineurial glia towards the fully differentiated wrapping glia.

  5. Novel protein kinase signaling systems regulating lifespan identified by small molecule library screening using Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R Spindler

    Full Text Available Protein kinase signaling cascades control most aspects of cellular function. The ATP binding domains of signaling protein kinases are the targets of most available inhibitors. These domains are highly conserved from mammals to flies. Herein we describe screening of a library of small molecule inhibitors of protein kinases for their ability to increase Drosophila lifespan. We developed an assay system which allowed screening using the small amounts of materials normally present in commercial chemical libraries. The studies identified 17 inhibitors, the majority of which targeted tyrosine kinases associated with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF/vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF receptors, G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR, Janus kinase (JAK/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT, the insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGFI receptors. Comparison of the protein kinase signaling effects of the inhibitors in vitro defined a consensus intracellular signaling profile which included decreased signaling by p38MAPK (p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK and protein kinase C (PKC. If confirmed, many of these kinases will be novel additions to the signaling cascades known to regulate metazoan longevity.

  6. Novel protein kinase signaling systems regulating lifespan identified by small molecule library screening using Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spindler, Stephen R; Li, Rui; Dhahbi, Joseph M; Yamakawa, Amy; Sauer, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Protein kinase signaling cascades control most aspects of cellular function. The ATP binding domains of signaling protein kinases are the targets of most available inhibitors. These domains are highly conserved from mammals to flies. Herein we describe screening of a library of small molecule inhibitors of protein kinases for their ability to increase Drosophila lifespan. We developed an assay system which allowed screening using the small amounts of materials normally present in commercial chemical libraries. The studies identified 17 inhibitors, the majority of which targeted tyrosine kinases associated with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)/vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), the insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGFI) receptors. Comparison of the protein kinase signaling effects of the inhibitors in vitro defined a consensus intracellular signaling profile which included decreased signaling by p38MAPK (p38), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and protein kinase C (PKC). If confirmed, many of these kinases will be novel additions to the signaling cascades known to regulate metazoan longevity.

  7. Mating-Induced Increase in Germline Stem Cells via the Neuroendocrine System in Female Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameku, Tomotsune; Niwa, Ryusuke

    2016-06-01

    Mating and gametogenesis are two essential components of animal reproduction. Gametogenesis must be modulated by the need for gametes, yet little is known of how mating, a process that utilizes gametes, may modulate the process of gametogenesis. Here, we report that mating stimulates female germline stem cell (GSC) proliferation in Drosophila melanogaster. Mating-induced increase in GSC number is not simply owing to the indirect effect of emission of stored eggs, but rather is stimulated by a male-derived Sex Peptide (SP) and its receptor SPR, the components of a canonical neuronal pathway that induces a post-mating behavioral switch in females. We show that ecdysteroid, the major insect steroid hormone, regulates mating-induced GSC proliferation independently of insulin signaling. Ovarian ecdysteroid level increases after mating and transmits its signal directly through the ecdysone receptor expressed in the ovarian niche to increase the number of GSCs. Impairment of ovarian ecdysteroid biosynthesis disrupts mating-induced increase in GSCs as well as egg production. Importantly, feeding of ecdysteroid rescues the decrease in GSC number caused by impairment of neuronal SP signaling. Our study illustrates how female GSC activity is coordinately regulated by the neuroendocrine system to sustain reproductive success in response to mating.

  8. Flybrain neuron database: a comprehensive database system of the Drosophila brain neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinomiya, Kazunori; Matsuda, Keiji; Oishi, Takao; Otsuna, Hideo; Ito, Kei

    2011-04-01

    The long history of neuroscience has accumulated information about numerous types of neurons in the brain of various organisms. Because such neurons have been reported in diverse publications without controlled format, it is not easy to keep track of all the known neurons in a particular nervous system. To address this issue we constructed an online database called Flybrain Neuron Database (Flybrain NDB), which serves as a platform to collect and provide information about all the types of neurons published so far in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster. Projection patterns of the identified neurons in diverse areas of the brain were recorded in a unified format, with text-based descriptions as well as images and movies wherever possible. In some cases projection sites and the distribution of the post- and presynaptic sites were determined with greater detail than described in the original publication. Information about the labeling patterns of various antibodies and expression driver strains to visualize identified neurons are provided as a separate sub-database. We also implemented a novel visualization tool with which users can interactively examine three-dimensional reconstruction of the confocal serial section images with desired viewing angles and cross sections. Comprehensive collection and versatile search function of the anatomical information reported in diverse publications make it possible to analyze possible connectivity between different brain regions. We analyzed the preferential connectivity among optic lobe layers and the plausible olfactory sensory map in the lateral horn to show the usefulness of such a database.

  9. Molecular and cellular organization of the taste system in the Drosophila larva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jae Young; Dahanukar, Anupama; Weiss, Linnea A; Carlson, John R

    2011-10-26

    We examine the molecular and cellular basis of taste perception in the Drosophila larva through a comprehensive analysis of the expression patterns of all 68 Gustatory receptors (Grs). Gr-GAL4 lines representing each Gr are examined, and 39 show expression in taste organs of the larval head, including the terminal organ (TO), the dorsal organ (DO), and the pharyngeal organs. A receptor-to-neuron map is constructed. The map defines 10 neurons of the TO and DO, and it identifies 28 receptors that map to them. Each of these neurons expresses a unique subset of Gr-GAL4 drivers, except for two neurons that express the same complement. All of these neurons express at least two drivers, and one neuron expresses 17. Many of the receptors map to only one of these cells, but some map to as many as six. Conspicuously absent from the roster of Gr-GAL4 drivers expressed in larvae are those of the sugar receptor subfamily. Coexpression analysis suggests that most larval Grs act in bitter response and that there are distinct bitter-sensing neurons. A comprehensive analysis of central projections confirms that sensory information collected from different regions (e.g., the tip of the head vs the pharynx) is processed in different regions of the suboesophageal ganglion, the primary taste center of the CNS. Together, the results provide an extensive view of the molecular and cellular organization of the larval taste system.

  10. Phenotypic rescue of a Drosophila model of mitochondrial ANT1 disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suvi Vartiainen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A point mutation in the Drosophila gene that codes for the major adult isoform of adenine nuclear translocase (ANT represents a model for human diseases that are associated with ANT insufficiency [stress-sensitive B1 (sesB1]. We characterized the organismal, bioenergetic and molecular phenotype of sesB1 flies then tested strategies to compensate the mutant phenotype. In addition to developmental delay and mechanical-stress-induced seizures, sesB1 flies have an impaired response to sound, defective male courtship, female sterility and curtailed lifespan. These phenotypes, excluding the latter two, are shared with the mitoribosomal protein S12 mutant, tko25t. Mitochondria from sesB1 adults showed a decreased respiratory control ratio and downregulation of cytochrome oxidase. sesB1 adults exhibited ATP depletion, lactate accumulation and changes in gene expression that were consistent with a metabolic shift towards glycolysis, characterized by activation of lactate dehydrogenase and anaplerotic pathways. Females also showed downregulation of many genes that are required for oogenesis, and their eggs, although fertilized, failed to develop to the larval stages. The sesB1 phenotypes of developmental delay and mechanical-stress-induced seizures were alleviated by an altered mitochondrial DNA background. Female sterility was substantially rescued by somatic expression of alternative oxidase (AOX from the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis, whereas AOX did not alleviate developmental delay. Our findings illustrate the potential of different therapeutic strategies for ANT-linked diseases, based on alleviating metabolic stress.

  11. Cell Competition Drives the Formation of Metastatic Tumors in a Drosophila Model of Epithelial Tumor Formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eichenlaub, Teresa; Cohen, Stephen M; Herranz, Héctor

    2016-01-01

    Cell competition is a homeostatic process in which proliferating cells compete for survival. Elimination of otherwise normal healthy cells through competition is important during development and has recently been shown to contribute to maintaining tissue health during organismal aging. The mechan......Cell competition is a homeostatic process in which proliferating cells compete for survival. Elimination of otherwise normal healthy cells through competition is important during development and has recently been shown to contribute to maintaining tissue health during organismal aging....... The mechanisms that allow for ongoing cell competition during adult life could, in principle, contribute to tumorigenesis. However, direct evidence supporting this hypothesis has been lacking. Here, we provide evidence that cell competition drives tumor formation in a Drosophila model of epithelial cancer. Cells...... of the Septin family protein Peanut. Cytokinesis failure due to downregulation of Peanut is required for tumorigenesis. This study provides evidence that the cellular mechanisms that drive cell competition during normal tissue growth can be co-opted to drive tumor formation and metastasis. Analogous mechanisms...

  12. Sleep fragmentation and motor restlessness in a Drosophila model of Restless Legs Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Amanda; Pranski, Elaine; Miller, R Daniel; Radmard, Sara; Bernhard, Doug; Jinnah, H A; Betarbet, Ranjita; Rye, David B; Sanyal, Subhabrata

    2012-06-19

    Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), first chronicled by Willis in 1672 and described in more detail by Ekbom in 1945, is a prevalent sensorimotor neurological disorder (5%-10% in the population) with a circadian predilection for the evening and night. Characteristic clinical features also include a compelling urge to move during periods of rest, relief with movement, involuntary movements in sleep (viz., periodic leg movements of sleep), and fragmented sleep. Although the pathophysiology of RLS is unknown, dopaminergic neurotransmission and deficits in iron availability modulate expressivity. Genome-wide association studies have identified a polymorphism in an intronic region of the BTBD9 gene on chromosome 6 that confers substantial risk for RLS. Here, we report that loss of the Drosophila homolog CG1826 (dBTBD9) appreciably disrupts sleep with concomitant increases in waking and motor activity. We further show that BTBD9 regulates brain dopamine levels in flies and controls iron homeostasis through the iron regulatory protein-2 in human cell lines. To our knowledge, this represents the first reverse genetic analysis of a "novel" or heretofore poorly understood gene implicated in an exceedingly common and complex sleep disorder and the development of an RLS animal model that closely recapitulates all disease phenotypes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Comparative approaches to the study of physiology: Drosophila as a physiological tool

    OpenAIRE

    Neckameyer, Wendi S.; Argue, Kathryn J.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have detailed the extensive conservation of developmental signaling pathways between the model system, Drosophila melanogaster, and mammalian models, but researchers have also profited from the unique and highly tractable genetic tools available in this system to address critical questions in physiology. In this review, we have described contributions that Drosophila researchers have made to mathematical dynamics of pattern formation, cardiac pathologies, the way in which pai...

  14. Minocycline treatment suppresses juvenile development and growth by attenuating insulin/TOR signaling in Drosophila animal model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hyun Myoung; Noh, Sujin; Hyun, Seogang

    2017-01-01

    Minocycline is a broad spectrum, semi-synthetic tetracycline analog that is used to treat bacterial infection. Recently, this drug has been receiving increasing attention for its non-antibiotic properties, including anti-inflammatory, tumor suppressive, and neuroprotective effects. Drosophila is a useful model organism for studying human metabolism and disease. In this study, we investigated the effects of minocycline on juvenile development and growth in Drosophila. Feeding minocycline to Drosophila larvae suppresses larval body growth and delays the timing of pupation in a dose-dependent manner. We found that the drug treatment decreased the activated form of Akt and S6K in peripheral tissues, which suggested that the insulin/target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling had been attenuated. Specifically enhancing TOR activity in the prothoracic gland (PG), the ecdysone-generating organ, attenuated the drug-induced developmental delay, which is consistent with the critical role of PG’s TOR signaling in determining pupation time. Our results reveal previously unrecognized effects of minocycline and offer a new potential therapeutic opportunity for various pathological conditions associated with insulin/TOR signaling. PMID:28317899

  15. Synergistic interactions between Drosophila orthologues of genes spanned by de novo human CNVs support multiple-hit models of autism.

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    Stuart J Grice

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are highly heritable and characterised by deficits in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behaviours. Although a number of highly penetrant ASD gene variants have been identified, there is growing evidence to support a causal role for combinatorial effects arising from the contributions of multiple loci. By examining synaptic and circadian neurological phenotypes resulting from the dosage variants of unique human:fly orthologues in Drosophila, we observe numerous synergistic interactions between pairs of informatically-identified candidate genes whose orthologues are jointly affected by large de novo copy number variants (CNVs. These CNVs were found in the genomes of individuals with autism, including a patient carrying a 22q11.2 deletion. We first demonstrate that dosage alterations of the unique Drosophila orthologues of candidate genes from de novo CNVs that harbour only a single candidate gene display neurological defects similar to those previously reported in Drosophila models of ASD-associated variants. We then considered pairwise dosage changes within the set of orthologues of candidate genes that were affected by the same single human de novo CNV. For three of four CNVs with complete orthologous relationships, we observed significant synergistic effects following the simultaneous dosage change of gene pairs drawn from a single CNV. The phenotypic variation observed at the Drosophila synapse that results from these interacting genetic variants supports a concordant phenotypic outcome across all interacting gene pairs following the direction of human gene copy number change. We observe both specificity and transitivity between interactors, both within and between CNV candidate gene sets, supporting shared and distinct genetic aetiologies. We then show that different interactions affect divergent synaptic processes, demonstrating distinct molecular aetiologies. Our

  16. Maternal depletion of Piwi, a component of the RNAi system, impacts heterochromatin formation in Drosophila.

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    Tingting Gu

    Full Text Available A persistent question in epigenetics is how heterochromatin is targeted for assembly at specific domains, and how that chromatin state is faithfully transmitted. Stable heterochromatin is necessary to silence transposable elements (TEs and maintain genome integrity. Both the RNAi system and heterochromatin components HP1 (Swi6 and H3K9me2/3 are required for initial establishment of heterochromatin structures in S. pombe. Here we utilize both loss of function alleles and the newly developed Drosophila melanogaster transgenic shRNA lines to deplete proteins of interest at specific development stages to dissect their roles in heterochromatin assembly in early zygotes and in maintenance of the silencing chromatin state during development. Using reporters subject to Position Effect Variegation (PEV, we find that depletion of key proteins in the early embryo can lead to loss of silencing assayed at adult stages. The piRNA component Piwi is required in the early embryo for reporter silencing in non-gonadal somatic cells, but knock-down during larval stages has no impact. This implies that Piwi is involved in targeting HP1a when heterochromatin is established at the late blastoderm stage and possibly also during embryogenesis, but that the silent chromatin state created is transmitted through cell division independent of the piRNA system. In contrast, heterochromatin structural protein HP1a is required for both initial heterochromatin assembly and the following mitotic inheritance. HP1a profiles in piwi mutant animals confirm that Piwi depletion leads to decreased HP1a levels in pericentric heterochromatin, particularly in TEs. The results suggest that the major role of the piRNA system in assembly of heterochromatin in non-gonadal somatic cells occurs in the early embryo during heterochromatin formation, and further demonstrate that failure of heterochromatin formation in the early embryo impacts the phenotype of the adult.

  17. Lack of miRNA misregulation at early pathological stages in Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models

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    Anita eReinhardt

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Late onset neurodegenerative diseases represent a major public health concern as the population in many countries ages. Both frequent diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD, 14% incidence for 80-84 year old Europeans or Parkinson disease (PD, 1.4% prevalence for > 55 years old share, with other low-incidence neurodegenerative pathologies such as spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs, 0.01% prevalence and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD, 0.02% prevalence, a lack of efficient treatment in spite of important research efforts. Besides significant progress, studies with animal models have revealed unexpected complexities in the degenerative process, emphasizing a need to better understand the underlying pathological mechanisms. Recently, microRNAs, a class of small regulatory non-coding RNAs, have been implicated in some neurodegenerative diseases. The current data supporting a role of miRNAs in PD, tauopathies, dominant ataxias and FTLD will first be discussed to emphasize the different levels of the pathological processes which may be affected by miRNAs. To investigate a potential involvement of miRNA dysregulation in the early stages of these neurodegenerative diseases we have used Drosophila models for 7 diseases (PD, 3 FTLD, 3 dominant ataxias that recapitulate many features of the human diseases. We performed deep sequencing of head small RNAs after 3 days of pathological protein expression in the fly head neurons. We found no evidence for a statistically significant difference in miRNA expression in this early stage of the pathological process. In addition, we could not identify small non coding CAG repeat RNAs (sCAG in polyQ disease models. Thus our data suggest that transcriptional deregulation of miRNAs or sCAG is unlikely to play a significant role in the initial stages of neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Inhibition of human high-affinity copper importer Ctr1 orthologous in the nervous system of Drosophila ameliorates Aβ42-induced Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms.

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    Lang, Minglin; Fan, Qiangwang; Wang, Lei; Zheng, Yajun; Xiao, Guiran; Wang, Xiaoxi; Wang, Wei; Zhong, Yi; Zhou, Bing

    2013-11-01

    Disruption of copper homeostasis has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) during the last 2 decades; however, whether copper is a friend or a foe is controversial. Within a genetically tractable Drosophila AD model, we manipulated the expression of human high-affinity copper importer orthologous in Drosophila to explore the in vivo roles of copper ions in the development of AD. We found that inhibition of Ctr1C expression by RNAi in Aβ-expressing flies significantly reduced copper accumulation in the brains of the flies as well as ameliorating neurodegeneration, enhancing climbing ability, and prolonging lifespan. Interestingly, Ctr1C inhibition led to a significant increase in higher-molecular-weight Aβ42 forms in brain lysates, whereas it was accompanied by a trend of decreased expression of amyloid-β degradation proteases (including NEP1-3 and IDE) with age and reduced Cu-Aβ interaction-induced oxidative stress in Ctr1C RNAi flies. Similar results were obtained from inhibiting another copper importer Ctr1B and overexpressing a copper exporter DmATP7 in the nervous system of AD flies. These results imply that copper may play a causative role in developing AD, as either Aβ oligomers or aggregates were less toxic in a reduced copper environment or one with less copper binding. Early manipulation of brain copper uptake can have a great effect on Aβ pathology.

  19. Cancer in Drosophila

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herranz, Héctor; Eichenlaub, Teresa; Cohen, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Cancer genomics has greatly increased our understanding of the complexity of the genetic and epigenetic changes found in human tumors. Understanding the functional relationships among these elements calls for the use of flexible genetic models. We discuss the use of Drosophila models to study...

  20. Coordinated movement, neuromuscular synaptogenesis and trans-synaptic signaling defects in Drosophila galactosemia models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jumbo-Lucioni, Patricia P; Parkinson, William M; Kopke, Danielle L; Broadie, Kendal

    2016-09-01

    The multiple galactosemia disease states manifest long-term neurological symptoms. Galactosemia I results from loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT), which converts galactose-1-phosphate + UDP-glucose to glucose-1-phosphate + UDP-galactose. Galactosemia II results from loss of galactokinase (GALK), phosphorylating galactose to galactose-1-phosphate. Galactosemia III results from the loss of UDP-galactose 4'-epimerase (GALE), which interconverts UDP-galactose and UDP-glucose, as well as UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine. UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (UGP) alternatively makes UDP-galactose from uridine triphosphate and galactose-1-phosphate. All four UDP-sugars are essential donors for glycoprotein biosynthesis with critical roles at the developing neuromuscular synapse. Drosophila galactosemia I (dGALT) and II (dGALK) disease models genetically interact; manifesting deficits in coordinated movement, neuromuscular junction (NMJ) development, synaptic glycosylation, and Wnt trans-synaptic signalling. Similarly, dGALE and dUGP mutants display striking locomotor and NMJ formation defects, including expanded synaptic arbours, glycosylation losses, and differential changes in Wnt trans-synaptic signalling. In combination with dGALT loss, both dGALE and dUGP mutants compromise the synaptomatrix glycan environment that regulates Wnt trans-synaptic signalling that drives 1) presynaptic Futsch/MAP1b microtubule dynamics and 2) postsynaptic Frizzled nuclear import (FNI). Taken together, these findings indicate UDP-sugar balance is a key modifier of neurological outcomes in all three interacting galactosemia disease models, suggest that Futsch homolog MAP1B and the Wnt Frizzled receptor may be disease-relevant targets in epimerase and transferase galactosemias, and identify UGP as promising new potential therapeutic target for galactosemia neuropathology.

  1. Arsenic-containing hydrocarbons are toxic in the in vivo model Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, S; Schulz, J; Jeibmann, A; Taleshi, M S; Ebert, F; Francesconi, K A; Schwerdtle, T

    2014-11-01

    Arsenic-containing hydrocarbons (AsHC) constitute one group of arsenolipids that have been identified in seafood. In this first in vivo toxicity study for AsHCs, we show that AsHCs exert toxic effects in Drosophila melanogaster in a concentration range similar to that of arsenite. In contrast to arsenite, however, AsHCs cause developmental toxicity in the late developmental stages of Drosophila melanogaster. This work illustrates the need for a full characterisation of the toxicity of AsHCs in experimental animals to finally assess the risk to human health related to the presence of arsenolipids in seafood.

  2. Drosophila host model reveals new enterococcus faecalis quorum-sensing associated virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Neuza; Varahan, Sriram; Gorman, Matthew J; Palmer, Kelli L; Zaidman-Remy, Anna; Yokohata, Ryoji; Nakayama, Jiro; Hancock, Lynn E; Jacinto, António; Gilmore, Michael S; de Fátima Silva Lopes, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Enterococcus faecalis V583 is a vancomycin-resistant clinical isolate which belongs to the hospital-adapted clade, CC2. This strain harbours several factors that have been associated with virulence, including the fsr quorum-sensing regulatory system that is known to control the expression of GelE and SprE proteases. To discriminate between genes directly regulated by Fsr, and those indirectly regulated as the result of protease expression or activity, we compared gene expression in isogenic mutants of V583 variously defective in either Fsr quorum sensing or protease expression. Quorum sensing was artificially induced by addition of the quorum signal, GBAP, exogenously in a controlled manner. The Fsr regulon was found to be restricted to five genes, gelE, sprE, ef1097, ef1351 and ef1352. Twelve additional genes were found to be dependent on the presence of GBAP-induced proteases. Induction of GelE and SprE by GBAP via Fsr resulted in accumulation of mRNA encoding lrgAB, and this induction was found to be lytRS dependent. Drosophila infection was used to discern varying levels of toxicity stemming from mutations in the fsr quorum regulatory system and the genes that it regulates, highlighting the contribution of LrgAB and bacteriocin EF1097 to infection toxicity. A contribution of SprE to infection toxicity was also detected. This work brought to light new players in E. faecalis success as a pathogen and paves the way for future studies on host tolerance mechanisms to infections caused by this important nosocomial pathogen.

  3. SMA-causing missense mutations in survival motor neuron (Smn) display a wide range of phenotypes when modeled in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Praveen, Kavita; Wen, Ying; Gray, Kelsey M; Noto, John J; Patlolla, Akash R; Van Duyne, Gregory D; Matera, A Gregory

    2014-08-01

    Mutations in the human survival motor neuron 1 (SMN) gene are the primary cause of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a devastating neuromuscular disorder. SMN protein has a well-characterized role in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), core components of the spliceosome. Additional tissue-specific and global functions have been ascribed to SMN; however, their relevance to SMA pathology is poorly understood and controversial. Using Drosophila as a model system, we created an allelic series of twelve Smn missense mutations, originally identified in human SMA patients. We show that animals expressing these SMA-causing mutations display a broad range of phenotypic severities, similar to the human disease. Furthermore, specific interactions with other proteins known to be important for SMN's role in RNP assembly are conserved. Intragenic complementation analyses revealed that the three most severe mutations, all of which map to the YG box self-oligomerization domain of SMN, display a stronger phenotype than the null allele and behave in a dominant fashion. In support of this finding, the severe YG box mutants are defective in self-interaction assays, yet maintain their ability to heterodimerize with wild-type SMN. When expressed at high levels, wild-type SMN is able to suppress the activity of the mutant protein. These results suggest that certain SMN mutants can sequester the wild-type protein into inactive complexes. Molecular modeling of the SMN YG box dimer provides a structural basis for this dominant phenotype. These data demonstrate that important structural and functional features of the SMN YG box are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, emphasizing the importance of self-interaction to the proper functioning of SMN.

  4. SMA-causing missense mutations in survival motor neuron (Smn display a wide range of phenotypes when modeled in Drosophila.

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    Kavita Praveen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the human survival motor neuron 1 (SMN gene are the primary cause of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, a devastating neuromuscular disorder. SMN protein has a well-characterized role in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs, core components of the spliceosome. Additional tissue-specific and global functions have been ascribed to SMN; however, their relevance to SMA pathology is poorly understood and controversial. Using Drosophila as a model system, we created an allelic series of twelve Smn missense mutations, originally identified in human SMA patients. We show that animals expressing these SMA-causing mutations display a broad range of phenotypic severities, similar to the human disease. Furthermore, specific interactions with other proteins known to be important for SMN's role in RNP assembly are conserved. Intragenic complementation analyses revealed that the three most severe mutations, all of which map to the YG box self-oligomerization domain of SMN, display a stronger phenotype than the null allele and behave in a dominant fashion. In support of this finding, the severe YG box mutants are defective in self-interaction assays, yet maintain their ability to heterodimerize with wild-type SMN. When expressed at high levels, wild-type SMN is able to suppress the activity of the mutant protein. These results suggest that certain SMN mutants can sequester the wild-type protein into inactive complexes. Molecular modeling of the SMN YG box dimer provides a structural basis for this dominant phenotype. These data demonstrate that important structural and functional features of the SMN YG box are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, emphasizing the importance of self-interaction to the proper functioning of SMN.

  5. Inhibition of GSK-3 ameliorates Abeta pathology in an adult-onset Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease.

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    Oyinkan Sofola

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abeta peptide accumulation is thought to be the primary event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD, with downstream neurotoxic effects including the hyperphosphorylation of tau protein. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 is increasingly implicated as playing a pivotal role in this amyloid cascade. We have developed an adult-onset Drosophila model of AD, using an inducible gene expression system to express Arctic mutant Abeta42 specifically in adult neurons, to avoid developmental effects. Abeta42 accumulated with age in these flies and they displayed increased mortality together with progressive neuronal dysfunction, but in the apparent absence of neuronal loss. This fly model can thus be used to examine the role of events during adulthood and early AD aetiology. Expression of Abeta42 in adult neurons increased GSK-3 activity, and inhibition of GSK-3 (either genetically or pharmacologically by lithium treatment rescued Abeta42 toxicity. Abeta42 pathogenesis was also reduced by removal of endogenous fly tau; but, within the limits of detection of available methods, tau phosphorylation did not appear to be altered in flies expressing Abeta42. The GSK-3-mediated effects on Abeta42 toxicity appear to be at least in part mediated by tau-independent mechanisms, because the protective effect of lithium alone was greater than that of the removal of tau alone. Finally, Abeta42 levels were reduced upon GSK-3 inhibition, pointing to a direct role of GSK-3 in the regulation of Abeta42 peptide level, in the absence of APP processing. Our study points to the need both to identify the mechanisms by which GSK-3 modulates Abeta42 levels in the fly and to determine if similar mechanisms are present in mammals, and it supports the potential therapeutic use of GSK-3 inhibitors in AD.

  6. Inhibition of GSK-3 ameliorates Abeta pathology in an adult-onset Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oyinkan Sofola

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abeta peptide accumulation is thought to be the primary event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD, with downstream neurotoxic effects including the hyperphosphorylation of tau protein. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 is increasingly implicated as playing a pivotal role in this amyloid cascade. We have developed an adult-onset Drosophila model of AD, using an inducible gene expression system to express Arctic mutant Abeta42 specifically in adult neurons, to avoid developmental effects. Abeta42 accumulated with age in these flies and they displayed increased mortality together with progressive neuronal dysfunction, but in the apparent absence of neuronal loss. This fly model can thus be used to examine the role of events during adulthood and early AD aetiology. Expression of Abeta42 in adult neurons increased GSK-3 activity, and inhibition of GSK-3 (either genetically or pharmacologically by lithium treatment rescued Abeta42 toxicity. Abeta42 pathogenesis was also reduced by removal of endogenous fly tau; but, within the limits of detection of available methods, tau phosphorylation did not appear to be altered in flies expressing Abeta42. The GSK-3-mediated effects on Abeta42 toxicity appear to be at least in part mediated by tau-independent mechanisms, because the protective effect of lithium alone was greater than that of the removal of tau alone. Finally, Abeta42 levels were reduced upon GSK-3 inhibition, pointing to a direct role of GSK-3 in the regulation of Abeta42 peptide level, in the absence of APP processing. Our study points to the need both to identify the mechanisms by which GSK-3 modulates Abeta42 levels in the fly and to determine if similar mechanisms are present in mammals, and it supports the potential therapeutic use of GSK-3 inhibitors in AD.

  7. Isolation of Drosophila egg chambers for imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, Richard M; Vallés, Ana Maria; Dobbie, Ian M; Davis, Ilan

    2010-04-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an important model for basic research into the molecular mechanisms underlying cell function and development, as well as a major biomedical research tool. A significant advantage of Drosophila is the ability to apply live cell imaging to a variety of living tissues that can be dissected and imaged in vivo, ex vivo, or in vitro. Drosophila egg chambers, for example, have proven to be a useful model system for studying border cell migration, Golgi unit transport, the rapid movement of mRNA and protein particles, and the role of microtubules in meiosis and oocyte differentiation. A crucial first step before imaging is preparation of the experimental material to ensure physiological relevance and to achieve the best conditions for image quality. Early- to mid-stage egg chambers cannot be mounted in an aqueous-based medium, because this causes a change in microtubule organization and follicle cell morphology. Such egg chambers survive better in Halocarbon oil, which allows free diffusion of oxygen, has low viscosity, and thus prevents dehydration and hypoxia. With a refractive index similar to glycerol, Halocarbon oil also has good optical properties for imaging. It also provides a good environment for injection and is particularly useful for long-term imaging of embryos. However, unlike with aqueous solutions, changes in the medium are not possible. This protocol describes the isolation of Drosophila egg chambers.

  8. Evidence for transgenerational metabolic programming in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buescher, Jessica L; Musselman, Laura P; Wilson, Christina A; Lang, Tieming; Keleher, Madeline; Baranski, Thomas J; Duncan, Jennifer G

    2013-09-01

    Worldwide epidemiologic studies have repeatedly demonstrated an association between prenatal nutritional environment, birth weight and susceptibility to adult diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Despite advances in mammalian model systems, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unclear, but might involve programming mechanisms such as epigenetics. Here we describe a new system for evaluating metabolic programming mechanisms using a simple, genetically tractable Drosophila model. We examined the effect of maternal caloric excess on offspring and found that a high-sugar maternal diet alters body composition of larval offspring for at least two generations, augments an obese-like phenotype under suboptimal (high-calorie) feeding conditions in adult offspring, and modifies expression of metabolic genes. Our data indicate that nutritional programming mechanisms could be highly conserved and support the use of Drosophila as a model for evaluating the underlying genetic and epigenetic contributions to this phenomenon.

  9. Evidence for transgenerational metabolic programming in Drosophila

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    Jessica L. Buescher

    2013-09-01

    Worldwide epidemiologic studies have repeatedly demonstrated an association between prenatal nutritional environment, birth weight and susceptibility to adult diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Despite advances in mammalian model systems, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unclear, but might involve programming mechanisms such as epigenetics. Here we describe a new system for evaluating metabolic programming mechanisms using a simple, genetically tractable Drosophila model. We examined the effect of maternal caloric excess on offspring and found that a high-sugar maternal diet alters body composition of larval offspring for at least two generations, augments an obese-like phenotype under suboptimal (high-calorie feeding conditions in adult offspring, and modifies expression of metabolic genes. Our data indicate that nutritional programming mechanisms could be highly conserved and support the use of Drosophila as a model for evaluating the underlying genetic and epigenetic contributions to this phenomenon.

  10. Chronic hypoxia impairs muscle function in the Drosophila model of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD.

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    Matias Mosqueira

    Full Text Available Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD is a severe progressive myopathy caused by mutations in the DMD gene leading to a deficiency of the dystrophin protein. Due to ongoing muscle necrosis in respiratory muscles late-stage DMD is associated with respiratory insufficiency and chronic hypoxia (CH. To understand the effects of CH on dystrophin-deficient muscle in vivo, we exposed the Drosophila model for DMD (dmDys to CH during a 16-day ascent to the summit of Mount Denali/McKinley (6194 meters above sea level. Additionally, dmDys and wild type (WT flies were also exposed to CH in laboratory simulations of high altitude hypoxia. Expression profiling was performed using Affymetrix GeneChips® and validated using qPCR. Hypoxic dmDys differentially expressed 1281 genes, whereas the hypoxic WT flies differentially expressed 56 genes. Interestingly, a number of genes (e.g. heat shock proteins were discordantly regulated in response to CH between dmDys and WT. We tested the possibility that the disparate molecular responses of dystrophin-deficient tissues to CH could adversely affect muscle by performing functional assays in vivo. Normoxic and CH WT and dmDys flies were challenged with acute hypoxia and time-to-recover determined as well as subjected to climbing tests. Impaired performance was noted for CH-dmDys compared to normoxic dmDys or WT flies (rank order: Normoxic-WT ≈ CH-WT> Normoxic-dmDys> CH-dmDys. These data suggest that dystrophin-deficiency is associated with a disparate, pathological hypoxic stress response(s and is more sensitive to hypoxia induced muscle dysfunction in vivo. We hypothesize that targeting/correcting the disparate molecular response(s to hypoxia may offer a novel therapeutic strategy in DMD.

  11. Genetic and chemical modifiers of a CUG toxicity model in Drosophila.

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    Amparo Garcia-Lopez

    Full Text Available Non-coding CUG repeat expansions interfere with the activity of human Muscleblind-like (MBNL proteins contributing to myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1. To understand this toxic RNA gain-of-function mechanism we developed a Drosophila model expressing 60 pure and 480 interrupted CUG repeats in the context of a non-translatable RNA. These flies reproduced aspects of the DM1 pathology, most notably nuclear accumulation of CUG transcripts, muscle degeneration, splicing misregulation, and diminished Muscleblind function in vivo. Reduced Muscleblind activity was evident from the sensitivity of CUG-induced phenotypes to a decrease in muscleblind genetic dosage and rescue by MBNL1 expression, and further supported by the co-localization of Muscleblind and CUG repeat RNA in ribonuclear foci. Targeted expression of CUG repeats to the developing eye and brain mushroom bodies was toxic leading to rough eyes and semilethality, respectively. These phenotypes were utilized to identify genetic and chemical modifiers of the CUG-induced toxicity. 15 genetic modifiers of the rough eye phenotype were isolated. These genes identify putative cellular processes unknown to be altered by CUG repeat RNA, and they include mRNA export factor Aly, apoptosis inhibitor Thread, chromatin remodelling factor Nurf-38, and extracellular matrix structural component Viking. Ten chemical compounds suppressed the semilethal phenotype. These compounds significantly improved viability of CUG expressing flies and included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (ketoprofen, muscarinic, cholinergic and histamine receptor inhibitors (orphenadrine, and drugs that can affect sodium and calcium metabolism such as clenbuterol and spironolactone. These findings provide new insights into the DM1 phenotype, and suggest novel candidates for DM1 treatments.

  12. Drosophila Shep and C. elegans SUP-26 are RNA-binding proteins that play diverse roles in nervous system development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachtner, Logan T; Sola, Ismail E; Forand, Daniel; Antonacci, Simona; Postovit, Adam J; Mortimer, Nathan T; Killian, Darrell J; Olesnicky, Eugenia C

    2015-11-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans gene sup-26 encodes a well-conserved RNA-recognition motif-containing RNA-binding protein (RBP) that functions in dendrite morphogenesis of the PVD sensory neuron. The Drosophila ortholog of sup-26, alan shepard (shep), is expressed throughout the nervous system and has been shown to regulate neuronal remodeling during metamorphosis. Here, we extend these studies to show that sup-26 and shep are required for the development of diverse cell types within the nematode and fly nervous systems during embryonic and larval stages. We ascribe roles for sup-26 in regulating dendrite number and the expression of genes involved in mechanosensation within the nematode peripheral nervous system. We also find that in Drosophila, shep regulates dendrite length and branch order of nociceptive neurons, regulates the organization of neuronal clusters of the peripheral nervous system and the organization of axons within the ventral nerve cord. Taken together, our results suggest that shep/sup-26 orthologs play diverse roles in neural development across animal species. Moreover, we discuss potential roles for shep/sup-26 orthologs in the human nervous system.

  13. A Behavior-Based Circuit Model of How Outcome Expectations Organize Learned Behavior in Larval "Drosophila"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleyer, Michael; Saumweber, Timo; Nahrendorf, Wiebke; Fischer, Benjamin; von Alpen, Desiree; Pauls, Dennis; Thum, Andreas; Gerber, Bertram

    2011-01-01

    Drosophila larvae combine a numerically simple brain, a correspondingly moderate behavioral complexity, and the availability of a rich toolbox for transgenic manipulation. This makes them attractive as a study case when trying to achieve a circuit-level understanding of behavior organization. From a series of behavioral experiments, we suggest a…

  14. Metabolic changes precede proteostatic dysfunction in a Drosophila model of Abeta peptide toxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ott, Stanislav; Vishnivetskaya, Anastasia; Malmendal, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide aggregation is linked to the initiation of Alzheimer's disease; accordingly, aggregation-prone isoforms of Aβ, expressed in the brain, shorten the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster. However, the lethal effects of Aβ are not apparent until after day 15. We used shibireT...

  15. Knockdown of Hsc70-5/mortalin induces loss of synaptic mitochondria in a Drosophila Parkinson's disease model.

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    Jun-Yi Zhu

    Full Text Available Mortalin is an essential component of the molecular machinery that imports nuclear-encoded proteins into mitochondria, assists in their folding, and protects against damage upon accumulation of dysfunctional, unfolded proteins in aging mitochondria. Mortalin dysfunction associated with Parkinson's disease (PD increases the vulnerability of cultured cells to proteolytic stress and leads to changes in mitochondrial function and morphology. To date, Drosophila melanogaster has been successfully used to investigate pathogenesis following the loss of several other PD-associated genes. We generated the first loss-of-Hsc70-5/mortalin-function Drosophila model. The reduction of Mortalin expression recapitulates some of the defects observed in the existing Drosophila PD-models, which include reduced ATP levels, abnormal wing posture, shortened life span, and reduced spontaneous locomotor and climbing ability. Dopaminergic neurons seem to be more sensitive to the loss of mortalin than other neuronal sub-types and non-neuronal tissues. The loss of synaptic mitochondria is an early pathological change that might cause later degenerative events. It precedes both behavioral abnormalities and structural changes at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ of mortalin-knockdown larvae that exhibit increased mitochondrial fragmentation. Autophagy is concomitantly up-regulated, suggesting that mitochondria are degraded via mitophagy. Ex vivo data from human fibroblasts identifies increased mitophagy as an early pathological change that precedes apoptosis. Given the specificity of the observed defects, we are confident that the loss-of-mortalin model presented in this study will be useful for further dissection of the complex network of pathways that underlie the development of mitochondrial parkinsonism.

  16. Taste processing in Drosophila larvae

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    Anthi A. Apostolopoulou

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The sense of taste allows animals to detect chemical substances in their environment to initiate appropriate behaviors: to find food or a mate, to avoid hostile environments and predators. Drosophila larvae are a promising model organism to study gustation. Their simple nervous system triggers stereotypic behavioral responses, and the coding of taste can be studied by genetic tools at the single cell level. This review briefly summarizes recent progress on how taste information is sensed and processed by larval cephalic and pharyngeal sense organs. The focus lies on several studies, which revealed cellular and molecular mechanisms required to process sugar, salt, and bitter substances.

  17. Elevated levels of the vesicular monoamine transporter and a novel repetitive behavior in the Drosophila model of fragile X syndrome.

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    John M Tauber

    Full Text Available Fragile X Syndrome (FXS is characterized by mental impairment and autism in humans, and it often features hyperactivity and repetitive behaviors. The mechanisms for the disease, however, remain poorly understood. Here we report that the dfmr1 mutant in the Drosophila model of FXS grooms excessively, which may be regulated differentially by two signaling pathways. Blocking metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling enhances grooming in dfmr1 mutant flies, whereas blocking the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT suppresses excessive grooming. dfmr1 mutant flies also exhibit elevated levels of VMAT mRNA and protein. These results suggest that enhanced monoamine signaling correlates with repetitive behaviors and hyperactivity associated with FXS.

  18. CROSS-DISCIPLINARY PHYSICS AND RELATED AREAS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Modelling of intercellular synchronization in the Drosophila circadian clock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun-Wei; Chen, Ai-Min; Zhang, Jia-Jun; Yuan, Zhan-Jiang; Zhou, Tian-Shou

    2009-03-01

    In circadian rhythm generation, intercellular signaling factors are shown to play a crucial role in both sustaining intrinsic cellular rhythmicity and acquiring collective behaviours across a population of circadian neurons. However, the physical mechanism behind their role remains to be fully understood. In this paper, we propose an indirectly coupled multicellular model for the synchronization of Drosophila circadian oscillators combining both intracellular and intercellular dynamics. By simulating different experimental conditions, we find that such an indirect coupling way can synchronize both heterogeneous self-sustained circadian neurons and heterogeneous mutational damped circadian neurons. Moreover, they can also be entrained to ambient light-dark (LD) cycles depending on intercellular signaling.

  19. TORC1 Inhibition by Rapamycin Promotes Antioxidant Defences in a Drosophila Model of Friedreich’s Ataxia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calap-Quintana, Pablo; Soriano, Sirena; Llorens, José Vicente; Al-Ramahi, Ismael; Botas, Juan; Moltó, María Dolores; Martínez-Sebastián, María José

    2015-01-01

    Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA), the most common inherited ataxia in the Caucasian population, is a multisystemic disease caused by a significant decrease in the frataxin level. To identify genes capable of modifying the severity of the symptoms of frataxin depletion, we performed a candidate genetic screen in a Drosophila RNAi-based model of FRDA. We found that genetic reduction in TOR Complex 1 (TORC1) signalling improves the impaired motor performance phenotype of FRDA model flies. Pharmacologic inhibition of TORC1 signalling by rapamycin also restored this phenotype and increased the lifespan and ATP levels. Furthermore, rapamycin reduced the altered levels of malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenals and total glutathione of the model flies. The rapamycin-mediated protection against oxidative stress is due in part to an increase in the transcription of antioxidant genes mediated by cap-n-collar (Drosophila ortholog of Nrf2). Our results suggest that autophagy is indeed necessary for the protective effect of rapamycin in hyperoxia. Rapamycin increased the survival and aconitase activity of model flies subjected to high oxidative insult, and this improvement was abolished by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine. These results point to the TORC1 pathway as a new potential therapeutic target for FRDA and as a guide to finding new promising molecules for disease treatment. PMID:26158631

  20. Repeat length and RNA expression level are not primary determinants in CUG expansion toxicity in Drosophila models.

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    Gwenn Le Mée

    Full Text Available Evidence for an RNA gain-of-function toxicity has now been provided for an increasing number of human pathologies. Myotonic dystrophies (DM belong to a class of RNA-dominant diseases that result from RNA repeat expansion toxicity. Specifically, DM of type 1 (DM1, is caused by an expansion of CUG repeats in the 3'UTR of the DMPK protein kinase mRNA, while DM of type 2 (DM2 is linked to an expansion of CCUG repeats in an intron of the ZNF9 transcript (ZNF9 encodes a zinc finger protein. In both pathologies the mutant RNA forms nuclear foci. The mechanisms that underlie the RNA pathogenicity seem to be rather complex and not yet completely understood. Here, we describe Drosophila models that might help unravelling the molecular mechanisms of DM1-associated CUG expansion toxicity. We generated transgenic flies that express inducible repeats of different type (CUG or CAG and length (16, 240, 480 repeats and then analyzed transgene localization, RNA expression and toxicity as assessed by induced lethality and eye neurodegeneration. The only line that expressed a toxic RNA has a (CTG(240 insertion. Moreover our analysis shows that its level of expression cannot account for its toxicity. In this line, (CTG(240.4, the expansion inserted in the first intron of CG9650, a zinc finger protein encoding gene. Interestingly, CG9650 and (CUG(240.4 expansion RNAs were found in the same nuclear foci. In conclusion, we suggest that the insertion context is the primary determinant for expansion toxicity in Drosophila models. This finding should contribute to the still open debate on the role of the expansions per se in Drosophila and in human pathogenesis of RNA-dominant diseases.

  1. BMAA neurotoxicity in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xianchong; Escala, Wilfredo; Papapetropoulos, Spyridon; Bradley, Walter G; Zhai, R Grace

    2009-01-01

    We report the establishment of an in vivo model using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the toxic effects of L-BMAA. We found that dietary intake of BMAA reduced the lifespan as well as the neurological functions of flies. Furthermore, we have developed an HPLC method to reliably detect both free and protein-bound BMAA in fly tissue extracts.

  2. Heart- and muscle-derived signaling system dependent on MED13 and Wingless controls obesity in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji-Hoon; Bassel-Duby, Rhonda; Olson, Eric N

    2014-07-01

    Obesity develops in response to an imbalance of energy homeostasis and whole-body metabolism. Muscle plays a central role in the control of energy homeostasis through consumption of energy and signaling to adipose tissue. We reported previously that MED13, a subunit of the Mediator complex, acts in the heart to control obesity in mice. To further explore the generality and mechanistic basis of this observation, we investigated the potential influence of MED13 expression in heart and muscle on the susceptibility of Drosophila to obesity. Here, we show that heart/muscle-specific knockdown of MED13 or MED12, another Mediator subunit, increases susceptibility to obesity in adult flies. To identify possible muscle-secreted obesity regulators, we performed an RNAi-based genetic screen of 150 genes that encode secreted proteins and found that Wingless inhibition also caused obesity. Consistent with these findings, muscle-specific inhibition of Armadillo, the downstream transcriptional effector of the Wingless pathway, also evoked an obese phenotype in flies. Epistasis experiments further demonstrated that Wingless functions downstream of MED13 within a muscle-regulatory pathway. Together, these findings reveal an intertissue signaling system in which Wingless acts as an effector of MED13 in heart and muscle and suggest that Wingless-mediated cross-talk between striated muscle and adipose tissue controls obesity in Drosophila. This signaling system appears to represent an ancestral mechanism for the control of systemic energy homeostasis.

  3. Development of larval motor circuits in Drosophila.

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    Kohsaka, Hiroshi; Okusawa, Satoko; Itakura, Yuki; Fushiki, Akira; Nose, Akinao

    2012-04-01

    How are functional neural circuits formed during development? Despite recent advances in our understanding of the development of individual neurons, little is known about how complex circuits are assembled to generate specific behaviors. Here, we describe the ways in which Drosophila motor circuits serve as an excellent model system to tackle this problem. We first summarize what has been learned during the past decades on the connectivity and development of component neurons, in particular motor neurons and sensory feedback neurons. We then review recent progress in our understanding of the development of the circuits as well as studies that apply optogenetics and other innovative techniques to dissect the circuit diagram. New approaches using Drosophila as a model system are now making it possible to search for developmental rules that regulate the construction of neural circuits.

  4. Drosophila melanogaster--the model organism of choice for the complex biology of multi-cellular organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckingham, Kathleen M.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Texada, Michael J.; Munjaal, Ravi; Baker, Dean A.

    2005-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has been intensely studied for almost 100 years. The sophisticated array of genetic and molecular tools that have evolved for analysis of gene function in this organism are unique. Further, Drosophila is a complex multi-cellular organism in which many aspects of development and behavior parallel those in human beings. These combined advantages have permitted research in Drosophila to make seminal contributions to the understanding of fundamental biological processes and ensure that Drosophila will continue to provide unique insights in the genomic era. An overview of the genetic methodologies available in Drosophila is given here, together with examples of outstanding recent contributions of Drosophila to our understanding of cell and organismal biology. The growing contribution of Drosophila to our knowledge of gravity-related responses is addressed.

  5. Drosophila melanogaster--the model organism of choice for the complex biology of multi-cellular organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckingham, Kathleen M.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Texada, Michael J.; Munjaal, Ravi; Baker, Dean A.

    2005-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has been intensely studied for almost 100 years. The sophisticated array of genetic and molecular tools that have evolved for analysis of gene function in this organism are unique. Further, Drosophila is a complex multi-cellular organism in which many aspects of development and behavior parallel those in human beings. These combined advantages have permitted research in Drosophila to make seminal contributions to the understanding of fundamental biological processes and ensure that Drosophila will continue to provide unique insights in the genomic era. An overview of the genetic methodologies available in Drosophila is given here, together with examples of outstanding recent contributions of Drosophila to our understanding of cell and organismal biology. The growing contribution of Drosophila to our knowledge of gravity-related responses is addressed.

  6. Motor neuron apoptosis and neuromuscular junction perturbation are prominent features in a Drosophila model of Fus-mediated ALS

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    Xia Ruohan

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Backgound Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of motor function. Several ALS genes have been identified as their mutations can lead to familial ALS, including the recently reported RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (Fus. However, it is not clear how mutations of Fus lead to motor neuron degeneration in ALS. In this study, we present a Drosophila model to examine the toxicity of Fus, its Drosophila orthologue Cabeza (Caz, and the ALS-related Fus mutants. Results Our results show that the expression of wild-type Fus/Caz or FusR521G induced progressive toxicity in multiple tissues of the transgenic flies in a dose- and age-dependent manner. The expression of Fus, Caz, or FusR521G in motor neurons significantly impaired the locomotive ability of fly larvae and adults. The presynaptic structures in neuromuscular junctions were disrupted and motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord (VNC were disorganized and underwent apoptosis. Surprisingly, the interruption of Fus nuclear localization by either deleting its nuclear localization sequence (NLS or adding a nuclear export signal (NES blocked Fus toxicity. Moreover, we discovered that the loss of caz in Drosophila led to severe growth defects in the eyes and VNCs, caused locomotive disability and NMJ disruption, but did not induce apoptotic cell death. Conclusions These data demonstrate that the overexpression of Fus/Caz causes in vivo toxicity by disrupting neuromuscular junctions (NMJs and inducing apoptosis in motor neurons. In addition, the nuclear localization of Fus is essential for Fus to induce toxicity. Our findings also suggest that Fus overexpression and gene deletion can cause similar degenerative phenotypes but the underlying mechanisms are likely different.

  7. dAtaxin-2 mediates expanded Ataxin-1-induced neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of SCA1.

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    Ismael Al-Ramahi

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs are a genetically heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders sharing atrophy of the cerebellum as a common feature. SCA1 and SCA2 are two ataxias caused by expansion of polyglutamine tracts in Ataxin-1 (ATXN1 and Ataxin-2 (ATXN2, respectively, two proteins that are otherwise unrelated. Here, we use a Drosophila model of SCA1 to unveil molecular mechanisms linking Ataxin-1 with Ataxin-2 during SCA1 pathogenesis. We show that wild-type Drosophila Ataxin-2 (dAtx2 is a major genetic modifier of human expanded Ataxin-1 (Ataxin-1[82Q] toxicity. Increased dAtx2 levels enhance, and more importantly, decreased dAtx2 levels suppress Ataxin-1[82Q]-induced neurodegeneration, thereby ruling out a pathogenic mechanism by depletion of dAtx2. Although Ataxin-2 is normally cytoplasmic and Ataxin-1 nuclear, we show that both dAtx2 and hAtaxin-2 physically interact with Ataxin-1. Furthermore, we show that expanded Ataxin-1 induces intranuclear accumulation of dAtx2/hAtaxin-2 in both Drosophila and SCA1 postmortem neurons. These observations suggest that nuclear accumulation of Ataxin-2 contributes to expanded Ataxin-1-induced toxicity. We tested this hypothesis engineering dAtx2 transgenes with nuclear localization signal (NLS and nuclear export signal (NES. We find that NLS-dAtx2, but not NES-dAtx2, mimics the neurodegenerative phenotypes caused by Ataxin-1[82Q], including repression of the proneural factor Senseless. Altogether, these findings reveal a previously unknown functional link between neurodegenerative disorders with common clinical features but different etiology.

  8. The open for business model of the bithorax complex in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Robert K; Karch, François

    2015-09-01

    After nearly 30 years of effort, Ed Lewis published his 1978 landmark paper in which he described the analysis of a series of mutations that affect the identity of the segments that form along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis of the fly (Lewis 1978). The mutations behaved in a non-canonical fashion in complementation tests, forming what Ed Lewis called a "pseudo-allelic" series. Because of this, he never thought that the mutations represented segment-specific genes. As all of these mutations were grouped to a particular area of the Drosophila third chromosome, the locus became known of as the bithorax complex (BX-C). One of the key findings of Lewis' article was that it revealed for the first time, to a wide scientific audience, that there was a remarkable correlation between the order of the segment-specific mutations along the chromosome and the order of the segments they affected along the AP axis. In Ed Lewis' eyes, the mutants he discovered affected "segment-specific functions" that were sequentially activated along the chromosome as one moves from anterior to posterior along the body axis (the colinearity concept now cited in elementary biology textbooks). The nature of the "segment-specific functions" started to become clear when the BX-C was cloned through the pioneering chromosomal walk initiated in the mid 1980s by the Hogness and Bender laboratories (Bender et al. 1983a; Karch et al. 1985). Through this molecular biology effort, and along with genetic characterizations performed by Gines Morata's group in Madrid (Sanchez-Herrero et al. 1985) and Robert Whittle's in Sussex (Tiong et al. 1985), it soon became clear that the whole BX-C encoded only three protein-coding genes (Ubx, abd-A, and Abd-B). Later, immunostaining against the Ubx protein hinted that the segment-specific functions could, in fact, be cis-regulatory elements regulating the expression of the three protein-coding genes. In 1987, Peifer, Karch, and Bender proposed a comprehensive model of

  9. Specification of the somatic musculature in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobi, Krista C; Schulman, Victoria K; Baylies, Mary K

    2015-01-01

    The somatic muscle system formed during Drosophila embryogenesis is required for larvae to hatch, feed, and crawl. This system is replaced in the pupa by a new adult muscle set, responsible for activities such as feeding, walking, and flight. Both the larval and adult muscle systems are comprised of distinct muscle fibers to serve these specific motor functions. In this way, the Drosophila musculature is a valuable model for patterning within a single tissue: while all muscle cells share properties such as the contractile apparatus, properties such as size, position, and number of nuclei are unique for a particular muscle. In the embryo, diversification of muscle fibers relies first on signaling cascades that pattern the mesoderm. Subsequently, the combinatorial expression of specific transcription factors leads muscle fibers to adopt particular sizes, shapes, and orientations. Adult muscle precursors (AMPs), set aside during embryonic development, proliferate during the larval phases and seed the formation of the abdominal, leg, and flight muscles in the adult fly. Adult muscle fibers may either be formed de novo from the fusion of the AMPs, or are created by the binding of AMPs to an existing larval muscle. While less is known about adult muscle specification compared to the larva, expression of specific transcription factors is also important for its diversification. Increasingly, the mechanisms required for the diversification of fly muscle have found parallels in vertebrate systems and mark Drosophila as a robust model system to examine questions about how diverse cell types are generated within an organism.

  10. Optogenetics in Drosophila Neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riemensperger, Thomas; Kittel, Robert J; Fiala, André

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetic techniques enable one to target specific neurons with light-sensitive proteins, e.g., ion channels, ion pumps, or enzymes, and to manipulate their physiological state through illumination. Such artificial interference with selected elements of complex neuronal circuits can help to determine causal relationships between neuronal activity and the effect on the functioning of neuronal circuits controlling animal behavior. The advantages of optogenetics can best be exploited in genetically tractable animals whose nervous systems are, on the one hand, small enough in terms of cell numbers and to a certain degree stereotypically organized, such that distinct and identifiable neurons can be targeted reproducibly. On the other hand, the neuronal circuitry and the behavioral repertoire should be complex enough to enable one to address interesting questions. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a favorable model organism in this regard. However, the application of optogenetic tools to depolarize or hyperpolarize neurons through light-induced ionic currents has been difficult in adult flies. Only recently, several variants of Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) have been introduced that provide sufficient light sensitivity, expression, and stability to depolarize central brain neurons efficiently in adult Drosophila. Here, we focus on the version currently providing highest photostimulation efficiency, ChR2-XXL. We exemplify the use of this optogenetic tool by applying it to a widely used aversive olfactory learning paradigm. Optogenetic activation of a population of dopamine-releasing neurons mimics the reinforcing properties of a punitive electric shock typically used as an unconditioned stimulus. In temporal coincidence with an odor stimulus this artificially induced neuronal activity causes learning of the odor signal, thereby creating a light-induced memory.

  11. Optogenetic pacing in Drosophila melanogaster (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alex, Aneesh; Li, Airong; Men, Jing; Jerwick, Jason; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Zhou, Chao

    2016-03-01

    A non-invasive, contact-less cardiac pacing technology can be a powerful tool in basic cardiac research and in clinics. Currently, electrical pacing is the gold standard for cardiac pacing. Although highly effective in controlling the cardiac function, the invasive nature, non-specificity to cardiac tissues and possible tissue damage limits its capabilities. Optical pacing of heart is a promising alternative, which is non-invasive and more specific, has high spatial and temporal precision, and avoids shortcomings in electrical stimulation. Optical coherence tomography has been proved to be an effective technique in non-invasive imaging in vivo with ultrahigh resolution and imaging speed. In the last several years, non-invasive specific optical pacing in animal hearts has been reported in quail, zebrafish, and rabbit models. However, Drosophila Melanogaster, which is a significant model with orthologs of 75% of human disease genes, has rarely been studied concerning their optical pacing in heart. Here, we combined optogenetic control of Drosophila heartbeat with optical coherence microscopy (OCM) technique for the first time. The light-gated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) was specifically expressed by transgene as a pacemaker in drosophila heart. By stimulating the pacemaker with 472 nm pulsed laser light at different frequencies, we achieved non-invasive and more specific optical control of the Drosophila heart rhythm, which demonstrates the wide potential of optical pacing for studying cardiac dynamics and development. Imaging capability of our customized OCM system was also involved to observe the pacing effect visually. No tissue damage was found after long exposure to laser pulses, which proved the safety of optogenetic control of Drosophila heart.

  12. Enhanced Specificity and Efficiency of the CRISPR/Cas9 System with Optimized sgRNA Parameters in Drosophila

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    Xingjie Ren

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently emerged as a powerful tool for functional genomic studies in Drosophila melanogaster. However, single-guide RNA (sgRNA parameters affecting the specificity and efficiency of the system in flies are still not clear. Here, we found that off-target effects did not occur in regions of genomic DNA with three or more nucleotide mismatches to sgRNAs. Importantly, we document for a strong positive correlation between mutagenesis efficiency and sgRNA GC content of the six protospacer-adjacent motif-proximal nucleotides (PAMPNs. Furthermore, by injecting well-designed sgRNA plasmids at the optimal concentration we determined, we could efficiently generate mutations in four genes in one step. Finally, we generated null alleles of HP1a using optimized parameters through homology-directed repair and achieved an overall mutagenesis rate significantly higher than previously reported. Our work demonstrates a comprehensive optimization of sgRNA and promises to vastly simplify CRISPR/Cas9 experiments in Drosophila.

  13. Homeostatic Epithelial Renewal in the Gut Is Required for Dampening a Fatal Systemic Wound Response in Drosophila

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    Asuka Takeishi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Effective defense responses involve the entire organism. To maintain body homeostasis after tissue damage, a systemic wound response is induced in which the response of each tissue is tightly orchestrated to avoid incomplete recovery or an excessive, damaging response. Here, we provide evidence that in the systemic response to wounding, an apoptotic caspase pathway is activated downstream of reactive oxygen species in the midgut enterocytes (ECs, cells distant from the wound site, in Drosophila. We show that a caspase-pathway mutant has defects in homeostatic gut cell renewal and that inhibiting caspase activity in fly ECs results in the production of systemic lethal factors after wounding. Our results indicate that wounding remotely controls caspase activity in ECs, which activates the tissue stem cell regeneration pathway in the gut to dampen the dangerous systemic wound reaction.

  14. A hormone receptor-based transactivator bridges different binary systems to precisely control spatial-temporal gene expression in Drosophila.

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    Shu-Yun Kuo

    Full Text Available The GAL4/UAS gene expression system is a precise means of targeted gene expression employed to study biological phenomena in Drosophila. A modified GAL4/UAS system can be conditionally regulated using a temporal and regional gene expression targeting (TARGET system that responds to heat shock induction. However heat shock-related temperature shifts sometimes cause unexpected physiological responses that confound behavioral analyses. We describe here the construction of a drug-inducible version of this system that takes advantage of tissue-specific GAL4 driver lines to yield either RU486-activated LexA-progesterone receptor chimeras (LexPR or β-estradiol-activated LexA-estrogen receptor chimeras (XVE. Upon induction, these chimeras bind to a LexA operator (LexAop and activate transgene expression. Using GFP expression as a marker for induction in fly brain cells, both approaches are capable of tightly and precisely modulating transgene expression in a temporal and dosage-dependent manner. Additionally, tissue-specific GAL4 drivers resulted in target gene expression that was restricted to those specific tissues. Constitutive expression of the active PKA catalytic subunit using these systems altered the sleep pattern of flies, demonstrating that both systems can regulate transgene expression that precisely mimics regulation that was previously engineered using the GeneSwitch/UAS system. Unlike the limited number of GeneSwitch drivers, this approach allows for the usage of the multitudinous, tissue-specific GAL4 lines for studying temporal gene regulation and tissue-specific gene expression. Together, these new inducible systems provide additional, highly valuable tools available to study gene function in Drosophila.

  15. Giant lens, a gene involved in cell determination and axon guidance in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster.

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    Kretzschmar, D; Brunner, A; Wiersdorff, V; Pflugfelder, G O; Heisenberg, M; Schneuwly, S

    1992-01-01

    Mutations in the Drosophila gene giant lens (gil) affect ommatidial development, photoreceptor axon guidance and optic lobe development. We have cloned the gene using an enhancer trap line. Molecular analysis of gil suggests that it encodes a secreted protein with an epidermal-growth-factor-like motif. We have generated mutations at the gil locus by imprecise excision of the enhancer trap P-element. In the absence of gil, additional photoreceptors develop at the expense of pigment cells, suggesting an involvement of gil in cell determination during eye development. In addition, gil mutants show drastic effects on photoreceptor axon guidance and optic lobe development. In wildtype flies, photoreceptor axons grow from the eye disc through the optic stalk into the larval brain hemisphere, where retinal innervation is required for the normal development of the lamina and distal medulla. The projection pattern of these axons in the developing lamina and medulla is highly regular and reproducible. In gil, photoreceptor axons enter the larval brain but fail to establish proper connections in the lamina or medulla. We propose that gil encodes a new type of signalling molecule involved in the process of axon pathfinding and cell determination in the visual system of Drosophila. Images PMID:1628618

  16. Drosophila as a model for intractable epilepsy: gilgamesh suppresses seizures in para(bss1) heterozygote flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howlett, Iris C; Rusan, Zeid M; Parker, Louise; Tanouye, Mark A

    2013-08-07

    Intractable epilepsies, that is, seizure disorders that do not respond to currently available therapies, are difficult, often tragic, neurological disorders. Na(+) channelopathies have been implicated in some intractable epilepsies, including Dravet syndrome (Dravet 1978), but little progress has been forthcoming in therapeutics. Here we examine a Drosophila model for intractable epilepsy, the Na(+) channel gain-of-function mutant para(bss1) that resembles Dravet syndrome in some aspects (parker et al. 2011a). In particular, we identify second-site mutations that interact with para(bss1), seizure enhancers, and seizure suppressors. We describe one seizure-enhancer mutation named charlatan (chn). The chn gene normally encodes an Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor/RE1-Silencing Transcription factor transcriptional repressor of neuronal-specific genes. We identify a second-site seizure-suppressor mutation, gilgamesh (gish), that reduces the severity of several seizure-like phenotypes of para(bss1)/+ heterozygotes. The gish gene normally encodes the Drosophila ortholog of casein kinase CK1g3, a member of the CK1 family of serine-threonine kinases. We suggest that CK1g3 is an unexpected but promising new target for seizure therapeutics.

  17. Ubiquitin Ligase HUWE1 Regulates Axon Branching through the Wnt/beta-Catenin Pathway in a Drosophila Model for Intellectual Disability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandewalle, J.; Langen, M.; Zschaetzsch, M.; Nijhof, B.; Kramer, J.M.; Brems, H.; Bauters, M.; Lauwers, E.; Srahna, M.; Marynen, P.; Verstreken, P.; Schenck, A.; Hassan, B.A.; Froyen, G.

    2013-01-01

    We recently reported that duplication of the E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 results in intellectual disability (ID) in male patients. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model to investigate the effect of increased HUWE1 levels on the developi

  18. A putative vesicular transporter expressed in Drosophila mushroom bodies that mediates sexual behavior may define a novel neurotransmitter system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Elizabeth S.; Greer, Christina L.; Romero-Calderón, Rafael; Serway, Christine N.; Grygoruk, Anna; Haimovitz, Jasmine M.; Nguyen, Bac T.; Najibi, Rod; Tabone, Christopher J.; de Belle, J. Steven; Krantz, David E.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Storage and release of classical and amino acid neurotransmitters requires vesicular transporters. Some neurons lack known vesicular transporters, suggesting additional neurotransmitter systems remain unidentified. Insect mushroom bodies (MBs) are critical for several behaviors, including learning, but the neurotransmitters released by the intrinsic Kenyon cells (KCs) remain unknown. Likewise, KCs do not express a known vesicular transporter. We report the identification of a novel Drosophila gene portabella (prt) that is structurally similar to known vesicular transporters. Both larval and adult brains express PRT in the KCs of the MBs. Additional PRT cells project to the central complex and optic ganglia. prt mutation causes an olfactory learning deficit and an unusual defect in the male’s position during copulation that is rescued by expression in KCs. Since prt is expressed in neurons that lack other known vesicular transporters or neurotransmitters, it may define a previously unknown neurotransmitter system responsible for sexual behavior and a component of olfactory learning. PMID:22017990

  19. Sequential construction of a model for modular gene expression control, applied to spatial patterning of the Drosophila gene hunchback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spirov, Alexander V; Myasnikova, Ekaterina M; Holloway, David M

    2016-04-01

    Gene network simulations are increasingly used to quantify mutual gene regulation in biological tissues. These are generally based on linear interactions between single-entity regulatory and target genes. Biological genes, by contrast, commonly have multiple, partially independent, cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) for regulator binding, and can produce variant transcription and translation products. We present a modeling framework to address some of the gene regulatory dynamics implied by this biological complexity. Spatial patterning of the hunchback (hb) gene in Drosophila development involves control by three CRMs producing two distinct mRNA transcripts. We use this example to develop a differential equations model for transcription which takes into account the cis-regulatory architecture of the gene. Potential regulatory interactions are screened by a genetic algorithms (GAs) approach and compared to biological expression data.

  20. The Protective Effect of Minocycline in a Paraquat-Induced Parkinson's Disease Model in Drosophila is Modified in Altered Genetic Backgrounds

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    Arati A. Inamdar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological studies link the herbicide paraquat to increased incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD. We previously reported that Drosophila exposed to paraquat recapitulate PD symptoms, including region-specific degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Minocycline, a tetracycline derivative, exerts ameliorative effects in neurodegenerative disease models, including Drosophila. We investigated whether our environmental toxin-based PD model could contribute to an understanding of cellular and genetic mechanisms of minocycline action and whether we could assess potential interference with these drug effects in altered genetic backgrounds. Cofeeding of minocycline with paraquat prolonged survival, rescued mobility defects, blocked generation of reactive oxygen species, and extended dopaminergic neuron survival, as has been reported previously for a genetic model of PD in Drosophila. We then extended this study to identify potential interactions of minocycline with genes regulating dopamine homeostasis that might modify protection against paraquat and found that deficits in GTP cyclohydrolase adversely affect minocycline rescue. We further performed genetic studies to identify signaling pathways that are necessary for minocycline protection against paraquat toxicity and found that mutations in the Drosophila genes that encode c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK and Akt/Protein kinase B block minocycline rescue.

  1. Midline signalling systems direct the formation of a neural map by dendritic targeting in the Drosophila motor system.

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    Alex Mauss

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental strategy for organising connections in the nervous system is the formation of neural maps. Map formation has been most intensively studied in sensory systems where the central arrangement of axon terminals reflects the distribution of sensory neuron cell bodies in the periphery or the sensory modality. This straightforward link between anatomy and function has facilitated tremendous progress in identifying cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin map development. Much less is known about the way in which networks that underlie locomotion are organised. We recently showed that in the Drosophila embryo, dendrites of motorneurons form a neural map, being arranged topographically in the antero-posterior axis to represent the distribution of their target muscles in the periphery. However, the way in which a dendritic myotopic map forms has not been resolved and whether postsynaptic dendrites are involved in establishing sets of connections has been relatively little explored. In this study, we show that motorneurons also form a myotopic map in a second neuropile axis, with respect to the ventral midline, and they achieve this by targeting their dendrites to distinct medio-lateral territories. We demonstrate that this map is "hard-wired"; that is, it forms in the absence of excitatory synaptic inputs or when presynaptic terminals have been displaced. We show that the midline signalling systems Slit/Robo and Netrin/Frazzled are the main molecular mechanisms that underlie dendritic targeting with respect to the midline. Robo and Frazzled are required cell-autonomously in motorneurons and the balance of their opposite actions determines the dendritic target territory. A quantitative analysis shows that dendritic morphology emerges as guidance cue receptors determine the distribution of the available dendrites, whose total length and branching frequency are specified by other cell intrinsic programmes. Our results suggest that the

  2. Genetic regulation of programmed cell death in Drosophila

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Programmed cell death plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis during animal development, and has been conserved in animals as different as nematodes and humans. Recent studies of Drosophila have provided valuable information toward our understanding of genetic regulation of death. Different signals trigger the novel death regulators rpr, hid, and grim, that utilize the evolutionarily conserved iap and ark genes to modulate caspase function. Subsequent removal of dying cells also appears to be accomplished by conserved mechanisms. The similarity between Drosophila and human in cell death signaling pathways illustrate the promise of fruit flies as a model system to elucidate the mechanisms underlying regulation of programmed cell death.

  3. Transcriptomic analysis in a Drosophila model identifies previously implicated and novel pathways in the therapeutic mechanism in neuropsychiatric disorders

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    Priyanka eSingh

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available We have taken advantage of a newly described Drosophila model to gain insights into the potential mechanism of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs, a group of drugs that are widely used in the treatment of several neurological and psychiatric conditions besides epilepsy. In the recently described Drosophila model that is inspired by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ induced kindling epileptogenesis in rodents, chronic PTZ treatment for seven days causes a decreased climbing speed and an altered CNS transcriptome, with the latter mimicking gene expression alterations reported in epileptogenesis. In the model, an increased climbing speed is further observed seven days after withdrawal from chronic PTZ. We used this post-PTZ withdrawal regime to identify potential AED mechanism. In this regime, treatment with each of the five AEDs tested, namely, ethosuximide (ETH, gabapentin (GBP, vigabatrin (VGB, sodium valproate (NaVP and levetiracetam (LEV, resulted in rescuing of the altered climbing behavior. The AEDs also normalized PTZ withdrawal induced transcriptomic perturbation in fly heads; whereas AED untreated flies showed a large number of up- and down-regulated genes which were enriched in several processes including gene expression and cell communication, the AED treated flies showed differential expression of only a small number of genes that did not enrich gene expression and cell communication processes. Gene expression and cell communication related upregulated genes in AED untreated flies overrepresented several pathways - spliceosome, RNA degradation, and ribosome in the former category, and inositol phosphate metabolism, phosphatidylinositol signaling, endocytosis and hedgehog signaling in the latter. Transcriptome remodeling effect of AEDs was overall confirmed by microarray clustering that clearly separated the profiles of AED treated and untreated flies. Besides being consistent with previously implicated pathways, our results provide evidence for a role of

  4. Three-Dimensional Genome Organization and Function in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Yuri B; Cavalli, Giacomo

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how the metazoan genome is used during development and cell differentiation is one of the major challenges in the postgenomic era. Early studies in Drosophila suggested that three-dimensional (3D) chromosome organization plays important regulatory roles in this process and recent technological advances started to reveal connections at the molecular level. Here we will consider general features of the architectural organization of the Drosophila genome, providing historical perspective and insights from recent work. We will compare the linear and spatial segmentation of the fly genome and focus on the two key regulators of genome architecture: insulator components and Polycomb group proteins. With its unique set of genetic tools and a compact, well annotated genome, Drosophila is poised to remain a model system of choice for rapid progress in understanding principles of genome organization and to serve as a proving ground for development of 3D genome-engineering techniques. Copyright © 2017 Schwartz and Cavalli.

  5. Three-Dimensional Genome Organization and Function in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Yuri B.; Cavalli, Giacomo

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how the metazoan genome is used during development and cell differentiation is one of the major challenges in the postgenomic era. Early studies in Drosophila suggested that three-dimensional (3D) chromosome organization plays important regulatory roles in this process and recent technological advances started to reveal connections at the molecular level. Here we will consider general features of the architectural organization of the Drosophila genome, providing historical perspective and insights from recent work. We will compare the linear and spatial segmentation of the fly genome and focus on the two key regulators of genome architecture: insulator components and Polycomb group proteins. With its unique set of genetic tools and a compact, well annotated genome, Drosophila is poised to remain a model system of choice for rapid progress in understanding principles of genome organization and to serve as a proving ground for development of 3D genome-engineering techniques. PMID:28049701

  6. Design principles of the sparse coding network and the role of “sister cells” in the olfactory system of Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Sensory systems face the challenge to represent sensory inputs in a way to allow easy readout of sensory information by higher brain areas. In the olfactory system of the fly drosopohila melanogaster, projection neurons (PNs) of the antennal lobe (AL) convert a dense activation of glomeruli into a sparse, high-dimensional firing pattern of Kenyon cells (KCs) in the mushroom body (MB). Here we investigate the design principles of the olfactory system of drosophila in regard to the capabilities...

  7. A miniaturized video system for monitoring the locomotor activity of walking Drosophila melanogaster in space and terrestrial settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inan, Omer T; Etemadi, Mozziyar; Sanchez, Max E; Marcu, Oana; Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Kovacs, Gregory T A

    2009-02-01

    A novel method is presented for monitoring movement of Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) in space. Transient fly movements were captured by a $60, 2.5-cm-cubed monochrome video camera imaging flies illuminated by a uniform light source. The video signal from this camera was bandpass filtered (0.3-10 Hz) and amplified by an analog circuit to extract the average light changes as a function of time. The raw activity signal output of this circuit was recorded on a computer and digitally processed to extract the fly movement "events" from the waveform. These events corresponded to flies entering and leaving the image and were used for extracting activity parameters such as interevent duration. The efficacy of the system in quantifying locomotor activity was evaluated by varying environmental temperature and measuring the activity level of the flies. The results of this experiment matched those reported in the literature.

  8. A model-based analysis of chemical and temporal patterns of cuticular hydrocarbons in male Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clement Kent

    Full Text Available Drosophila Cuticular Hydrocarbons (CH influence courtship behaviour, mating, aggregation, oviposition, and resistance to desiccation. We measured levels of 24 different CH compounds of individual male D. melanogaster hourly under a variety of environmental (LD/DD conditions. Using a model-based analysis of CH variation, we developed an improved normalization method for CH data, and show that CH compounds have reproducible cyclic within-day temporal patterns of expression which differ between LD and DD conditions. Multivariate clustering of expression patterns identified 5 clusters of co-expressed compounds with common chemical characteristics. Turnover rate estimates suggest CH production may be a significant metabolic cost. Male cuticular hydrocarbon expression is a dynamic trait influenced by light and time of day; since abundant hydrocarbons affect male sexual behavior, males may present different pheromonal profiles at different times and under different conditions.

  9. Fluctuation-Driven Neural Dynamics Reproduce Drosophila Locomotor Patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Maesani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The neural mechanisms determining the timing of even simple actions, such as when to walk or rest, are largely mysterious. One intriguing, but untested, hypothesis posits a role for ongoing activity fluctuations in neurons of central action selection circuits that drive animal behavior from moment to moment. To examine how fluctuating activity can contribute to action timing, we paired high-resolution measurements of freely walking Drosophila melanogaster with data-driven neural network modeling and dynamical systems analysis. We generated fluctuation-driven network models whose outputs-locomotor bouts-matched those measured from sensory-deprived Drosophila. From these models, we identified those that could also reproduce a second, unrelated dataset: the complex time-course of odor-evoked walking for genetically diverse Drosophila strains. Dynamical models that best reproduced both Drosophila basal and odor-evoked locomotor patterns exhibited specific characteristics. First, ongoing fluctuations were required. In a stochastic resonance-like manner, these fluctuations allowed neural activity to escape stable equilibria and to exceed a threshold for locomotion. Second, odor-induced shifts of equilibria in these models caused a depression in locomotor frequency following olfactory stimulation. Our models predict that activity fluctuations in action selection circuits cause behavioral output to more closely match sensory drive and may therefore enhance navigation in complex sensory environments. Together these data reveal how simple neural dynamics, when coupled with activity fluctuations, can give rise to complex patterns of animal behavior.

  10. Glycerol hypersensitivity in a Drosophila model for glycerol kinase deficiency is affected by mutations in eye pigmentation genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J Wightman

    Full Text Available Glycerol kinase plays a critical role in metabolism by converting glycerol to glycerol 3-phosphate in an ATP dependent reaction. In humans, glycerol kinase deficiency results in a wide range of phenotypic variability; patients can have severe metabolic and CNS abnormalities, while others possess hyperglycerolemia and glyceroluria with no other apparent phenotype. In an effort to help understand the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the phenotypic variation, we have created a Drosophila model for glycerol kinase deficiency by RNAi targeting of dGyk (CG18374 and dGK (CG7995. As expected, RNAi flies have reduced glycerol kinase RNA expression, reduced phosphorylation activity and elevated glycerol levels. Further investigation revealed these flies to be hypersensitive to fly food supplemented with glycerol. Due to the hygroscopic nature of glycerol, we predict glycerol hypersensitivity is a result of greater susceptibility to desiccation, suggesting glycerol kinase to play an important role in desiccation resistance in insects. To evaluate a role for genetic modifier loci in determining severity of the glycerol hypersensitivity observed in knockdown flies, we performed a preliminary screen of lethal transposon insertion mutant flies using a glycerol hypersensitive survivorship assay. We demonstrate that this type of screen can identify both enhancer and suppressor genetic loci of glycerol hypersensitivity. Furthermore, we found that the glycerol hypersensitivity phenotype can be enhanced or suppressed by null mutations in eye pigmentation genes. Taken together, our data suggest proteins encoded by eye pigmentation genes play an important role in desiccation resistance and that eye pigmentation genes are strong modifiers of the glycerol hypersensitive phenotype identified in our Drosophila model for glycerol kinase deficiency.

  11. A Quantitative Genomic Approach for Analysis of Fitness and Stress Related Traits in a Drosophila melanogaster Model Population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Krag, Kristian; Loeschcke, Volker

    2016-01-01

    The ability of natural populations to withstand environmental stresses relies partly on their adaptive ability. In this study, we used a subset of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel, a population of inbred, genome-sequenced lines derived from a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster...

  12. Continuous system modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cellier, Francois E.

    1991-01-01

    A comprehensive and systematic introduction is presented for the concepts associated with 'modeling', involving the transition from a physical system down to an abstract description of that system in the form of a set of differential and/or difference equations, and basing its treatment of modeling on the mathematics of dynamical systems. Attention is given to the principles of passive electrical circuit modeling, planar mechanical systems modeling, hierarchical modular modeling of continuous systems, and bond-graph modeling. Also discussed are modeling in equilibrium thermodynamics, population dynamics, and system dynamics, inductive reasoning, artificial neural networks, and automated model synthesis.

  13. Using Drosophila for Studies of Intermediate Filaments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohnekamp, Jens; Cryderman, Diane E; Thiemann, Dylan A; Magin, Thomas M; Wallrath, Lori L

    2016-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is a useful organism for determining protein function and modeling human disease. Drosophila offers a rapid generation time and an abundance of genomic resources and genetic tools. Conservation in protein structure, signaling pathways, and developmental processes make studies performed in Drosophila relevant to other species, including humans. Drosophila models have been generated for neurodegenerative diseases, muscular dystrophy, cancer, and many other disorders. Recently, intermediate filament protein diseases have been modeled in Drosophila. These models have revealed novel mechanisms of pathology, illuminated potential new routes of therapy, and make whole organism compound screens feasible. The goal of this chapter is to outline steps to study intermediate filament function and model intermediate filament-associated diseases in Drosophila. The steps are general and can be applied to study the function of almost any protein. The protocols outlined here are for both the novice and experienced Drosophila researcher, allowing the rich developmental and cell biology that Drosophila offers to be applied to studies of intermediate filaments.

  14. Stimulation of the Drosophila immune system alters genome-wide nucleosome occupancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingxue Ren

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In eukaryotes, nucleosomes participate in all DNA-templated events by regulating access to the underlying DNA sequence. However, nucleosome dynamics during a genome response have not been well characterized [1,2]. We stimulated Drosophila S2 cells with heat-killed Gram-negative bacteria Salmonella typhimurium, and mapped genome-wide nucleosome occupancy at high temporal resolution by MNase-seq using Illumina HiSeq 2500. We show widespread nucleosome occupancy change in S2 cells during the immune response, with the significant nucleosomal loss occurring at 4 h after stimulation. Data have been deposited to the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO database repository with the dataset identifier GSE64507.

  15. Drosophila highwire gene modulates acute ethanol sensitivity in the nervous system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Awoyemi A.AWOFALA

    2011-01-01

    Animals exhibit behavioral differences in their sensitivity to ethanol,a trait that is at least in part due to genetic predispositions.This study has implicated a large neuronal protein involving Highwire,a Drosophila E3 ubiquitin ligase (Hiw,a homolog of Pam,a protein associated with Myc found in humans) in acute sensitivity to ethanol sedation.Flies lacking Hiw were hypersensitive to the sedating effect of ethanol whereas those overexpressing Hiw showed decreased sensitivity to ethanol.Furthermore,RNAi functional knockdown of Hiw in adult neurons or ellipsoid body neurons showed increased sensitivity to ethanol sedation.None of these manipulations of the hiw gene caused changes in the rate of ethanol absorption and/or metabolism.These results suggest a previously unknown role for this highly conserved gene in regulating the behavioral responses to an addictive drug.

  16. Two enhancers control transcription of Drosophila muscleblind in the embryonic somatic musculature and in the central nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiela, Ariadna; Llamusi, Beatriz; Cerro-Herreros, Estefanía; Artero, Ruben

    2014-01-01

    The phylogenetically conserved family of Muscleblind proteins are RNA-binding factors involved in a variety of gene expression processes including alternative splicing regulation, RNA stability and subcellular localization, and miRNA biogenesis, which typically contribute to cell-type specific differentiation. In humans, sequestration of Muscleblind-like proteins MBNL1 and MBNL2 has been implicated in degenerative disorders, particularly expansion diseases such as myotonic dystrophy type 1 and 2. Drosophila muscleblind was previously shown to be expressed in embryonic somatic and visceral muscle subtypes, and in the central nervous system, and to depend on Mef2 for transcriptional activation. Genomic approaches have pointed out candidate gene promoters and tissue-specific enhancers, but experimental confirmation of their regulatory roles was lacking. In our study, luciferase reporter assays in S2 cells confirmed that regions P1 (515 bp) and P2 (573 bp), involving the beginning of exon 1 and exon 2, respectively, were able to initiate RNA transcription. Similarly, transgenic Drosophila embryos carrying enhancer reporter constructs supported the existence of two regulatory regions which control embryonic expression of muscleblind in the central nerve cord (NE, neural enhancer; 830 bp) and somatic (skeletal) musculature (ME, muscle enhancer; 3.3 kb). Both NE and ME were able to boost expression from the Hsp70 heterologous promoter. In S2 cell assays most of the ME enhancer activation could be further narrowed down to a 1200 bp subregion (ME.3), which contains predicted binding sites for the Mef2 transcription factor. The present study constitutes the first characterization of muscleblind enhancers and will contribute to a deeper understanding of the transcriptional regulation of the gene.

  17. Two enhancers control transcription of Drosophila muscleblind in the embryonic somatic musculature and in the central nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariadna Bargiela

    Full Text Available The phylogenetically conserved family of Muscleblind proteins are RNA-binding factors involved in a variety of gene expression processes including alternative splicing regulation, RNA stability and subcellular localization, and miRNA biogenesis, which typically contribute to cell-type specific differentiation. In humans, sequestration of Muscleblind-like proteins MBNL1 and MBNL2 has been implicated in degenerative disorders, particularly expansion diseases such as myotonic dystrophy type 1 and 2. Drosophila muscleblind was previously shown to be expressed in embryonic somatic and visceral muscle subtypes, and in the central nervous system, and to depend on Mef2 for transcriptional activation. Genomic approaches have pointed out candidate gene promoters and tissue-specific enhancers, but experimental confirmation of their regulatory roles was lacking. In our study, luciferase reporter assays in S2 cells confirmed that regions P1 (515 bp and P2 (573 bp, involving the beginning of exon 1 and exon 2, respectively, were able to initiate RNA transcription. Similarly, transgenic Drosophila embryos carrying enhancer reporter constructs supported the existence of two regulatory regions which control embryonic expression of muscleblind in the central nerve cord (NE, neural enhancer; 830 bp and somatic (skeletal musculature (ME, muscle enhancer; 3.3 kb. Both NE and ME were able to boost expression from the Hsp70 heterologous promoter. In S2 cell assays most of the ME enhancer activation could be further narrowed down to a 1200 bp subregion (ME.3, which contains predicted binding sites for the Mef2 transcription factor. The present study constitutes the first characterization of muscleblind enhancers and will contribute to a deeper understanding of the transcriptional regulation of the gene.

  18. Assessing potential harmful effects of CdSe quantum dots by using Drosophila melanogaster as in vivo model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alaraby, Mohamed [Grup de Mutagènesi, Departament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Spain); Sohag University, Faculty of Sciences, Zoology Department, 82524-Campus, Sohag (Egypt); Demir, Esref [Akdeniz University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, 07058-Campus, Antalya (Turkey); Hernández, Alba [Grup de Mutagènesi, Departament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Spain); CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, ISCIII, Madrid (Spain); Marcos, Ricard, E-mail: ricard.marcos@uab.es [Grup de Mutagènesi, Departament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Spain); CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, ISCIII, Madrid (Spain)

    2015-10-15

    Since CdSe QDs are increasingly used in medical and pharmaceutical sciences careful and systematic studies to determine their biosafety are needed. Since in vivo studies produce relevant information complementing in vitro data, we promote the use of Drosophila melanogaster as a suitable in vivo model to detect toxic and genotoxic effects associated with CdSe QD exposure. Taking into account the potential release of cadmium ions, QD effects were compared with those obtained with CdCl{sub 2}. Results showed that CdSe QDs penetrate the intestinal barrier of the larvae reaching the hemolymph, interacting with hemocytes, and inducing dose/time dependent significant genotoxic effects, as determined by the comet assay. Elevated ROS production, QD biodegradation, and significant disturbance in the conserved Hsps, antioxidant and p53 genes were also observed. Overall, QD effects were milder than those induced by CdCl{sub 2} suggesting the role of Cd released ions in the observed harmful effects of Cd based QDs. To reduce the observed side-effects of Cd based QDs biocompatible coats would be required to avoid cadmium's undesirable effects. - Highlights: • CdSe QDs were able to cross the intestinal barrier of Drosophila. • Elevated ROS induction was detected in larval hemocytes. • Changes in the expression of Hsps and p53 genes were observed. • Primary DNA damage was induced by CdSe QDs in hemocytes. • Overall, CdSe QD effects were milder than those induced by CdCl{sub 2}.

  19. Polyglutamine length-dependent toxicity from α1ACT in Drosophila models of spinocerebellar ataxia type 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsou, Wei-Ling; Qiblawi, Sultan H.; Hosking, Ryan R.; Gomez, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is a neurodegenerative disease that results from abnormal expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat. SCA6 is caused by CAG triplet repeat expansion in the gene CACNA1A, resulting in a polyQ tract of 19-33 in patients. CACNA1A, a bicistronic gene, encodes the α1A calcium channel subunit and the transcription factor, α1ACT. PolyQ expansion in α1ACT causes degeneration in mice. We recently described the first Drosophila models of SCA6 that express α1ACT with a normal (11Q) or hyper-expanded (70Q) polyQ. Here, we report additional α1ACT transgenic flies, which express full-length α1ACT with a 33Q repeat. We show that α1ACT33Q is toxic in Drosophila, but less so than the 70Q version. When expressed everywhere, α1ACT33Q-expressing adults die earlier than flies expressing the normal allele. α1ACT33Q causes retinal degeneration and leads to aggregated species in an age-dependent manner, but at a slower pace than the 70Q counterpart. According to western blots, α1ACT33Q localizes less readily in the nucleus than α1ACT70Q, providing clues into the importance of polyQ tract length on α1ACT localization and its site of toxicity. We expect that these new lines will be highly valuable for future work on SCA6. PMID:27979829

  20. Retention of features on a mapped Drosophila brain surface using a Bézier-tube-based surface model averaging technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guan-Yu; Wu, Cheng-Chi; Shao, Hao-Chiang; Chang, Hsiu-Ming; Chiang, Ann-Shyn; Chen, Yung-Chang

    2012-12-01

    Model averaging is a widely used technique in biomedical applications. Two established model averaging methods, iterative shape averaging (ISA) method and virtual insect brain (VIB) method, have been applied to several organisms to generate average representations of their brain surfaces. However, without sufficient samples, some features of the average Drosophila brain surface obtained using the above methods may disappear or become distorted. To overcome this problem, we propose a Bézier-tube-based surface model averaging strategy. The proposed method first compensates for disparities in position, orientation, and dimension of input surfaces, and then evaluates the average surface by performing shape-based interpolation. Structural features with larger individual disparities are simplified with half-ellipse-shaped Bézier tubes, and are unified according to these tubes to avoid distortion during the averaging process. Experimental results show that the average model yielded by our method could preserve fine features and avoid structural distortions even if only a limit amount of input samples are used. Finally, we qualitatively compare our results with those obtained by ISA and VIB methods by measuring the surface-to-surface distances between input surfaces and the averaged ones. The comparisons show that the proposed method could generate a more representative average surface than both ISA and VIB methods.

  1. Design principles of the sparse coding network and the role of sister cells in the olfactory system of Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danke eZhang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Sensory systems face the challenge to represent sensory inputs in a way to allow easy readout of sensory information by higher brain areas. In the olfactory system of the fly drosopohila melanogaster, projection neurons (PNs of the antennal lobe (AL convert a dense activation of glomeruli into a sparse, high-dimensional firing pattern of Kenyon cells (KCs in the mushroom body (MB. Here we investigate the design principles of the olfactory system of drosophila in regard to the capabilities to discriminate odor quality from the MB representation and its robustness to different types of noise. We focus on understanding the role of highly correlated homotypic projection neurons (sister cells found in the glomeruli of flies. These cells are coupled by gap-junctions and receive almost identical sensory inputs, but target randomly different KCs in MB. We show that sister cells might play a crucial role in increasing the robustness of the MB odor representation to noise. Computationally, sister cells thus might help the system to improve the generalization capabilities in face of noise without impairing the discriminability of odor quality at the same time.

  2. The Drosophila melanogaster circadian pacemaker circuit

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Vasu Sheeba

    2008-12-01

    As an experimental model system, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been seminal in shaping our understanding of the circadian clockwork. The wealth of genetic tools at our disposal over the past four decades has enabled discovery of the genetic and molecular bases of circadian rhythmicity. More recently, detailed investigation leading to the anatomical, neurochemical and electrophysiological characterization of the various neuronal subgroups that comprise the circadian machinery has revealed pathways through which these neurons come together to act as a neuronal circuit. Thus the D. melanogaster circadian pacemaker circuit presents a relatively simple and attractive model for the study of neuronal circuits and their functions.

  3. Drosophila model of Meier-Gorlin syndrome based on the mutation in a conserved C-Terminal domain of Orc6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasov, Maxim; Akhmetova, Katarina; Chesnokov, Igor

    2015-11-01

    Meier-Gorlin syndrome (MGS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by microtia, primordial dwarfism, small ears, and skeletal abnormalities. Patients with MGS often carry mutations in the genes encoding the components of the pre-replicative complex such as Origin Recognition Complex (ORC) subunits Orc1, Orc4, Orc6, and helicase loaders Cdt1 and Cdc6. Orc6 is an important component of ORC and has functions in both DNA replication and cytokinesis. Mutation in conserved C-terminal motif of Orc6 associated with MGS impedes the interaction of Orc6 with core ORC. In order to study the effects of MGS mutation in an animal model system we introduced MGS mutation in Orc6 and established Drosophila model of MGS. Mutant flies die at third instar larval stage with abnormal chromosomes and DNA replication defects. The lethality can be rescued by elevated expression of mutant Orc6 protein. Rescued MGS flies are unable to fly and display multiple planar cell polarity defects. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. The Ran pathway in Drosophila melanogaster mitosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James G Wakefield

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, the small GTPase Ran has emerged as a central regulator of both mitosis and meiosis, particularly in the generation, maintenance and regulation of the microtubule (MT-based bipolar spindle. Ran-regulated pathways in mitosis bear many similarities to the well-characterized functions of Ran in nuclear transport and, as with transport, the majority of these mitotic effects are mediated through affecting the physical interaction between karyopherins and Spindle Assembly Factors (SAFs - a loose term describing proteins or protein complexes involved in spindle assembly through promoting nucleation, stabilization, and/or depolymerization of MTs, through anchoring MTs to specific structures such as centrosomes, chromatin or kinetochores, or through sliding MTs along each other to generate the force required to achieve bipolarity. As such, the Ran-mediated pathway represents a crucial functional module within the wider spindle assembly landscape. Research into mitosis using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster has contributed substantially to our understanding of centrosome and spindle function. However, in comparison to mammalian systems, very little is known about the contribution of Ran-mediated pathways in Drosophila mitosis. This article sets out to summarize our understanding of the roles of the Ran pathway components in Drosophila mitosis, focusing on the syncytial blastoderm embryo, arguing that, far from being superfluous, it can provide important insights into the conserved functions on Ran during spindle formation.

  5. Insulin- and Warts-Dependent Regulation of Tracheal Plasticity Modulates Systemic Larval Growth during Hypoxia in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Daniel M.; Shen, Zhouyang; Owyang, Kristin E.; Martinez-Agosto, Julian A.

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to dynamic environmental cues during organismal development requires coordination of tissue growth with available resources. More specifically, the effects of oxygen availability on body size have been well-documented, but the mechanisms through which hypoxia restricts systemic growth have not been fully elucidated. Here, we characterize the larval growth and metabolic defects in Drosophila that result from hypoxia. Hypoxic conditions reduced fat body opacity and increased lipid droplet accumulation in this tissue, without eliciting lipid aggregation in hepatocyte-like cells called oenocytes. Additionally, hypoxia increased the retention of Dilp2 in the insulin-producing cells of the larval brain, associated with a reduction of insulin signaling in peripheral tissues. Overexpression of the wildtype form of the insulin receptor ubiquitously and in the larval trachea rendered larvae resistant to hypoxia-induced growth restriction. Furthermore, Warts downregulation in the trachea was similar to increased insulin receptor signaling during oxygen deprivation, which both rescued hypoxia-induced growth restriction, inhibition of tracheal molting, and developmental delay. Insulin signaling and loss of Warts function increased tracheal growth and augmented tracheal plasticity under hypoxic conditions, enhancing oxygen delivery during periods of oxygen deprivation. Our findings demonstrate a mechanism that coordinates oxygen availability with systemic growth in which hypoxia-induced reduction of insulin receptor signaling decreases plasticity of the larval trachea that is required for the maintenance of systemic growth during times of limiting oxygen availability. PMID:25541690

  6. Insulin- and warts-dependent regulation of tracheal plasticity modulates systemic larval growth during hypoxia in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel M Wong

    Full Text Available Adaptation to dynamic environmental cues during organismal development requires coordination of tissue growth with available resources. More specifically, the effects of oxygen availability on body size have been well-documented, but the mechanisms through which hypoxia restricts systemic growth have not been fully elucidated. Here, we characterize the larval growth and metabolic defects in Drosophila that result from hypoxia. Hypoxic conditions reduced fat body opacity and increased lipid droplet accumulation in this tissue, without eliciting lipid aggregation in hepatocyte-like cells called oenocytes. Additionally, hypoxia increased the retention of Dilp2 in the insulin-producing cells of the larval brain, associated with a reduction of insulin signaling in peripheral tissues. Overexpression of the wildtype form of the insulin receptor ubiquitously and in the larval trachea rendered larvae resistant to hypoxia-induced growth restriction. Furthermore, Warts downregulation in the trachea was similar to increased insulin receptor signaling during oxygen deprivation, which both rescued hypoxia-induced growth restriction, inhibition of tracheal molting, and developmental delay. Insulin signaling and loss of Warts function increased tracheal growth and augmented tracheal plasticity under hypoxic conditions, enhancing oxygen delivery during periods of oxygen deprivation. Our findings demonstrate a mechanism that coordinates oxygen availability with systemic growth in which hypoxia-induced reduction of insulin receptor signaling decreases plasticity of the larval trachea that is required for the maintenance of systemic growth during times of limiting oxygen availability.

  7. RNA binding proteins hnRNP A2/B1 and CUGBP1 suppress Fragile X CGG premutation repeat-induced neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of FXTAS

    OpenAIRE

    Sofola, Oyinkan A.; Jin, Peng; QIN, YUNLONG; Duan, Ranhui; LIU, Huijie; de Haro, Maria; Nelson,David L.; Botas, Juan

    2007-01-01

    Fragile X associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a recently described neurodegenerative disorder of older adult carriers of premutation alleles (60-200 CGG repeats) in the fragile-X mental retardation gene (FMR1). It has been proposed that FXTAS is an RNA mediated neurodegenerative disease caused by the titration of RNA binding proteins by the CGG repeats. To test this hypothesis, we utilize a transgenic Drosophila model of FXTAS that expresses premutation length repeat (90 CGG repeats)...

  8. Wnt-mediated repression via bipartite DNA recognition by TCF in the Drosophila hematopoietic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chen U; Blauwkamp, Timothy A; Burby, Peter E; Cadigan, Ken M

    2014-08-01

    The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays many important roles in animal development, tissue homeostasis and human disease. Transcription factors of the TCF family mediate many Wnt transcriptional responses, promoting signal-dependent activation or repression of target gene expression. The mechanism of this specificity is poorly understood. Previously, we demonstrated that for activated targets in Drosophila, TCF/Pangolin (the fly TCF) recognizes regulatory DNA through two DNA binding domains, with the High Mobility Group (HMG) domain binding HMG sites and the adjacent C-clamp domain binding Helper sites. Here, we report that TCF/Pangolin utilizes a similar bipartite mechanism to recognize and regulate several Wnt-repressed targets, but through HMG and Helper sites whose sequences are distinct from those found in activated targets. The type of HMG and Helper sites is sufficient to direct activation or repression of Wnt regulated cis-regulatory modules, and protease digestion studies suggest that TCF/Pangolin adopts distinct conformations when bound to either HMG-Helper site pair. This repressive mechanism occurs in the fly lymph gland, the larval hematopoietic organ, where Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls prohemocytic differentiation. Our study provides a paradigm for direct repression of target gene expression by Wnt/β-catenin signaling and allosteric regulation of a transcription factor by DNA.

  9. A sex-ratio meiotic drive system in Drosophila simulans. II: an X-linked distorter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Tao

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes creates a genetic condition favoring the invasion of sex-ratio meiotic drive elements, resulting in the biased transmission of one sex chromosome over the other, in violation of Mendel's first law. The molecular mechanisms of sex-ratio meiotic drive may therefore help us to understand the evolutionary forces shaping the meiotic behavior of the sex chromosomes. Here we characterize a sex-ratio distorter on the X chromosome (Dox in Drosophila simulans by genetic and molecular means. Intriguingly, Dox has very limited coding capacity. It evolved from another X-linked gene, which also evolved de nova. Through retrotransposition, Dox also gave rise to an autosomal suppressor, not much yang (Nmy. An RNA interference mechanism seems to be involved in the suppression of the Dox distorter by the Nmy suppressor. Double mutant males of the genotype dox; nmy are normal for both sex-ratio and spermatogenesis. We postulate that recurrent bouts of sex-ratio meiotic drive and its subsequent suppression might underlie several common features observed in the heterogametic sex, including meiotic sex chromosome inactivation and achiasmy.

  10. Conserved genetic pathways controlling the development of the diffuse endocrine system in vertebrates and Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartenstein, Volker; Takashima, Shigeo; Adams, Katrina L

    2010-05-01

    The midgut epithelium is formed by absorptive enterocytes, secretory cells and endocrine cells. Each of these lineages is derived from the pluripotent progenitors that constitute the embryonic endoderm; the mature midgut retains pools of self-renewing stem cells that continue to produce all lineages. Recent findings in vertebrates and Drosophila shed light on the genetic mechanism that specifies the fate of the different lineages. A pivotal role is played by the Notch signaling pathway that, in a manner that appears to be very similar to the way in which Notch signaling selects neural progenitors within the neurectoderm, distinguishes the fate of secretory/endocrine cells and enterocytes. Proneural genes encoding bHLH transcription factors are expressed and required in prospective endocrine cells; activation of the Notch pathways restricts the number of these cells and promotes enterocyte development. In this review we compare the development of the intestinal endocrine cells in vertebrates and insects and summarize recent findings dealing with genetic pathways controlling this cell type.

  11. Cellular and developmental adaptations to hypoxia: a Drosophila perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Nuria Magdalena; Dekanty, Andrés; Wappner, Pablo

    2007-01-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a widely utilized genetic model, is highly resistant to oxygen starvation and is beginning to be used for studying physiological, developmental, and cellular adaptations to hypoxia. The Drosophila respiratory (tracheal) system has features in common with the mammalian circulatory system so that an angiogenesis-like response occurs upon exposure of Drosophila larvae to hypoxia. A hypoxia-responsive system homologous to mammalian hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) has been described in the fruit fly, where Fatiga is a Drosophila oxygen-dependent HIF prolyl hydroxylase, and the basic helix-loop-helix Per/ARNT/Sim (bHLH-PAS) proteins Sima and Tango are, respectively, the Drosophila homologues of mammalian HIF-alpha (alpha) and HIF-beta (beta). Tango is constitutively expressed regardless of oxygen tension and, like in mammalian cells, Sima is controlled at the level of protein degradation and subcellular localization. Sima is critically required for development in hypoxia, but, unlike mammalian model systems, it is dispensable for development in normoxia. In contrast, fatiga mutant alleles are all lethal; however, strikingly, viability to adulthood is restored in fatiga sima double mutants, although these double mutants are not entirely normal, suggesting that Fatiga has Sima-independent functions in fly development. Studies in cell culture and in vivo have revealed that Sima is activated by the insulin receptor (InR) and target-of-rapamycin (TOR) pathways. Paradoxically, Sima is a negative regulator of growth. This suggests that Sima is engaged in a negative feedback loop that limits growth upon stimulation of InR/TOR pathways.

  12. A model of muscle atrophy based on live microscopy of muscle remodelling in Drosophila metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuleesha, Yadav; Puah, Wee Choo; Wasser, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Genes controlling muscle size and survival play important roles in muscle wasting diseases. In Drosophila melanogaster metamorphosis, larval abdominal muscles undergo two developmental fates. While a doomed population is eliminated by cell death, another persistent group is remodelled and survives into adulthood. To identify and characterize genes involved in the development of remodelled muscles, we devised a workflow consisting of in vivo imaging, targeted gene perturbation and quantitative image analysis. We show that inhibition of TOR signalling and activation of autophagy promote developmental muscle atrophy in early, while TOR and yorkie activation are required for muscle growth in late pupation. We discovered changes in the localization of myonuclei during remodelling that involve anti-polar migration leading to central clustering followed by polar migration resulting in localization along the midline. We demonstrate that the Cathepsin L orthologue Cp1 is required for myonuclear clustering in mid, while autophagy contributes to central positioning of nuclei in late metamorphosis. In conclusion, studying muscle remodelling in metamorphosis can provide new insights into the cell biology of muscle wasting. PMID:26998322

  13. Yeast Communities of Diverse Drosophila Species: Comparison of Two Symbiont Groups in the Same Hosts

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The combination of ecological diversity with genetic and experimental tractability makes Drosophila a powerful model for the study of animal-associated microbial communities. Despite the known importance of yeasts in Drosophila physiology, behavior, and fitness, most recent work has focused on Drosophila-bacterial interactions. In order to get a more complete understanding of the Drosophila microbiome, we characterized the yeast communities associated with different Drosophila species collect...

  14. Drosophila Fed ARA and EPA Yields Eicosanoids, 15S-Hydroxy-5Z,8Z, 11Z, 13E-Eicosatetraenoic Acid, and 15S-Hydroxy-5Z,8Z,11Z,13E,17Z-Eicosapentaenoic Acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Liangliang; Xin, Xiaoxuan; Zhai, Liang; Shen, Lirong

    2016-04-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has been a widely used as a model system for its powerful genetic tools. However, it remains to be illustrated if Drosophila can be used to examine the biochemical and physiological metabolism of eicosanoids. Thus, the analysis on the metabolism of C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in Drosophila was implemented with high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Fatty acid (FA) analysis of the whole body, head, and thorax-abdomen in Drosophila showed C20 PUFA could only be found in Drosophila fed diets supplemented with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), but not in Drosophila fed base diets. The C20 PUFA were found in abundance in the head. Drosophila fed ARA- and EPA-supplemented diets yielded 15S-hydroxy-5Z,8Z,11Z,13E-eicosatetraenoic acid [15(S)-HETE] and 15S-hydroxy-5Z,8Z,11Z,13E,17Z-eicosapentaenoic acid [15(S)-HEPE], respectively, while other sampled eicosanoids could not be detected. Similar results were obtained by incubating fly tissue supplemented with ARA or EPA. Furthermore, a genome sequence scan indicated that no gene encoding the key enzymes synthesizing eicosanoids were found in Drosophila. These findings demonstrate that Drosophila may possess a special lipid metabolic system, which is different from mammals.

  15. A high-quality catalog of the Drosophila melanogaster proteome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunner, Erich; Ahrens, Christian H.; Mohanty, Sonaly

    2007-01-01

    % of the predicted Drosophila melanogaster proteome by detecting 9,124 proteins from 498,000 redundant and 72,281 distinct peptide identifications. This unprecedented high proteome coverage for a complex eukaryote was achieved by combining sample diversity, multidimensional biochemical fractionation and analysis...... matching approximately 50% of D. melanogaster gene models. This library of proteotypic peptides should enable fast, targeted and quantitative proteomic studies to elucidate the systems biology of this model organism....

  16. Axon Termination, Pruning, and Synaptogenesis in the Giant Fiber System of Drosophila melanogaster Is Promoted by Highwire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgen, Melissa; Rowland, Kimberly; Boerner, Jana; Lloyd, Brandon; Khan, Aruna; Murphey, Rodney

    2017-03-01

    The ubiquitin ligase Highwire has a conserved role in synapse formation. Here, we show that Highwire coordinates several facets of central synapse formation in the Drosophila melanogaster giant fiber system, including axon termination, axon pruning, and synaptic function. Despite the similarities to the fly neuromuscular junction, the role of Highwire and the underlying signaling pathways are distinct in the fly's giant fiber system. During development, branching of the giant fiber presynaptic terminal occurs and, normally, the transient branches are pruned away. However, in highwire mutants these ectopic branches persist, indicating that Highwire promotes axon pruning. highwire mutants also exhibit defects in synaptic function. Highwire promotes axon pruning and synaptic function cell-autonomously by attenuating a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway including Wallenda, c-Jun N-terminal kinase/Basket, and the transcription factor Jun. We also show a novel role for Highwire in non-cell autonomous promotion of synaptic function from the midline glia. Highwire also regulates axon termination in the giant fibers, as highwire mutant axons exhibit severe overgrowth beyond the pruning defect. This excessive axon growth is increased by manipulating Fos expression in the cells surrounding the giant fiber terminal, suggesting that Fos regulates a trans-synaptic signal that promotes giant fiber axon growth. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  17. A putative vesicular transporter expressed in Drosophila mushroom bodies that mediates sexual behavior may define a neurotransmitter system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Elizabeth S; Greer, Christina L; Romero-Calderón, Rafael; Serway, Christine N; Grygoruk, Anna; Haimovitz, Jasmine M; Nguyen, Bac T; Najibi, Rod; Tabone, Christopher J; de Belle, J Steven; Krantz, David E

    2011-10-20

    Vesicular transporters are required for the storage of all classical and amino acid neurotransmitters in synaptic vesicles. Some neurons lack known vesicular transporters, suggesting additional neurotransmitter systems remain unidentified. Insect mushroom bodies (MBs) are critical for several behaviors, including learning, but the neurotransmitters released by the intrinsic Kenyon cells (KCs) remain unknown. Likewise, KCs do not express a known vesicular transporter. We report the identification of a novel Drosophila gene portabella (prt) that is structurally similar to known vesicular transporters. Both larval and adult brains express PRT in the KCs of the MBs. Additional PRT cells project to the central complex and optic ganglia. prt mutation causes an olfactory learning deficit and an unusual defect in the male's position during copulation that is rescued by expression in KCs. Because prt is expressed in neurons that lack other known vesicular transporters or neurotransmitters, it may define a previously unknown neurotransmitter system responsible for sexual behavior and a component of olfactory learning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The FBXO7 homologue nutcracker and binding partner PI31 in Drosophila melanogaster models of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merzetti, Eric M; Dolomount, Lindsay A; Staveley, Brian E

    2017-01-01

    Parkinsonian-pyramidal syndrome (PPS) is an early onset form of Parkinson's disease (PD) that shows degeneration of the extrapyramidal region of the brain to result in a severe form of PD. The toxic protein build-up has been implicated in the onset of PPS. Protein removal is mediated by an intracellular proteasome complex: an E3 ubiquitin ligase, the targeting component, is essential for function. FBXO7 encodes the F-box component of the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase linked to familial forms of PPS. The Drosophila melanogaster homologue nutcracker (ntc) and a binding partner, PI31, have been shown to be active in proteasome function. We show that altered expression of either ntc or PI31 in dopaminergic neurons leads to a decrease in longevity and locomotor ability, phenotypes both associated with models of PD. Furthermore, expression of ntc-RNAi in an established α-synuclein-dependent model of PD rescues the phenotypes of diminished longevity and locomotor control.

  19. Folic acid supplementation rescues anomalies associated with knockdown of parkin in dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons in Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastav, Saurabh; Singh, Sandeep Kumar; Yadav, Amarish Kumar; Srikrishna, Saripella

    2015-05-08

    parkin loss associated early-onset of Parkinson's disease, involves mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress as the plausible decisive molecular mechanisms in disease pathogenesis. Mitochondrial dysfunction involves several up/down regulation of gene products, one of which being p53 is found to be elevated. Elevated p53 is involved in mitochondrial mediated apoptosis of neuronal cells in Parkinson's patients who are folate deficient as well. The present study therefore attempts to examine the effect of Folic acid (FA) supplementation in alleviation of anomalies associated with parkin knockdown using RNAi approach, specific to Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila model system. Here we show that FA supplementation provide protection against parkin RNAi associated discrepancies, thereby improves locomotor ability, reduces mortality and oxidative stress, and partially improves Zn levels. Further, metabolic active cell status and ATP levels were also found to be improved thereby indicating improved mitochondrial function. To corroborate FA supplementation in mitochondrial functioning further, status of p53 and spargel was checked by qRT-PCR. Here we show that folic acid supplementation enrich mitochondrial functioning as depicted from improved spargel level and lowered p53 level, which was originally vice versa in parkin knockdown flies cultured in standard media. Our data thus support the potential of folic acid in alleviating the behavioural defects, oxidative stress, augmentation of zinc and ATP levels in parkin knock down flies. Further, folic acid role in repressing mitochondrial dysfunction is encouraging to further explore its possible mechanistic role to be utilized as potential therapeutics for Parkinson's disease.

  20. Ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 regulates axon branching through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in a Drosophila model for intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandewalle, Joke; Langen, Marion; Zschätzsch, Marlen; Zschaetzsch, Marlen; Nijhof, Bonnie; Kramer, Jamie M; Brems, Hilde; Bauters, Marijke; Lauwers, Elsa; Srahna, Mohammed; Marynen, Peter; Verstreken, Patrik; Schenck, Annette; Hassan, Bassem A; Froyen, Guy

    2013-01-01

    We recently reported that duplication of the E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 results in intellectual disability (ID) in male patients. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model to investigate the effect of increased HUWE1 levels on the developing nervous system. Similar to the observed levels in patients we overexpressed the HUWE1 mRNA about 2-fold in the fly. The development of the mushroom body and neuromuscular junctions were not altered, and basal neurotransmission was unaffected. These data are in agreement with normal learning and memory in the courtship conditioning paradigm. However, a disturbed branching phenotype at the axon terminals of the dorsal cluster neurons (DCN) was detected. Interestingly, overexpression of HUWE1 was found to decrease the protein levels of dishevelled (dsh) by 50%. As dsh as well as Fz2 mutant flies showed the same disturbed DCN branching phenotype, and the constitutive active homolog of β-catenin, armadillo, could partially rescue this phenotype, our data strongly suggest that increased dosage of HUWE1 compromises the Wnt/β-catenin pathway possibly by enhancing the degradation of dsh.

  1. Ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 regulates axon branching through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in a Drosophila model for intellectual disability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joke Vandewalle

    Full Text Available We recently reported that duplication of the E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 results in intellectual disability (ID in male patients. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model to investigate the effect of increased HUWE1 levels on the developing nervous system. Similar to the observed levels in patients we overexpressed the HUWE1 mRNA about 2-fold in the fly. The development of the mushroom body and neuromuscular junctions were not altered, and basal neurotransmission was unaffected. These data are in agreement with normal learning and memory in the courtship conditioning paradigm. However, a disturbed branching phenotype at the axon terminals of the dorsal cluster neurons (DCN was detected. Interestingly, overexpression of HUWE1 was found to decrease the protein levels of dishevelled (dsh by 50%. As dsh as well as Fz2 mutant flies showed the same disturbed DCN branching phenotype, and the constitutive active homolog of β-catenin, armadillo, could partially rescue this phenotype, our data strongly suggest that increased dosage of HUWE1 compromises the Wnt/β-catenin pathway possibly by enhancing the degradation of dsh.

  2. A common evolutionary origin for the ON- and OFF-edge motion detection pathways of the Drosophila visual system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazunori eShinomiya

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic circuits for identified behaviors in the Drosophila brain have typically been considered from either a developmental or functional perspective without reference to how the circuits might have been inherited from ancestral forms. For example, two candidate pathways for ON- and OFF-edge motion detection in the visual system act via circuits that use respectively either T4 or T5, two cell types of the fourth neuropil, or lobula plate, that exhibit narrow-field direction-selective responses and provide input to wide-field tangential neurons. T4 or T5 both have four subtypes that terminate one each in the four strata of the lobula plate. Representatives are reported in a wide range of Diptera, and both cell types exhibit various similarities in: 1 the morphology of their dendritic arbors; 2 their four morphological and functional subtypes; 3 their cholinergic profile in Drosophila; 4 their input from the pathways of L3 cells in the first neuropil, or lamina, and by one of a pair of lamina cells, L1 (to the T4 pathway and L2 (to the T5 pathway; and 5 their innervation by a single, wide-field contralateral tangential neuron from the central brain. Progenitors of both also express the gene atonal early in their proliferation from the inner anlage of the developing optic lobe, being alone among many other cell type progeny to do so. Yet T4 receives input in the second neuropil, or medulla, and T5 in the third neuropil or lobula. Here we suggest that these two cell types were originally one, that their ancestral cell population duplicated and split to innervate separate medulla and lobula neuropils, and that a fiber crossing – the internal chiasma – arose between the two neuropils. The split most plausibly occurred, we suggest, with the formation of the lobula as a new neuropil that formed when it separated from its ancestral neuropil to leave the medulla, suggesting additionally that medulla input neurons to T4 and T5 may also have had a

  3. Cellular resolution models for even skipped regulation in the entire Drosophila embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilsley, Garth R; Fisher, Jasmin; Apweiler, Rolf; DePace, Angela H; Luscombe, Nicholas M

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptional control ensures genes are expressed in the right amounts at the correct times and locations. Understanding quantitatively how regulatory systems convert input signals to appropriate outputs remains a challenge. For the first time, we successfully model even skipped (eve) stripes 2 and 3+7 across the entire fly embryo at cellular resolution. A straightforward statistical relationship explains how transcription factor (TF) concentrations define eve’s complex spatial expression, without the need for pairwise interactions or cross-regulatory dynamics. Simulating thousands of TF combinations, we recover known regulators and suggest new candidates. Finally, we accurately predict the intricate effects of perturbations including TF mutations and misexpression. Our approach imposes minimal assumptions about regulatory function; instead we infer underlying mechanisms from models that best fit the data, like the lack of TF-specific thresholds and the positional value of homotypic interactions. Our study provides a general and quantitative method for elucidating the regulation of diverse biological systems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00522.001 PMID:23930223

  4. A quantitative validated model reveals two phases of transcriptional regulation for the gap gene giant in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoermann, Astrid; Cicin-Sain, Damjan; Jaeger, Johannes

    2016-03-15

    Understanding eukaryotic transcriptional regulation and its role in development and pattern formation is one of the big challenges in biology today. Most attempts at tackling this problem either focus on the molecular details of transcription factor binding, or aim at genome-wide prediction of expression patterns from sequence through bioinformatics and mathematical modelling. Here we bridge the gap between these two complementary approaches by providing an integrative model of cis-regulatory elements governing the expression of the gap gene giant (gt) in the blastoderm embryo of Drosophila melanogaster. We use a reverse-engineering method, where mathematical models are fit to quantitative spatio-temporal reporter gene expression data to infer the regulatory mechanisms underlying gt expression in its anterior and posterior domains. These models are validated through prediction of gene expression in mutant backgrounds. A detailed analysis of our data and models reveals that gt is regulated by domain-specific CREs at early stages, while a late element drives expression in both the anterior and the posterior domains. Initial gt expression depends exclusively on inputs from maternal factors. Later, gap gene cross-repression and gt auto-activation become increasingly important. We show that auto-regulation creates a positive feedback, which mediates the transition from early to late stages of regulation. We confirm the existence and role of gt auto-activation through targeted mutagenesis of Gt transcription factor binding sites. In summary, our analysis provides a comprehensive picture of spatio-temporal gene regulation by different interacting enhancer elements for an important developmental regulator.

  5. Quantitative models of the mechanisms that control genome-wide patterns of transcription factor binding during early Drosophila development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommy Kaplan

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Transcription factors that drive complex patterns of gene expression during animal development bind to thousands of genomic regions, with quantitative differences in binding across bound regions mediating their activity. While we now have tools to characterize the DNA affinities of these proteins and to precisely measure their genome-wide distribution in vivo, our understanding of the forces that determine where, when, and to what extent they bind remains primitive. Here we use a thermodynamic model of transcription factor binding to evaluate the contribution of different biophysical forces to the binding of five regulators of early embryonic anterior-posterior patterning in Drosophila melanogaster. Predictions based on DNA sequence and in vitro protein-DNA affinities alone achieve a correlation of ∼0.4 with experimental measurements of in vivo binding. Incorporating cooperativity and competition among the five factors, and accounting for spatial patterning by modeling binding in every nucleus independently, had little effect on prediction accuracy. A major source of error was the prediction of binding events that do not occur in vivo, which we hypothesized reflected reduced accessibility of chromatin. To test this, we incorporated experimental measurements of genome-wide DNA accessibility into our model, effectively restricting predicted binding to regions of open chromatin. This dramatically improved our predictions to a correlation of 0.6-0.9 for various factors across known target genes. Finally, we used our model to quantify the roles of DNA sequence, accessibility, and binding competition and cooperativity. Our results show that, in regions of open chromatin, binding can be predicted almost exclusively by the sequence specificity of individual factors, with a minimal role for protein interactions. We suggest that a combination of experimentally determined chromatin accessibility data and simple computational models of transcription

  6. Planar cell polarity: the Dachsous/Fat system contributes differently to the embryonic and larval stages of Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Saavedra

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The epidermal patterns of all three larval instars (L1–L3 of Drosophila are made by one unchanging set of cells. The seven rows of cuticular denticles of all larval stages are consistently planar polarised, some pointing forwards, others backwards. In L1 all the predenticles originate at the back of the cells but, in L2 and L3, they form at the front or the back of the cell depending on the polarity of the forthcoming denticles. We find that, to polarise all rows, the Dachsous/Fat system is differentially utilised; in L1 it is active in the placement of the actin-based predenticles but is not crucial for the final orientation of the cuticular denticles, in L2 and L3 it is needed for placement and polarity. We find Four-jointed to be strongly expressed in the tendon cells and show how this might explain the orientation of all seven rows. Unexpectedly, we find that L3 that lack Dachsous differ from larvae lacking Fat and we present evidence that this is due to differently mislocalised Dachs. We make some progress in understanding how Dachs contributes to phenotypes of wildtype and mutant larvae and adults.

  7. Drosophila CLIP-190 and mammalian CLIP-170 display reduced microtubule plus end association in the nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaven, Robin; Dzhindzhev, Nikola S; Qu, Yue; Hahn, Ines; Dajas-Bailador, Federico; Ohkura, Hiroyuki; Prokop, Andreas

    2015-04-15

    Axons act like cables, electrically wiring the nervous system. Polar bundles of microtubules (MTs) form their backbones and drive their growth. Plus end-tracking proteins (+TIPs) regulate MT growth dynamics and directionality at their plus ends. However, current knowledge about +TIP functions, mostly derived from work in vitro and in nonneuronal cells, may not necessarily apply to the very different context of axonal MTs. For example, the CLIP family of +TIPs are known MT polymerization promoters in nonneuronal cells. However, we show here that neither Drosophila CLIP-190 nor mammalian CLIP-170 is a prominent MT plus end tracker in neurons, which we propose is due to low plus end affinity of the CAP-Gly domain-containing N-terminus and intramolecular inhibition through the C-terminus. Instead, both CLIP-190 and CLIP-170 form F-actin-dependent patches in growth cones, mediated by binding of the coiled-coil domain to myosin-VI. Because our loss-of-function analyses in vivo and in culture failed to reveal axonal roles for CLIP-190, even in double-mutant combinations with four other +TIPs, we propose that CLIP-190 and -170 are not essential axon extension regulators. Our findings demonstrate that +TIP functions known from nonneuronal cells do not necessarily apply to the regulation of the very distinct MT networks in axons.

  8. A comprehensive study of the harmful effects of ZnO nanoparticles using Drosophila melanogaster as an in vivo model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaraby, Mohamed; Annangi, Balasubramanyam; Hernández, Alba; Creus, Amadeu; Marcos, Ricard

    2015-10-15

    This study planned to determine the range of biological effects associated with ZnO-NP exposure using Drosophila melanogaster as an in vivo model. In addition, ZnCl2 was used to determine the potential role of Zn ions alone. Toxicity, internalization through the intestinal barrier, gene expression changes, ROS production, and genotoxicity were the end-points evaluated. No toxicity or oxidative stress induction was observed in D. melanogaster larvae, whether using ZnO-NPs or ZnCl2. Internalization of ZnO-NPs through the intestinal barrier was observed. No significant changes in the frequency of mutant clones (wing-spot test) or percentage of DNA in tail (comet assay) were observed although significant changes in Hsp70 and p53 gene expression were detected. Our study shows that ZnO-NPs do not induce toxicity or genotoxicity in D. melanogaster, although uptake occurs and altered gene expression is observed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Iron is a specific cofactor for distinct oxidation- and aggregation-dependent Aβ toxicity mechanisms in a Drosophila model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Stanislav; Dziadulewicz, Nikolas; Crowther, Damian C

    2015-07-01

    Metals, including iron, are present at high concentrations in amyloid plaques in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, where they are also thought to be cofactors in generating oxidative stress and modulating amyloid formation. In this study, we present data from several Drosophila models of neurodegenerative proteinopathies indicating that the interaction between iron and amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) is specific and is not seen for other aggregation-prone polypeptides. The interaction with iron is likely to be important in the dimerisation of Aβ and is mediated by three N-terminal histidines. Transgenic fly lines systematically expressing all combinations of His>Ala substitutions in Aβ were generated and used to study the pathological role of these residues. Developmental eye phenotypes, longevity and histological examinations indicate that the N-terminal histidines have distinct position-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The former mediate the toxic effects of metals and Aβ aggregation under non-oxidising conditions and the latter are relevant under oxidising conditions. Understanding how Aβ mediates neurotoxic effects in vivo will help to better target pathological pathways using aggregation blockers and metal-modifying agents.

  10. Hsp104 suppresses polyglutamine-induced degeneration post onset in a drosophila MJD/SCA3 model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mimi Cushman-Nick

    Full Text Available There are no effective therapeutics that antagonize or reverse the protein-misfolding events underpinning polyglutamine (PolyQ disorders, including Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type-3 (SCA3. Here, we augment the proteostasis network of Drosophila SCA3 models with Hsp104, a powerful protein disaggregase from yeast, which is bafflingly absent from metazoa. Hsp104 suppressed eye degeneration caused by a C-terminal ataxin-3 (MJD fragment containing the pathogenic expanded PolyQ tract, but unexpectedly enhanced aggregation and toxicity of full-length pathogenic MJD. Hsp104 suppressed toxicity of MJD variants lacking a portion of the N-terminal deubiquitylase domain and full-length MJD variants unable to engage polyubiquitin, indicating that MJD-ubiquitin interactions hinder protective Hsp104 modalities. Importantly, in staging experiments, Hsp104 suppressed toxicity of a C-terminal MJD fragment when expressed after the onset of PolyQ-induced degeneration, whereas Hsp70 was ineffective. Thus, we establish the first disaggregase or chaperone treatment administered after the onset of pathogenic protein-induced degeneration that mitigates disease progression.

  11. Iron is a specific cofactor for distinct oxidation- and aggregation-dependent Aβ toxicity mechanisms in a Drosophila model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav Ott

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Metals, including iron, are present at high concentrations in amyloid plaques in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, where they are also thought to be cofactors in generating oxidative stress and modulating amyloid formation. In this study, we present data from several Drosophila models of neurodegenerative proteinopathies indicating that the interaction between iron and amyloid beta peptide (Aβ is specific and is not seen for other aggregation-prone polypeptides. The interaction with iron is likely to be important in the dimerisation of Aβ and is mediated by three N-terminal histidines. Transgenic fly lines systematically expressing all combinations of His>Ala substitutions in Aβ were generated and used to study the pathological role of these residues. Developmental eye phenotypes, longevity and histological examinations indicate that the N-terminal histidines have distinct position-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The former mediate the toxic effects of metals and Aβ aggregation under non-oxidising conditions and the latter are relevant under oxidising conditions. Understanding how Aβ mediates neurotoxic effects in vivo will help to better target pathological pathways using aggregation blockers and metal-modifying agents.

  12. Apolipoprotein E-mimetics inhibit neurodegeneration and restore cognitive functions in a transgenic Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Sarantseva

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mutations of the amyloid precursor protein gene (APP are found in familial forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD and some lead to the elevated production of amyloid-beta-protein (Abeta. While Abeta has been implicated in the causation of AD, the exact role played by Abeta and its APP precursor are still unclear. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In our study, Drosophila melanogaster transgenics were established as a model to analyze AD-like pathology caused by APP overexpression. We demonstrated that age related changes in the levels and pattern of synaptic proteins accompanied progressive neurodegeneration and impairment of cognitive functions in APP transgenic flies, but that these changes may be independent from the generation of Abeta. Using novel peptide mimetics of Apolipoprotein-E, COG112 or COG133 proved to be neuroprotective and significantly improved the learning and memory of APP transgenic flies. CONCLUSIONS: The development of neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits was corrected by injections of COG112 or COG133, novel mimetics of apolipoprotein-E (apoE with neuroprotective activities.

  13. Cardiac deficiency of single cytochrome oxidase assembly factor scox induces p53-dependent apoptosis in a Drosophila cardiomyopathy model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Morentin, Leticia; Martínez, Lidia; Piloto, Sarah; Yang, Hua; Schon, Eric A.; Garesse, Rafael; Bodmer, Rolf; Ocorr, Karen; Cervera, Margarita; Arredondo, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    The heart is a muscle with high energy demands. Hence, most patients with mitochondrial disease produced by defects in the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system are susceptible to cardiac involvement. The presentation of mitochondrial cardiomyopathy includes hypertrophic, dilated and left ventricular noncompaction, but the molecular mechanisms involved in cardiac impairment are unknown. One of the most frequent OXPHOS defects in humans frequently associated with cardiomyopathy is cytochrome c oxidase (COX) deficiency caused by mutations in COX assembly factors such as Sco1 and Sco2. To investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the cardiomyopathy associated with Sco deficiency, we have heart specifically interfered scox expression, the single Drosophila Sco orthologue. Cardiac-specific knockdown of scox reduces fly lifespan, and it severely compromises heart function and structure, producing dilated cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyocytes with low levels of scox have a significant reduction in COX activity and they undergo a metabolic switch from OXPHOS to glycolysis, mimicking the clinical features found in patients harbouring Sco mutations. The major cardiac defects observed are produced by a significant increase in apoptosis, which is dp53-dependent. Genetic and molecular evidence strongly suggest that dp53 is directly involved in the development of the cardiomyopathy induced by scox deficiency. Remarkably, apoptosis is enhanced in the muscle and liver of Sco2 knock-out mice, clearly suggesting that cell death is a key feature of the COX deficiencies produced by mutations in Sco genes in humans. PMID:25792727

  14. Systems genetics analysis of body weight and energy metabolism traits in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan Katherine W

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obesity and phenotypic traits associated with this condition exhibit significant heritability in natural populations of most organisms. While a number of genes and genetic pathways have been implicated to play a role in obesity associated traits, the genetic architecture that underlies the natural variation in these traits is largely unknown. Here, we used 40 wild-derived inbred lines of Drosophila melanogaster to quantify genetic variation in body weight, the content of three major metabolites (glycogen, triacylglycerol, and glycerol associated with obesity, and metabolic rate in young flies. We chose these lines because they were previously screened for variation in whole-genome transcript abundance and in several adult life-history traits, including longevity, resistance to starvation stress, chill-coma recovery, mating behavior, and competitive fitness. This enabled us not only to identify candidate genes and transcriptional networks that might explain variation for energy metabolism traits, but also to investigate the genetic interrelationships among energy metabolism, behavioral, and life-history traits that have evolved in natural populations. Results We found significant genetically based variation in all traits. Using a genome-wide association screen for single feature polymorphisms and quantitative trait transcripts, we identified 337, 211, 237, 553, and 152 novel candidate genes associated with body weight, glycogen content, triacylglycerol storage, glycerol levels, and metabolic rate, respectively. Weighted gene co-expression analyses grouped transcripts associated with each trait in significant modules of co-expressed genes and we interpreted these modules in terms of their gene enrichment based on Gene Ontology analysis. Comparison of gene co-expression modules for traits in this study with previously determined modules for life-history traits identified significant modular pleiotropy between glycogen content

  15. A translation inhibitor identified in a Drosophila screen enhances the effect of ionizing radiation and taxol in mammalian models of cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Gladstone

    2012-05-01

    We described previously a screening protocol in Drosophila melanogaster that allows us to identify small molecules that increase the killing effect of ionizing radiation in vivo in a multicellular context. The ability of this screen to identify agents that enhance the effect of radiation in human cancer models has been validated in published proof-of-concept studies. Here we describe an agent, identified by screening through two National Cancer Institute (NCI small molecule libraries in Drosophila, that increases the effect of radiation. This agent, Bouvardin (NSC 259968, inhibits the elongation step of protein synthesis. We find that Bouvardin enhances the killing effect of X-rays in both Drosophila larvae and in human cancer cells. More detailed analysis showed that Bouvardin also increases the effect of radiation in clonogenic assays and in human cancer xenografts in mice. Finally, we present data that Bouvardin can also increase the efficacy of taxol. Regulation of translation is important to cancer biology. Current therapies target every aspect of cancer cell proliferation from growth factor signaling to cell division, with the exception of translation elongation. Our identification of Bouvardin as an enhancer of radio- and chemo-therapeutic agents suggests that targeting this niche has the potential to improve existing cancer therapies.

  16. Acute and long-term outcomes in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia occur independently of galactose-1-phosphate accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daenzer, Jennifer M I; Jumbo-Lucioni, Patricia P; Hopson, Marquise L; Garza, Kerry R; Ryan, Emily L; Fridovich-Keil, Judith L

    2016-11-01

    Classic galactosemia (CG) is a potentially lethal inborn error of metabolism that results from the profound loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT), the second enzyme in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism. Neonatal detection and dietary restriction of galactose minimizes or resolves the acute sequelae of CG, but fails to prevent the long-term complications experienced by a majority of patients. One of the substrates of GALT, galactose-1-phosphate (Gal-1P), accumulates to high levels in affected infants, especially following milk exposure, and has been proposed as the key mediator of acute and long-term pathophysiology in CG. However, studies of treated patients demonstrate no association between red blood cell Gal-1P level and long-term outcome severity. Here, we used genetic, epigenetic and environmental manipulations of a Drosophila melanogaster model of CG to test the role of Gal-1P as a candidate mediator of outcome in GALT deficiency. Specifically, we both deleted and knocked down the gene encoding galactokinase (GALK) in control and GALT-null Drosophila, and assessed the acute and long-term outcomes of the resulting animals in the presence and absence of dietary galactose. GALK is the first enzyme in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism and is responsible for generating Gal-1P in humans and Drosophila Our data confirmed that, as expected, loss of GALK lowered or eliminated Gal-1P accumulation in GALT-null animals. However, we saw no concomitant rescue of larval survival or adult climbing or fecundity phenotypes. Instead, we saw that loss of GALK itself was not benign and in some cases phenocopied or exacerbated the outcome seen in GALT-null animals. These findings strongly contradict the long-standing hypothesis that Gal-1P alone underlies pathophysiology of acute and long-term outcomes in GALT-null Drosophila and suggests that other metabolite(s) of galactose, and/or other pathogenic factors, might be involved.

  17. Acute and long-term outcomes in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia occur independently of galactose-1-phosphate accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. I. Daenzer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Classic galactosemia (CG is a potentially lethal inborn error of metabolism that results from the profound loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT, the second enzyme in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism. Neonatal detection and dietary restriction of galactose minimizes or resolves the acute sequelae of CG, but fails to prevent the long-term complications experienced by a majority of patients. One of the substrates of GALT, galactose-1-phosphate (Gal-1P, accumulates to high levels in affected infants, especially following milk exposure, and has been proposed as the key mediator of acute and long-term pathophysiology in CG. However, studies of treated patients demonstrate no association between red blood cell Gal-1P level and long-term outcome severity. Here, we used genetic, epigenetic and environmental manipulations of a Drosophila melanogaster model of CG to test the role of Gal-1P as a candidate mediator of outcome in GALT deficiency. Specifically, we both deleted and knocked down the gene encoding galactokinase (GALK in control and GALT-null Drosophila, and assessed the acute and long-term outcomes of the resulting animals in the presence and absence of dietary galactose. GALK is the first enzyme in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism and is responsible for generating Gal-1P in humans and Drosophila. Our data confirmed that, as expected, loss of GALK lowered or eliminated Gal-1P accumulation in GALT-null animals. However, we saw no concomitant rescue of larval survival or adult climbing or fecundity phenotypes. Instead, we saw that loss of GALK itself was not benign and in some cases phenocopied or exacerbated the outcome seen in GALT-null animals. These findings strongly contradict the long-standing hypothesis that Gal-1P alone underlies pathophysiology of acute and long-term outcomes in GALT-null Drosophila and suggests that other metabolite(s of galactose, and/or other pathogenic factors, might be involved.

  18. Acute and long-term outcomes in a Drosophila melanogaster model of classic galactosemia occur independently of galactose-1-phosphate accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daenzer, Jennifer M. I.; Jumbo-Lucioni, Patricia P.; Ryan, Emily L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Classic galactosemia (CG) is a potentially lethal inborn error of metabolism that results from the profound loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT), the second enzyme in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism. Neonatal detection and dietary restriction of galactose minimizes or resolves the acute sequelae of CG, but fails to prevent the long-term complications experienced by a majority of patients. One of the substrates of GALT, galactose-1-phosphate (Gal-1P), accumulates to high levels in affected infants, especially following milk exposure, and has been proposed as the key mediator of acute and long-term pathophysiology in CG. However, studies of treated patients demonstrate no association between red blood cell Gal-1P level and long-term outcome severity. Here, we used genetic, epigenetic and environmental manipulations of a Drosophila melanogaster model of CG to test the role of Gal-1P as a candidate mediator of outcome in GALT deficiency. Specifically, we both deleted and knocked down the gene encoding galactokinase (GALK) in control and GALT-null Drosophila, and assessed the acute and long-term outcomes of the resulting animals in the presence and absence of dietary galactose. GALK is the first enzyme in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism and is responsible for generating Gal-1P in humans and Drosophila. Our data confirmed that, as expected, loss of GALK lowered or eliminated Gal-1P accumulation in GALT-null animals. However, we saw no concomitant rescue of larval survival or adult climbing or fecundity phenotypes. Instead, we saw that loss of GALK itself was not benign and in some cases phenocopied or exacerbated the outcome seen in GALT-null animals. These findings strongly contradict the long-standing hypothesis that Gal-1P alone underlies pathophysiology of acute and long-term outcomes in GALT-null Drosophila and suggests that other metabolite(s) of galactose, and/or other pathogenic factors, might be involved. PMID

  19. Opposing roles of p38 and JNK in a Drosophila model of TDP-43 proteinopathy reveal oxidative stress and innate immunity as pathogenic components of neurodegeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Lihong; Xie, Qijing; Tibbetts, Randal S.

    2015-01-01

    Pathological aggregation and mutation of the 43-kDa TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) are strongly implicated in the pathogenesis amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. TDP-43 neurotoxicity has been extensively modeled in mice, zebrafish, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila, where selective expression of TDP-43 in motoneurons led to paralysis and premature lethality. Through a genetic screen aimed to identify genetic modifiers of TDP-43, we found that the Drosophila dual leucine kinase Wallenda (Wnd) and its downstream kinases JNK and p38 influenced TDP-43 neurotoxicity. Reducing Wnd gene dosage or overexpressing its antagonist highwire partially rescued TDP-43-associated premature lethality. Downstream of Wnd, the JNK and p38 kinases played opposing roles in TDP-43-associated neurodegeneration. LOF alleles of the p38b gene as well as p38 inhibitors diminished TDP-43-associated premature lethality, whereas p38b GOF caused phenotypic worsening. In stark contrast, disruptive alleles of Basket (Bsk), the Drosophila homologue of JNK, exacerbated longevity shortening, whereas overexpression of Bsk extended lifespan. Among possible mechanisms, we found motoneuron-directed expression of TDP-43 elicited oxidative stress and innate immune gene activation that were exacerbated by p38 GOF and Bsk LOF, respectively. A key pathologic role for innate immunity in TDP-43-associated neurodegeneration was further supported by the finding that genetic suppression of the Toll/Dif and Imd/Relish inflammatory pathways dramatically extended lifespan of TDP-43 transgenic flies. We propose that oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are intrinsic components of TDP-43-associated neurodegeneration and that the balance between cytoprotective JNK and cytotoxic p38 signaling dictates phenotypic outcome to TDP-43 expression in Drosophila. PMID:25281658

  20. Modelling Railway Interlocking Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindegaard, Morten Peter; Viuf, P.; Haxthausen, Anne Elisabeth

    2000-01-01

    In this report we present a model of interlocking systems, and describe how the model may be validated by simulation. Station topologies are modelled by graphs in which the nodes denote track segments, and the edges denote connectivity for train traÆc. Points and signals are modelled by annotatio...

  1. Dorsoventral patterning by the Chordin-BMP pathway: a unified model from a pattern-formation perspective for Drosophila, vertebrates, sea urchins and Nematostella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinhardt, Hans

    2015-09-01

    Conserved from Cnidarians to vertebrates, the dorsoventral (DV) axis is patterned by the Chordin-BMP pathway. However, the functions of the pathway's components are very different in different phyla. By modeling it is shown that many observations can be integrated by the assumption that BMP, acting as an inhibitory component in more ancestral systems, became a necessary and activating component for the generation of a secondary and antipodal-located signaling center. The different realizations seen in vertebrates, Drosophila, sea urchins and Nematostella allow reconstruction of a chain of modifications during evolution. BMP-signaling is proposed to be based on a pattern-forming reaction of the activator-depleted substrate type in which BMP-signaling acts via pSmad as the local self-enhancing component and the depletion of the highly mobile BMP-Chordin complex as the long-ranging antagonistic component. Due to the rapid removal of the BMP/Chordin complex during BMP-signaling, an oriented transport and "shuttling" results, although only ordinary diffusion is involved. The system can be self-organizing, allowing organizer formation even from near homogeneous initial situations. Organizers may regenerate after removal. Although connected with some losses of self-regulation, for large embryos as in amphibians, the employment of maternal determinants is an efficient strategy to make sure that only a single organizer of each type is generated. The generation of dorsoventral positional information along a long-extended anteroposterior (AP) axis cannot be achieved directly by a single patch-like organizer. Nature found different solutions for this task. Corresponding models provide a rationale for the well-known reversal in the dorsoventral patterning between vertebrates and insects.

  2. Chloride channels in the plasma membrane of a foetal Drosophila cell line, S2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asmild, Margit; Willumsen, Niels J.

    2000-01-01

    S2 cells, Cl- Channels, Expression system, Drosophila, Inward rectifier, Outward rectifier, Patch clamp......S2 cells, Cl- Channels, Expression system, Drosophila, Inward rectifier, Outward rectifier, Patch clamp...

  3. 利用黑腹果蝇(Drosophila melanogaster)研究微量金属元素代谢%Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study the trace metal homeostasis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄云鹏; 周兵

    2012-01-01

    微量金属参与了生物体许多化学反应过程,同时也可作为蛋白质的辅基或辅因子起作用,对机体生长发育以及正常生物功能的维持具有重要作用;微量金属元素的代谢失衡与生物体许多疾病密切相关,如威尔森氏病、门克斯病、铁色素沉积、肠变性皮炎以及一些神经退行性疾病.黑腹果蝇(Drosophila melanogaster)是遗传背景清楚、生活周期短、操作方便的模式生物,利用果蝇研究金属离子代谢以及金属离子代谢与疾病的联系具有独特的优势,近年来,随着果蝇基因组测序的完成以及许多转基因果蝇株的建立,果蝇也越来越多的用于金属离子代谢的研究.介绍了近年来果蝇在金属离子代谢研究领域的进展,以及其与神经退行性疾病关系研究上的一些应用.%Trace metal elements, as the co-factors for enzymes, are involved in numerous biological processes, and play structural roles in many proteins. Dyshomeostasis of metals may result human diseases, such as Wilson's disease, Menkes disease, Haemochromatosis, Acrodermatitis enteropathica, and likely some neurodegenerative diseases. Drosophila melanogaster is a well established model organism, which is widely used in various areas of biological research, and is fast adopted as a new platform for metal studies. Here we reviewed the progress of using Drosophila in metal research, including metal metabolism and its relevance to neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Metabolic Activity of Radish Sprouts Derived Isothiocyanates in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baenas, Nieves; Piegholdt, Stefanie; Schloesser, Anke; Moreno, Diego A.; García-Viguera, Cristina; Rimbach, Gerald; Wagner, Anika E.

    2016-01-01

    We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study the absorption, metabolism and potential health benefits of plant bioactives derived from radish sprouts (Raphanus sativus cv. Rambo), a Brassicaceae species rich in glucosinolates and other phytochemicals. Flies were subjected to a diet supplemented with lyophilized radish sprouts (10.6 g/L) for 10 days, containing high amounts of glucoraphenin and glucoraphasatin, which can be hydrolyzed by myrosinase to the isothiocyanates sulforaphene and raphasatin, respectively. We demonstrate that Drosophila melanogaster takes up and metabolizes isothiocyanates from radish sprouts through the detection of the metabolite sulforaphane-cysteine in fly homogenates. Moreover, we report a decrease in the glucose content of flies, an upregulation of spargel expression, the Drosophila homolog of the mammalian PPARγ-coactivator 1 α, as well as the inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase in vitro. Overall, we show that the consumption of radish sprouts affects energy metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster which is reflected by lower glucose levels and an increased expression of spargel, a central player in mitochondrial biogenesis. These processes are often affected in chronic diseases associated with aging, including type II diabetes mellitus. PMID:26901196

  5. Metabolic Activity of Radish Sprouts Derived Isothiocyanates in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baenas, Nieves; Piegholdt, Stefanie; Schloesser, Anke; Moreno, Diego A; García-Viguera, Cristina; Rimbach, Gerald; Wagner, Anika E

    2016-02-18

    We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study the absorption, metabolism and potential health benefits of plant bioactives derived from radish sprouts (Raphanus sativus cv. Rambo), a Brassicaceae species rich in glucosinolates and other phytochemicals. Flies were subjected to a diet supplemented with lyophilized radish sprouts (10.6 g/L) for 10 days, containing high amounts of glucoraphenin and glucoraphasatin, which can be hydrolyzed by myrosinase to the isothiocyanates sulforaphene and raphasatin, respectively. We demonstrate that Drosophila melanogaster takes up and metabolizes isothiocyanates from radish sprouts through the detection of the metabolite sulforaphane-cysteine in fly homogenates. Moreover, we report a decrease in the glucose content of flies, an upregulation of spargel expression, the Drosophila homolog of the mammalian PPARγ-coactivator 1 α, as well as the inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase in vitro. Overall, we show that the consumption of radish sprouts affects energy metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster which is reflected by lower glucose levels and an increased expression of spargel, a central player in mitochondrial biogenesis. These processes are often affected in chronic diseases associated with aging, including type II diabetes mellitus.

  6. Metabolic Activity of Radish Sprouts Derived Isothiocyanates in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nieves Baenas

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study the absorption, metabolism and potential health benefits of plant bioactives derived from radish sprouts (Raphanus sativus cv. Rambo, a Brassicaceae species rich in glucosinolates and other phytochemicals. Flies were subjected to a diet supplemented with lyophilized radish sprouts (10.6 g/L for 10 days, containing high amounts of glucoraphenin and glucoraphasatin, which can be hydrolyzed by myrosinase to the isothiocyanates sulforaphene and raphasatin, respectively. We demonstrate that Drosophila melanogaster takes up and metabolizes isothiocyanates from radish sprouts through the detection of the metabolite sulforaphane-cysteine in fly homogenates. Moreover, we report a decrease in the glucose content of flies, an upregulation of spargel expression, the Drosophila homolog of the mammalian PPARγ-coactivator 1 α, as well as the inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase in vitro. Overall, we show that the consumption of radish sprouts affects energy metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster which is reflected by lower glucose levels and an increased expression of spargel, a central player in mitochondrial biogenesis. These processes are often affected in chronic diseases associated with aging, including type II diabetes mellitus.

  7. The developmental transcriptome of Drosophila melanogaster

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    University of Connecticut; Graveley, Brenton R.; Brooks, Angela N.; Carlson, Joseph W.; Duff, Michael O.; Landolin, Jane M.; Yang, Li; Artieri, Carlo G.; van Baren, Marijke J.; Boley, Nathan; Booth, Benjamin W.; Brown, James B.; Cherbas, Lucy; Davis, Carrie A.; Dobin, Alex; Li, Renhua; Lin, Wei; Malone, John H.; Mattiuzzo, Nicolas R.; Miller, David; Sturgill, David; Tuch, Brian B.; Zaleski, Chris; Zhang, Dayu; Blanchette, Marco; Dudoit, Sandrine; Eads, Brian; Green, Richard E.; Hammonds, Ann; Jiang, Lichun; Kapranov, Phil; Langton, Laura; Perrimon, Norbert; Sandler, Jeremy E.; Wan, Kenneth H.; Willingham, Aarron; Zhang, Yu; Zou, Yi; Andrews, Justen; Bicke, Peter J.; Brenner, Steven E.; Brent, Michael R.; Cherbas, Peter; Gingeras, Thomas R.; Hoskins, Roger A.; Kaufman, Thomas C.; Oliver, Brian; Celniker, Susan E.

    2010-12-02

    Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most well studied genetic model organisms; nonetheless, its genome still contains unannotated coding and non-coding genes, transcripts, exons and RNA editing sites. Full discovery and annotation are pre-requisites for understanding how the regulation of transcription, splicing and RNA editing directs the development of this complex organism. Here we used RNA-Seq, tiling microarrays and cDNA sequencing to explore the transcriptome in 30 distinct developmental stages. We identified 111,195 new elements, including thousands of genes, coding and non-coding transcripts, exons, splicing and editing events, and inferred protein isoforms that previously eluded discovery using established experimental, prediction and conservation-based approaches. These data substantially expand the number of known transcribed elements in the Drosophila genome and provide a high-resolution view of transcriptome dynamics throughout development. Drosophila melanogaster is an important non-mammalian model system that has had a critical role in basic biological discoveries, such as identifying chromosomes as the carriers of genetic information and uncovering the role of genes in development. Because it shares a substantial genic content with humans, Drosophila is increasingly used as a translational model for human development, homeostasis and disease. High-quality maps are needed for all functional genomic elements. Previous studies demonstrated that a rich collection of genes is deployed during the life cycle of the fly. Although expression profiling using microarrays has revealed the expression of, 13,000 annotated genes, it is difficult to map splice junctions and individual base modifications generated by RNA editing using such approaches. Single-base resolution is essential to define precisely the elements that comprise the Drosophila transcriptome. Estimates of the number of transcript isoforms are less accurate than estimates of the number of genes

  8. Comparison of the Attraction Index of Male and Female Drosophila. Melanogaster to Varying Odorant Substances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Abba

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at investigating the differences if any, in the olfactory discrematory ability of wild type drosophila and mutated Or83b type and also if these differences exists between male and females of both species. Insect and mammalian olfactory systems are strikingly similar. Therefore, Drosophila can be used as a simple model for olfaction. The olfactory system has evolved the capacity to recognize and discriminate an inordinate number of chemically distinct odors that signal the presence of food, predators, or mating partners. Most organisms including humans rely on their olfactory system to detect and analyze olfactory cues in the environment, cues that are subsequently utilized in the context of behavior. Several works have been done on the olfactory system of the insect drosophila, attraction of various strain of drosophila to different odors but no work has been done to investigate sexual differences in this attraction to odorants. In this research we try investigating differences in the sensitivity of the olfactory receptors of male and female drosophila by measuring their attraction index to odors (yeast. O83b mutants and ORR wild type flies were used. By behavioral analysis, using the attraction index as a measure of sensitivity of the olfactory receptors, we were able to show that the female flies have a higher attraction index to odorant than the males but this difference is not significant statistically as indicated by the p value.

  9. Tumor invasion and metastasis in Drosophila: A bold past, a bright future

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rhoda K.A. Stefanatos; Marcos Vidal

    2011-01-01

    Invasion and metastasis are the most deadly hallmarks of cancer.Once a cancer has acquired the ability to colonize new sites in the body it becomes dramatically more difficult to treat.This has made it a focus of much of cancer research.The humble fruit fly,Drosophila melanogaster,has despite its relative simplicity,made significant contributions to the understanding of tumor progression.In this review we outline and highlight those with an emphasis on modeling the genetic and epigenetic changes required for invasion and metastasis.We will revisit the early years of cancer modeling in Drosophila where the first parallels were drawn between Drosophila and vertebrate neoplasms and highlight recent advances using genetic screens and interactions with the epithelial microenvironment and innate immune system.We focus on the power and limitations of current fly models of metastasis.

  10. Fruit flies on the front line: the translational impact of Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norbert Perrimon

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila melanogaster has been adopted as one of the most-used model systems since it was first introduced by Thomas Morgan for the study of heredity in the early 20th century. Its experimental tractability and similarity of its biological pathways to those of humans have placed the model at the forefront of research into human development and disease. With the ongoing accumulation of genetic tools and assays, the fly community has at its fingertips the resources to generate diverse Drosophila disease models for the study of genes and pathways involved in a wide range of disorders. In recent years, the fly has also been used successfully for drug screening. In this Editorial, we introduce a Special Collection of reviews, interviews and original research articles that highlight some of the many ways that Drosophila has made, and continues to make, an impact on basic biological insights and translational science.

  11. Tumor invasion and metastasis in Drosophila: a bold past, a bright future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanatos, Rhoda K A; Vidal, Marcos

    2011-10-20

    Invasion and metastasis are the most deadly hallmarks of cancer. Once a cancer has acquired the ability to colonize new sites in the body it becomes dramatically more difficult to treat. This has made it a focus of much of cancer research. The humble fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has despite its relative simplicity, made significant contributions to the understanding of tumor progression. In this review we outline and highlight those with an emphasis on modeling the genetic and epigenetic changes required for invasion and metastasis. We will revisit the early years of cancer modeling in Drosophila where the first parallels were drawn between Drosophila and vertebrate neoplasms and highlight recent advances using genetic screens and interactions with the epithelial microenvironment and innate immune system. We focus on the power and limitations of current fly models of metastasis.

  12. Cellular Mechanisms of Drosophila Heart Morphogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg Vogler

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Many of the major discoveries in the fields of genetics and developmental biology have been made using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. With regard to heart development, the conserved network of core cardiac transcription factors that underlies cardiogenesis has been studied in great detail in the fly, and the importance of several signaling pathways that regulate heart morphogenesis, such as Slit/Robo, was first shown in the fly model. Recent technological advances have led to a large increase in the genomic data available from patients with congenital heart disease (CHD. This has highlighted a number of candidate genes and gene networks that are potentially involved in CHD. To validate genes and genetic interactions among candidate CHD-causing alleles and to better understand heart formation in general are major tasks. The specific limitations of the various cardiac model systems currently employed (mammalian and fish models provide a niche for the fly model, despite its evolutionary distance to vertebrates and humans. Here, we review recent advances made using the Drosophila embryo that identify factors relevant for heart formation. These underline how this model organism still is invaluable for a better understanding of CHD.

  13. The microscopicstructure of the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster%黑腹果蝇 (Drosophila melanogaster)视觉系统显微结构的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    暴学祥; 李伟红; 李霞; 牛华; 李一娜; 田喜梅; 马创

    2004-01-01

    采用CP(Colophony-Paraffin, CP,专利号:ZL98125709.7)切片和定向包埋技术,首次对黑腹果蝇(Drosophila melanogaster)的头部进行了3 μm的连续切片及制片,经常规染色后,在光学显微镜下对其视觉系统的显微结构进行了详细的观察研究.结果表明,黑腹果蝇的视觉系统主要由复眼、视叶和一些纤维通路组成.复眼由许多形态相同的小眼构成,每个小眼由外向内分别由半球形的角膜、倒锥形的晶体和柱形的视觉柱组成,视觉柱中有7个感光细胞,其轴突穿过复眼底部的视神经孔与视叶相连;视叶由外向内又依次分为神经节层、外髓、内髓板和内髓4个髓质区以及视网膜底部与神经节层之间的网膜后交叉、神经节层与外髓之间的外交叉和外髓与内髓之间的内交叉.黑腹果蝇视觉系统中主要包括角膜细胞、晶锥细胞、网膜细胞(光感细胞)、色素细胞、柱状神经元、无长突细胞和切向神经元7种类型的神经细胞,其胞体直径均小于3 μm.

  14. The RNA-binding protein ELAV regulates Hox RNA processing, expression and function within the Drosophila nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogulja-Ortmann, Ana; Picao-Osorio, Joao; Villava, Casandra; Patraquim, Pedro; Lafuente, Elvira; Aspden, Julie; Thomsen, Stefan; Technau, Gerhard M; Alonso, Claudio R

    2014-05-01

    The regulated head-to-tail expression of Hox genes provides a coordinate system for the activation of specific programmes of cell differentiation according to axial level. Recent work indicates that Hox expression can be regulated via RNA processing but the underlying mechanisms and biological significance of this form of regulation remain poorly understood. Here we explore these issues within the developing Drosophila central nervous system (CNS). We show that the pan-neural RNA-binding protein (RBP) ELAV (Hu antigen) regulates the RNA processing patterns of the Hox gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx) within the embryonic CNS. Using a combination of biochemical, genetic and imaging approaches we demonstrate that ELAV binds to discrete elements within Ubx RNAs and that its genetic removal reduces Ubx protein expression in the CNS leading to the respecification of cellular subroutines under Ubx control, thus defining for the first time a specific cellular role of ELAV within the developing CNS. Artificial provision of ELAV in glial cells (a cell type that lacks ELAV) promotes Ubx expression, suggesting that ELAV-dependent regulation might contribute to cell type-specific Hox expression patterns within the CNS. Finally, we note that expression of abdominal A and Abdominal B is reduced in elav mutant embryos, whereas other Hox genes (Antennapedia) are not affected. Based on these results and the evolutionary conservation of ELAV and Hox genes we propose that the modulation of Hox RNA processing by ELAV serves to adapt the morphogenesis of the CNS to axial level by regulating Hox expression and consequently activating local programmes of neural differentiation.

  15. Neurodegeneration in drop-dead mutant drosophila melanogaster is associated with the respiratory system but not with Hypoxia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Lynn Sansone

    Full Text Available Mutations in the gene drop-dead (drd cause diverse phenotypes in adult Drosophila melanogaster including early lethality, neurodegeneration, tracheal defects, gut dysfunction, reduced body mass, and female sterility. Despite the identification of the drd gene itself, the causes of early lethality and neurodegeneration in the mutant flies remain unknown. To determine the pattern of drd expression associated with the neurodegenerative phenotype, knockdown of drd with various Gal4 drivers was performed. Early adult lethality and neurodegeneration were observed upon knockdown of drd in the tracheal system with two independent insertions of the breathless-Gal4 driver and upon knockdown in the tracheal system and elsewhere with the DJ717-Gal4 driver. Surprisingly, rescue of drd expression exclusively in the tracheae in otherwise mutant flies rescued the neurodegenerative phenotype but not adult lethality. Gut dysfunction, as measured by defecation rate, was not rescued in these flies, and gut function appeared normal upon tracheal-specific knockdown of drd. Finally, the hypothesis that tracheal dysfunction in drd mutants results in hypoxia was tested. Hypoxia-sensitive reporter transgenes (LDH-Gal4 and LDH-LacZ were placed on a drd mutant background, but enhanced expression of these reporters was not observed. In addition, manipulation of drd expression in the tracheae did not affect expression of the hypoxia-induced genes LDH, tango, and similar. Overall, these results indicate that there are at least two causes of adult lethality in drd mutants, that gut dysfunction and neurodegeneration are independent phenotypes, and that neurodegeneration is associated with tracheal expression of drd but not with hypoxia.

  16. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, Patricia S.; Daniel, Scott G.; Mccallum, Abigail P.; Boehringer, Ashley V.; Sukhina, Alona S.; Zwick, Rebecca A.; Zarnescu, Daniela C.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies. PMID:23471911

  17. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia S. Estes

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  18. Appetitive associative olfactory learning in Drosophila larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostolopoulou, Anthi A; Widmann, Annekathrin; Rohwedder, Astrid; Pfitzenmaier, Johanna E; Thum, Andreas S

    2013-02-18

    In the following we describe the methodological details of appetitive associative olfactory learning in Drosophila larvae. The setup, in combination with genetic interference, provides a handle to analyze the neuronal and molecular fundamentals of specifically associative learning in a simple larval brain. Organisms can use past experience to adjust present behavior. Such acquisition of behavioral potential can be defined as learning, and the physical bases of these potentials as memory traces. Neuroscientists try to understand how these processes are organized in terms of molecular and neuronal changes in the brain by using a variety of methods in model organisms ranging from insects to vertebrates. For such endeavors it is helpful to use model systems that are simple and experimentally accessible. The Drosophila larva has turned out to satisfy these demands based on the availability of robust behavioral assays, the existence of a variety of transgenic techniques and the elementary organization of the nervous system comprising only about 10,000 neurons (albeit with some concessions: cognitive limitations, few behavioral options, and richness of experience questionable). Drosophila larvae can form associations between odors and appetitive gustatory reinforcement like sugar. In a standard assay, established in the lab of B. Gerber, animals receive a two-odor reciprocal training: A first group of larvae is exposed to an odor A together with a gustatory reinforcer (sugar reward) and is subsequently exposed to an odor B without reinforcement. Meanwhile a second group of larvae receives reciprocal training while experiencing odor A without reinforcement and subsequently being exposed to odor B with reinforcement (sugar reward). In the following both groups are tested for their preference between the two odors. Relatively higher preferences for the rewarded odor reflect associative learning--presented as a performance index (PI). The conclusion regarding the associative

  19. Lipid metabolism in Drosophila: development and disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhonghua Liu; Xun Huang

    2013-01-01

    Proteins,nucleic acids,and lipids are three major components of the cell.Despite a few basic metabolic pathways,we know very little about lipids,compared with the explosion of knowledge about proteins and nucleic acids.How many different forms of lipids are there? What are the in vivo functions of individual lipid? How does lipid metabolism contribute to normal development and human health? Many of these questions remain unanswered.For over a century,the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been used as a model organism to study basic biological questions.In recent years,increasing evidences proved that Drosophila models are highly valuable for lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis researches.Some recent progresses of lipid metabolic regulation during Drosophila development and in Drosophila models of human diseases will be discussed in this review.

  20. Ctr9, a Key Component of the Paf1 Complex, Affects Proliferation and Terminal Differentiation in the Developing Drosophila Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrampour, Shahrzad; Thor, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    The Paf1 protein complex (Paf1C) is increasingly recognized as a highly conserved and broadly utilized regulator of a variety of transcriptional processes. These include the promotion of H3K4 and H3K36 trimethylation, H2BK123 ubiquitination, RNA Pol II transcriptional termination, and also RNA-mediated gene silencing. Paf1C contains five canonical protein components, including Paf1 and Ctr9, which are critical for overall complex integrity, as well as Rtf1, Leo1, and Cdc73/Parafibromin(Hrpt2)/Hyrax. In spite of a growing appreciation for the importance of Paf1C from yeast and mammalian studies, there has only been limited work in Drosophila. Here, we provide the first detailed phenotypic study of Ctr9 function in Drosophila. We found that Ctr9 mutants die at late embryogenesis or early larval life, but can be partly rescued by nervous system reexpression of Ctr9. We observed a number of phenotypes in Ctr9 mutants, including increased neuroblast numbers, increased nervous system proliferation, as well as downregulation of many neuropeptide genes. Analysis of cell cycle and regulatory gene expression revealed upregulation of the E2f1 cell cycle factor, as well as changes in Antennapedia and Grainy head expression. We also found reduction of H3K4me3 modification in the embryonic nervous system. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis points to additional downstream genes that may underlie these Ctr9 phenotypes, revealing gene expression changes in Notch pathway target genes, cell cycle genes, and neuropeptide genes. In addition, we find significant effects on the gene expression of metabolic genes. These findings reveal that Ctr9 is an essential gene that is necessary at multiple stages of nervous system development, and provides a starting point for future studies of the Paf1C in Drosophila. PMID:27520958

  1. The complexity of Drosophila innate immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Reumer

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Metazoans rely on efficient mechanisms to oppose infections caused by pathogens. The immediate and first-line defense mechanism(s in metazoans, referred to as the innate immune system, is initiated upon recognition of microbial intruders by germline encoded receptors and is executed by a set of rapid effector mechanisms. Adaptive immunity is restricted to vertebrate species and it is controlled and assisted by the innate immune system.Interestingly, most of the basic signaling cascades that regulate the primeval innate defense mechanism(s have been well conserved during evolution, for instance between humans and the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Being devoid of adaptive signaling and effector systems, Drosophila has become an established model system for studying pristine innate immune cascades and reactions. In general, an immune response is evoked when microorganisms pass the fruit fly’s physical barriers (e.g., cuticle, epithelial lining of gut and trachea, and it is mainly executed in the hemolymph, the equivalent of the mammalian blood. Innate immunity in the fruit fly consists of a phenoloxidase (PO response, a cellular response (hemocytes, an antiviral response, and the NF-κB dependent production of antimicrobial peptides referred to as the humoral response. The JAK/STAT and Jun kinase signaling cascades are also implicated in the defence against pathogens.

  2. Understanding Dynamics of Information Transmission in Drosophila melanogaster Using a Statistical Modeling Framework for Longitudinal Network Data (the RSiena Package)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasquaretta, Cristian; Klenschi, Elizabeth; Pansanel, Jérôme; Battesti, Marine; Mery, Frederic; Sueur, Cédric

    2016-01-01

    Social learning – the transmission of behaviors through observation or interaction with conspecifics – can be viewed as a decision-making process driven by interactions among individuals. Animal group structures change over time and interactions among individuals occur in particular orders that may be repeated following specific patterns, change in their nature, or disappear completely. Here we used a stochastic actor-oriented model built using the RSiena package in R to estimate individual behaviors and their changes through time, by analyzing the dynamic of the interaction network of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster during social learning experiments. In particular, we re-analyzed an experimental dataset where uninformed flies, left free to interact with informed ones, acquired and later used information about oviposition site choice obtained by social interactions. We estimated the degree to which the uninformed flies had successfully acquired the information carried by informed individuals using the proportion of eggs laid by uninformed flies on the medium their conspecifics had been trained to favor. Regardless of the degree of information acquisition measured in uninformed individuals, they always received and started interactions more frequently than informed ones did. However, information was efficiently transmitted (i.e., uninformed flies predominantly laid eggs on the same medium informed ones had learn to prefer) only when the difference in contacts sent between the two fly types was small. Interestingly, we found that the degree of reciprocation, the tendency of individuals to form mutual connections between each other, strongly affected oviposition site choice in uninformed flies. This work highlights the great potential of RSiena and its utility in the studies of interaction networks among non-human animals. PMID:27148146

  3. Understanding dynamics of information transmission in Drosophila melanogaster using a statistical modeling framework for longitudinal network data (the RSiena package

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian ePasquaretta

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Social learning – the transmission of behaviors through observation or interaction with conspecifics – can be viewed as a decision-making process driven by interactions among individuals. Animal group structures change over time and interactions among individuals occur in particular orders that may be repeated following specific patterns, change in their nature, or disappear completely. Here we used a stochastic actor-oriented model built using the RSiena package in R to estimate individual behaviors and their changes through time, by analyzing the dynamic of the interaction network of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster during social learning experiments. In particular, we re-analyzed an experimental dataset where uninformed flies, left free to interact with informed ones, acquired and later used information about oviposition site choice obtained by social interactions. We estimated the degree to which the uninformed flies had successfully acquired the information carried by informed individuals using the proportion of eggs laid by uninformed flies on the medium their conspecifics had been trained to favor. Regardless of the degree of information acquisition measured in uninformed individuals, they always received and started interactions more frequently than informed ones did. However, information was efficiently transmitted (i.e. uninformed flies predominantly laid eggs on the same medium informed ones had learn to prefer only when the difference in contacts sent between the two fly types was small. Interestingly, we found that the degree of reciprocation, the tendency of individuals to form mutual connections between each other, strongly affected oviposition site choice in uninformed flies. This work highlights the great potential of RSiena and its utility in the studies of interaction networks among non-human animals.

  4. Hypergravity-induced altered behavior in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosamani, Ravikumar; Wan, Judy; Marcu, Oana; Bhattacharya, Sharmila

    2012-07-01

    Microgravity and mechanical stress are important factors of the spaceflight environment, and affect astronaut health and behavior. Structural, functional, and behavioral mechanisms of all cells and organisms are adapted to Earth's gravitational force, 1G, while altered gravity can pose challenges to their adaptability to this new environment. On ground, hypergravity paradigms have been used to predict and complement studies on microgravity. Even small changes that take place at a molecular and genetic level during altered gravity may result in changes in phenotypic behavior. Drosophila provides a robust and simple, yet very reliable model system to understand the complexity of hypergravity-induced altered behavior, due to availability of a plethora of genetic tools. Locomotor behavior is a sensitive parameter that reflects the array of molecular adaptive mechanisms recruited during exposure to altered gravity. Thus, understanding the genetic basis of this behavior in a hypergravity environment could potentially extend our understanding of mechanisms of adaptation in microgravity. In our laboratory we are trying to dissect out the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying hypergravity-induced oxidative stress, and its potential consequences on behavioral alterations by using Drosophila as a model system. In the present study, we employed pan-neuronal and mushroom body specific knock-down adult flies by using Gal4/UAS system to express inverted repeat transgenes (RNAi) to monitor and quantify the hypergravity-induced behavior in Drosophila. We established that acute hypergravity (3G for 60 min) causes a significant and robust decrease in the locomotor behavior in adult Drosophila, and that this change is dependent on genes related to Parkinson's disease, such as DJ-1α , DJ-1β , and parkin. In addition, we also showed that anatomically the control of this behavior is significantly processed in the mushroom body region of the fly brain. This work links a molecular

  5. The innate immune response transcription factor relish is necessary for neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of ataxia-telangiectasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Andrew J; Katzenberger, Rebeccah J; Wassarman, David A

    2013-05-01

    Neurodegeneration is a hallmark of the human disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) that is caused by mutation of the A-T mutated (ATM) gene. We have analyzed Drosophila melanogaster ATM mutants to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in A-T. Previously, we found that ATM mutants upregulate the expression of innate immune response (IIR) genes and undergo neurodegeneration in the central nervous system. Here, we present evidence that activation of the IIR is a cause of neurodegeneration in ATM mutants. Three lines of evidence indicate that ATM mutations cause neurodegeneration by activating the Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factor Relish, a key regulator of the Immune deficiency (Imd) IIR signaling pathway. First, the level of upregulation of IIR genes, including Relish target genes, was directly correlated with the level of neurodegeneration in ATM mutants. Second, Relish mutations inhibited upregulation of IIR genes and neurodegeneration in ATM mutants. Third, overexpression of constitutively active Relish in glial cells activated the IIR and caused neurodegeneration. In contrast, we found that Imd and Dif mutations did not affect neurodegeneration in ATM mutants. Imd encodes an activator of Relish in the response to gram-negative bacteria, and Dif encodes an immune responsive NF-κB transcription factor in the Toll signaling pathway. These data indicate that the signal that causes neurodegeneration in ATM mutants activates a specific NF-κB protein and does so through an unknown activator. In summary, these findings suggest that neurodegeneration in human A-T is caused by activation of a specific NF-κB protein in glial cells.

  6. Metabolic changes may precede proteostatic dysfunction in a Drosophila model of amyloid beta peptide toxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ott, Stanislav; Vishnivetskaya, Anastasia; Malmendal, Anders;

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide aggregation is linked to the initiation of Alzheimer's disease; accordingly, aggregation-prone isoforms of Aβ, expressed in the brain, shorten the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster. However, the lethal effects of Aβ are not apparent until after day 15. We used shibire(...

  7. Selected System Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Eisenlohr, F.; Puñal, O.; Klagges, K.; Kirsche, M.

    Apart from the general issue of modeling the channel, the PHY and the MAC of wireless networks, there are specific modeling assumptions that are considered for different systems. In this chapter we consider three specific wireless standards and highlight modeling options for them. These are IEEE 802.11 (as example for wireless local area networks), IEEE 802.16 (as example for wireless metropolitan networks) and IEEE 802.15 (as example for body area networks). Each section on these three systems discusses also at the end a set of model implementations that are available today.

  8. OTX2 and CRX rescue overlapping and photoreceptor‐specific functions in the Drosophila eye

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Terrell, David; Xie, Baotong; Workman, Michael; Mahato, Simpla; Zelhof, Andrew; Gebelein, Brian; Cook, Tiffany

    2012-01-01

    .... Drosophila encodes a single Otd factor that has multiple functions during eye development. Using the Drosophila eye as a model, we tested the ability of the human OTX1, OTX2, and CRX genes, as well as several disease...

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of thirteen globally sourced strains of fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) form a powerful model for mitochondrial research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonci N; Camus, M Florencia; Clancy, David J; Dowling, Damian K

    2016-11-01

    The complete mitogenomes of 13 strains of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster were sequenced. Haplotypes varied between 19 532 and 19 537 bp in length, and followed standard dipteran mitogenome content and organization. We detected a total of 354 variable sites between all thirteen haplotypes, while single pairs of haplotypes were separated by an average of 123 variable sites. The sequenced fly strains form a powerful model for mitochondrial research, when it comes to elucidating the links between the mitochondrial genotype and the phenotype.

  10. Mechanisms of planar cell polarity establishment in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvajal-Gonzalez, Jose Maria; Mlodzik, Marek

    2014-01-01

    Correct patterning and polarization of epithelial and mesenchymal cells are essential for morphogenesis and function of all organs and organisms. Epithelial cells are generally polarized in two axes: (a) the ubiquitous apical-basal axis and (b) polarity within the plane of the epithelium. The latter is generally referred to as planar cell polarity (PCP) and also is found in several contexts of mesenchymal cell patterning. In Drosophila, all adult structures display PCP features, and two conserved molecular systems (the Fat [Ft]/Dachsous [Ds] system and the Frizzled [Fz]/PCP pathway) that regulate this process have been identified. Although significant progress has been made in dissecting aspects of PCP signaling within cells, much remains to be discovered about the mechanisms of long-range and local PCP cell-cell interactions. Here, we discuss the current models based on Drosophila studies and incorporate recent insights into this long-standing cell and developmental biology problem.

  11. Immune stimulation reduces sleep and memory ability in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Eamonn B; Alghamdi, Akram; Holdbrook, Robert T K; Rosato, Ezio

    2014-01-01

    Psychoneuroimmunology studies the increasing number of connections between neurobiology, immunology and behaviour. We demonstrate the effects of the immune response on two fundamental behaviours: sleep and memory ability in Drosophila melanogaster. We used the Geneswitch system to upregulate peptidoglycan receptor protein (PGRP) expression, thereby stimulating the immune system in the absence of infection. Geneswitch was activated by feeding the steroid RU486, to the flies. We used an aversive classical conditioning paradigm to quantify memory and measures of activity to infer sleep. Immune stimulated flies exhibited reduced levels of sleep, which could not be explained by a generalised increase in waking activity. Immune stimulated flies also showed a reduction in memory abilities. These results lend support to Drosophila as a model for immune-neural interactions and provide a possible role for sleep in the interplay between the immune response and memory.

  12. Immune stimulation reduces sleep and memory ability in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eamonn B. Mallon

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Psychoneuroimmunology studies the increasing number of connections between neurobiology, immunology and behaviour. We demonstrate the effects of the immune response on two fundamental behaviours: sleep and memory ability in Drosophila melanogaster. We used the Geneswitch system to upregulate peptidoglycan receptor protein (PGRP expression, thereby stimulating the immune system in the absence of infection. Geneswitch was activated by feeding the steroid RU486, to the flies. We used an aversive classical conditioning paradigm to quantify memory and measures of activity to infer sleep. Immune stimulated flies exhibited reduced levels of sleep, which could not be explained by a generalised increase in waking activity. Immune stimulated flies also showed a reduction in memory abilities. These results lend support to Drosophila as a model for immune–neural interactions and provide a possible role for sleep in the interplay between the immune response and memory.

  13. Ion channels to inactivate neurons in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J L Hodge

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Ion channels are the determinants of excitability; therefore, manipulation of their levels and properties provides an opportunity for the investigator to modulate neuronal and circuit function. There are a number of ways to suppress electrical activity in Drosophila neurons, for instance, over-expression of potassium channels (i.e. Shaker Kv1, Shaw Kv3, Kir2.1 and DORK that are open at resting membrane potential. This will result in increased potassium efflux and membrane hyperpolarisation setting resting membrane potential below the threshold required to fire action potentials. Alternatively over-expression of other channels, pumps or co-transporters that result in a hyperpolarised membrane potential will also prevent firing. Lastly, neurons can be inactivated by, disrupting or reducing the level of functional voltage-gated sodium (Nav1 paralytic or calcium (Cav2 cacophony channels that mediate the depolarisation phase of action potentials. Similarly, strategies involving the opposite channel manipulation should allow net depolarisation and hyperexcitation in a given neuron. These changes in ion channel expression can be brought about by the versatile transgenic (i.e. Gal4/UAS based systems available in Drosophila allowing fine temporal and spatial control of (channel transgene expression. These systems are making it possible to electrically inactivate (or hyperexcite any neuron or neural circuit in the fly brain, and much like an exquisite lesion experiment, potentially elucidate whatever interesting behaviour or phenotype each network mediates. These techniques are now being used in Drosophila to reprogram electrical activity of well-defined circuits and bring about robust and easily quantifiable changes in behaviour, allowing different models and hypotheses to be rapidly tested.

  14. Ecologically relevant stress resistance: from microarrays and quantitative trait loci to candidate genes – A research plan and preliminary results using Drosophila as a model organism and climatic and genetic stress as model stresses

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Volker Loeschcke; Jesper G Sørensen; Torsten N Kristensen

    2004-12-01

    We aim at studying adaptation to genetic and environmental stress and its evolutionary implications at different levels of biological organization. Stress influences cellular processes, individual physiology, genetic variation at the population level, and the process of natural selection. To investigate these highly connected levels of stress effects, it is advisable – if not critical – to integrate approaches from ecology, evolution, physiology, molecular biology and genetics. To investigate the mechanisms of stress resistance, how resistance evolves, and what factors contribute to and constrain its evolution, we use the well-defined model systems of Drosophila species, representing both cosmopolitan species such as D. melanogaster with a known genome map, and more specialized and ecologically well described species such as the cactophilic D. buzzatii. Various climate-related stresses are used as model stresses including desiccation, starvation, cold and heat. Genetic stress or genetic load is modelled by studying the consequences of inbreeding, the accumulation of (slightly) deleterious mutations, hybridization or the loss of genetic variability. We present here a research plan and preliminary results combining various approaches: molecular techniques such as microarrays, quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses, quantitative PCR, ELISA or Western blotting are combined with population studies of resistance to climatic and genetic stress in natural populations collected across climatic gradients as well as in selection lines maintained in the laboratory.

  15. Transformation of Drosophila cell lines: an alternative approach to exogenous protein expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherbas, Lucy; Cherbas, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Techniques and experimental applications are described for exogenous protein expression in Drosophila cell lines. Ways in which the Drosophila cell lines and the baculovirus expression vector system differ in their applications are emphasized.

  16. Different Parameters Support Generalization and Discrimination Learning in "Drosophila" at the Flight Simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brembs, Bjorn; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel

    2006-01-01

    We have used a genetically tractable model system, the fruit fly "Drosophila melanogaster" to study the interdependence between sensory processing and associative processing on learning performance. We investigated the influence of variations in the physical and predictive properties of color stimuli in several different operant-conditioning…

  17. Isoform-specific control of male neuronal differentiation and behavior in Drosophila by the fruitless gene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Billeter, Jean-Christophe; Villella, Adriana; Allendorfer, Jane B; Dornan, Anthony J; Richardson, Michael; Gailey, Donald A; Goodwin, Stephen F

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: How the central nervous system (CNS) develops to implement innate behaviors remains largely unknown. Drosophila male sexual behavior has long been used as a model to address this question. The male-specific products of fruitless (fru) are pivotal to the emergence of this behavior. These

  18. Serum Amyloid P Component Ameliorates Neurological Damage Caused by Expressing a Lysozyme Variant in the Central Nervous System of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Helmfors

    Full Text Available Lysozyme amyloidosis is a hereditary disease in which mutations in the gene coding for lysozyme leads to misfolding and consequently accumulation of amyloid material. To improve understanding of the processes involved we expressed human wild type (WT lysozyme and the disease-associated variant F57I in the central nervous system (CNS of a Drosophila melanogaster model of lysozyme amyloidosis, with and without co-expression of serum amyloid p component (SAP. SAP is known to be a universal constituent of amyloid deposits and to associate with lysozyme fibrils. There are clear indications that SAP may play an important role in lysozyme amyloidosis, which requires further elucidation. We found that flies expressing the amyloidogenic variant F57I in the CNS have a shorter lifespan than flies expressing WT lysozyme. We also identified apoptotic cells in the brains of F57I flies demonstrating that the flies' neurological functions are impaired when F57I is expressed in the nerve cells. However, co-expression of SAP in the CNS prevented cell death and restored the F57I flies' lifespan. Thus, SAP has the apparent ability to protect nerve cells from damage caused by F57I. Furthermore, it was found that co-expression of SAP prevented accumulation of insoluble forms of lysozyme in both WT- and F57I-expressing flies. Our findings suggest that the F57I mutation affects the aggregation process of lysozyme resulting in the formation of cytotoxic species and that SAP is able to prevent cell death in the F57I flies by preventing accumulation of toxic F57I structures.

  19. Modeling cellular systems

    CERN Document Server

    Matthäus, Franziska; Pahle, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    This contributed volume comprises research articles and reviews on topics connected to the mathematical modeling of cellular systems. These contributions cover signaling pathways, stochastic effects, cell motility and mechanics, pattern formation processes, as well as multi-scale approaches. All authors attended the workshop on "Modeling Cellular Systems" which took place in Heidelberg in October 2014. The target audience primarily comprises researchers and experts in the field, but the book may also be beneficial for graduate students.

  20. Invagination centers within the Drosophila stomatogastric nervous system anlage are positioned by Notch-mediated signaling which is spatially controlled through wingless.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Gaitán, M; Jäckle, H

    1995-08-01

    The gut-innervating stomatogastric nervous system of Drosophila, unlike the central and the peripheral nervous system, derives from a compact, single layered epithelial anlage. Here we report how this anlage is initially defined during embryogenesis by the expression of proneural genes of the achaete-scute complex in response to the maternal terminal pattern forming system. Within the stomatogastric nervous system anlage, the wingless-dependent intercellular communication system adjusts the cellular range of Notch-dependent lateral inhibition to single-out three achaete-expressing cells. Those cells define distinct invagination centers which orchestrate the behavior of neighboring cells to form epithelial infoldings, each headed by an achaete-expressing tip cell. Our results suggest that the wingless pathway acts not as an instructive signal, but as a permissive factor which coordinates the spatial activity of morphoregulatory signals within the stomatogastric nervous system anlage.

  1. A correlation of reactive oxygen species accumulation by depletion of superoxide dismutases with age-dependent impairment in the nervous system and muscles of Drosophila adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oka, Saori; Hirai, Jun; Yasukawa, Takashi; Nakahara, Yasuyuki; Inoue, Yoshihiro H

    2015-08-01

    The theory that accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in internal organs is a major promoter of aging has been considered negatively. However, it is still controversial whether overexpression of superoxide dismutases (SODs), which remove ROS, extends the lifespan in Drosophila adults. We examined whether ROS accumulation by depletion of Cu/Zn-SOD (SOD1) or Mn-SOD (SOD2) influenced age-related impairment of the nervous system and muscles in Drosophila. We confirmed the efficient depletion of Sod1 and Sod2 through RNAi and ROS accumulation by monitoring of ROS-inducible gene expression. Both RNAi flies displayed accelerated impairment of locomotor activity with age and shortened lifespan. Similarly, adults with nervous system-specific depletion of Sod1 or Sod2 also showed reduced lifespan. We then found an accelerated loss of dopaminergic neurons in the flies with suppressed SOD expression. A half-dose reduction of three pro-apoptotic genes resulted in a significant suppression of the neuronal loss, suggesting that apoptosis was involved in the neuronal loss caused by SOD silencing. In addition, depletion of Sod1 or Sod2 in musculature is also associated with enhancement of age-related locomotion impairment. In indirect flight muscles from SOD-depleted adults, abnormal protein aggregates containing poly-ubiquitin accumulated at an early adult stage and continued to increase as the flies aged. Most of these protein aggregates were observed between myofibril layers. Moreover, immuno-electron microscopy indicated that the aggregates were predominantly localized in damaged mitochondria. These findings suggest that muscular and neuronal ROS accumulation may have a significant effect on age-dependent impairment of the Drosophila adults.

  2. Multiscale Cloud System Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Wei-Kuo; Moncrieff, Mitchell W.

    2009-01-01

    The central theme of this paper is to describe how cloud system resolving models (CRMs) of grid spacing approximately 1 km have been applied to various important problems in atmospheric science across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales and how these applications relate to other modeling approaches. A long-standing problem concerns the representation of organized precipitating convective cloud systems in weather and climate models. Since CRMs resolve the mesoscale to large scales of motion (i.e., 10 km to global) they explicitly address the cloud system problem. By explicitly representing organized convection, CRMs bypass restrictive assumptions associated with convective parameterization such as the scale gap between cumulus and large-scale motion. Dynamical models provide insight into the physical mechanisms involved with scale interaction and convective organization. Multiscale CRMs simulate convective cloud systems in computational domains up to global and have been applied in place of contemporary convective parameterizations in global models. Multiscale CRMs pose a new challenge for model validation, which is met in an integrated approach involving CRMs, operational prediction systems, observational measurements, and dynamical models in a new international project: the Year of Tropical Convection, which has an emphasis on organized tropical convection and its global effects.

  3. Iron Absorption in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanis Missirlis

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The way in which Drosophila melanogaster acquires iron from the diet remains poorly understood despite iron absorption being of vital significance for larval growth. To describe the process of organismal iron absorption, consideration needs to be given to cellular iron import, storage, export and how intestinal epithelial cells sense and respond to iron availability. Here we review studies on the Divalent Metal Transporter-1 homolog Malvolio (iron import, the recent discovery that Multicopper Oxidase-1 has ferroxidase activity (iron export and the role of ferritin in the process of iron acquisition (iron storage. We also describe what is known about iron regulation in insect cells. We then draw upon knowledge from mammalian iron homeostasis to identify candidate genes in flies. Questions arise from the lack of conservation in Drosophila for key mammalian players, such as ferroportin, hepcidin and all the components of the hemochromatosis-related pathway. Drosophila and other insects also lack erythropoiesis. Thus, systemic iron regulation is likely to be conveyed by different signaling pathways and tissue requirements. The significance of regulating intestinal iron uptake is inferred from reports linking Drosophila developmental, immune, heat-shock and behavioral responses to iron sequestration.

  4. Iron Absorption in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandilaras, Konstantinos; Pathmanathan, Tharse; Missirlis, Fanis

    2013-01-01

    The way in which Drosophila melanogaster acquires iron from the diet remains poorly understood despite iron absorption being of vital significance for larval growth. To describe the process of organismal iron absorption, consideration needs to be given to cellular iron import, storage, export and how intestinal epithelial cells sense and respond to iron availability. Here we review studies on the Divalent Metal Transporter-1 homolog Malvolio (iron import), the recent discovery that Multicopper Oxidase-1 has ferroxidase activity (iron export) and the role of ferritin in the process of iron acquisition (iron storage). We also describe what is known about iron regulation in insect cells. We then draw upon knowledge from mammalian iron homeostasis to identify candidate genes in flies. Questions arise from the lack of conservation in Drosophila for key mammalian players, such as ferroportin, hepcidin and all the components of the hemochromatosis-related pathway. Drosophila and other insects also lack erythropoiesis. Thus, systemic iron regulation is likely to be conveyed by different signaling pathways and tissue requirements. The significance of regulating intestinal iron uptake is inferred from reports linking Drosophila developmental, immune, heat-shock and behavioral responses to iron sequestration. PMID:23686013

  5. SUMOylation in Drosophila Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert J. Courey

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO, an ~90 amino acid ubiquitin-like protein, is highly conserved throughout the eukaryotic domain. Like ubiquitin, SUMO is covalently attached to lysine side chains in a large number of target proteins. In contrast to ubiquitin, SUMO does not have a direct role in targeting proteins for proteasomal degradation. However, like ubiquitin, SUMO does modulate protein function in a variety of other ways. This includes effects on protein conformation, subcellular localization, and protein–protein interactions. Significant insight into the in vivo role of SUMOylation has been provided by studies in Drosophila that combine genetic manipulation, proteomic, and biochemical analysis. Such studies have revealed that the SUMO conjugation pathway regulates a wide variety of critical cellular and developmental processes, including chromatin/chromosome function, eggshell patterning, embryonic pattern formation, metamorphosis, larval and pupal development, neurogenesis, development of the innate immune system, and apoptosis. This review discusses our current understanding of the diverse roles for SUMO in Drosophila development.

  6. Regulation of layer-specific axon targeting in the developing visual system of Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Timofeev, K.

    2012-01-01

    The ability of a nervous system to correctly process sensory information depends on the precise wiring of axonal and dendritic projections. The visual system of vertebrates and invertebrates consists of many neuron subtypes, whose neurites are organized into columns and layers. Layered pathways are pivotal to enable parallel processing of several visual features within a network, such as motion and color detection. Despite their functional relevance, the molecular mechanisms controlling their...

  7. Dynamic Systems Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorin Dan ŞANDOR

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available System Dynamics was introduced by Jay W. Forrester in the 1960s. Since then the methodology was adopted in many areas of natural or social sciences. This article tries to present briefly how this methodology works, both as Systems Thinking and as Modelling with Vensim computer software.

  8. Genome Editing: From Drosophila to Non-Model Insects and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yueping; Liu, Zhiping; Rong, Yikang S

    2016-05-20

    Insect is the largest group of animals on land. Many insect species inflict economical and health losses to humans. Yet many more benefit us by helping to maintain balances in our ecosystem. The benefits that insects offer remain largely untapped, justifying our continuing efforts to develop tools to better understand their biology and to better manage their activities. Here we focus on reviewing the progresses made in the development of genome engineering tools for model insects. Instead of detailed descriptions of the molecular mechanisms underlying each technical advance, we focus our discussion on the logistics for implementing similar tools in non-model insects. Since none of the tools were developed specific for insects, similar approaches can be applied to other non-model organisms.

  9. Finding cis-regulatory modules in Drosophila using phylogenetic hidden Markov models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wong, Wendy S W; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2007-01-01

    of the increasing availability of comparative genomic data. RESULTS: We develop a method for finding regulatory modules in Eukaryotic species using phylogenetic data. Using computer simulations and analysis of real data, we show that the use of phylogenetic hidden Markov model can lead to an increase in accuracy...

  10. Modeling Sustainable Food Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Thomas; Prosperi, Paolo

    2016-05-01

    The processes underlying environmental, economic, and social unsustainability derive in part from the food system. Building sustainable food systems has become a predominating endeavor aiming to redirect our food systems and policies towards better-adjusted goals and improved societal welfare. Food systems are complex social-ecological systems involving multiple interactions between human and natural components. Policy needs to encourage public perception of humanity and nature as interdependent and interacting. The systemic nature of these interdependencies and interactions calls for systems approaches and integrated assessment tools. Identifying and modeling the intrinsic properties of the food system that will ensure its essential outcomes are maintained or enhanced over time and across generations, will help organizations and governmental institutions to track progress towards sustainability, and set policies that encourage positive transformations. This paper proposes a conceptual model that articulates crucial vulnerability and resilience factors to global environmental and socio-economic changes, postulating specific food and nutrition security issues as priority outcomes of food systems. By acknowledging the systemic nature of sustainability, this approach allows consideration of causal factor dynamics. In a stepwise approach, a logical application is schematized for three Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, France, and Italy.

  11. Glucocerebrosidase deficiency accelerates the accumulation of proteinase K-resistant α-synuclein and aggravates neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Mari; Fujikake, Nobuhiro; Takeuchi, Toshihide; Kohyama-Koganeya, Ayako; Nakajima, Kazuki; Hirabayashi, Yoshio; Wada, Keiji; Nagai, Yoshitaka

    2015-12-01

    Alpha-synuclein (αSyn) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Recent multicenter genetic studies have revealed that mutations in the glucocerebrosidase 1 (GBA1) gene, which are responsible for Gaucher's disease, are strong risk factors for PD and DLB. However, the mechanistic link between the functional loss of glucocerebrosidase (GCase) and the toxicity of αSyn in vivo is not fully understood. In this study, we employed Drosophila models to examine the effect of GCase deficiency on the neurotoxicity of αSyn and its molecular mechanism. Behavioral and histological analyses showed that knockdown of the Drosophila homolog of GBA1 (dGBA1) exacerbates the locomotor dysfunction, loss of dopaminergic neurons and retinal degeneration of αSyn-expressing flies. This phenotypic aggravation was associated with the accumulation of proteinase K (PK)-resistant αSyn, rather than with changes in the total amount of αSyn, raising the possibility that glucosylceramide (GlcCer), a substrate of GCase, accelerates the misfolding of αSyn. Indeed, in vitro experiments revealed that GlcCer directly promotes the conversion of recombinant αSyn into the PK-resistant form, representing a toxic conformational change. Similar to dGBA1 knockdown, knockdown of the Drosophila homolog of β-galactosidase (β-Gal) also aggravated locomotor dysfunction of the αSyn flies, and its substrate GM1 ganglioside accelerated the formation of PK-resistant αSyn. Our findings suggest that the functional loss of GCase or β-Gal promotes the toxic conversion of αSyn via aberrant interactions between αSyn and their substrate glycolipids, leading to the aggravation of αSyn-mediated neurodegeneration.

  12. Computer modelling in combination with in vitro studies reveals similar binding affinities of Drosophila Crumbs for the PDZ domains of Stardust and DmPar-6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempkens, Ozlem; Médina, Emmanuelle; Fernandez-Ballester, Gregorio; Ozüyaman, Susann; Le Bivic, André; Serrano, Luis; Knust, Elisabeth

    2006-08-01

    Formation of multiprotein complexes is a common theme to pattern a cell, thereby generating spatially and functionally distinct entities at specialised regions. Central components of these complexes are scaffold proteins, which contain several protein-protein interaction domains and provide a platform to recruit a variety of additional components. There is increasing evidence that protein complexes are dynamic structures and that their components can undergo various interactions depending on the cellular context. However, little is known so far about the factors regulating this behaviour. One evolutionarily conserved protein complex, which can be found both in Drosophila and mammalian epithelial cells, is composed of the transmembrane protein Crumbs/Crb3 and the scaffolding proteins Stardust/Pals1 and DPATJ/PATJ, respectively, and localises apically to the zonula adherens. Here we show by in vitro analysis that, similar as in vertebrates, the single PDZ domain of Drosophila DmPar-6 can bind to the four C-terminal amino acids (ERLI) of the transmembrane protein Crumbs. To further evaluate the binding capability of Crumbs to DmPar-6 and the MAGUK protein Stardust, analysis of the PDZ structural database and modelling of the interactions between the C-terminus of Crumbs and the PDZ domains of these two proteins were performed. The results suggest that both PDZ domains bind Crumbs with similar affinities. These data are supported by quantitative yeast two-hybrid interactions. In vivo analysis performed in cell cultures and in the Drosophila embryo show that the cytoplasmic domain of Crumbs can recruit DmPar-6 and DaPKC to the plasma membrane. The data presented here are discussed with respect to possible dynamic interactions between these proteins.

  13. Dietary sugar promotes systemic TOR activation in Drosophila through AKH-dependent selective secretion of Dilp3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung; Neufeld, Thomas P.

    2015-01-01

    Secreted ligands of the insulin family promote cell growth and maintain sugar homeostasis. Insulin release is tightly regulated in response to dietary conditions, but how insulin producing cells (IPCs) coordinate their responses to distinct nutrient signals is unclear. Here, we show that regulation of insulin secretion in Drosophila larvae has been segregated into distinct branches: whereas amino acids promote secretion of Drosophila insulin-like peptide 2 (Dilp2), circulating sugars promote selective release of Dilp3. Dilp3 is uniquely required for sugar-mediated activation of TOR signaling and suppression of autophagy in the larval fat body. Sugar levels are not sensed directly by the IPCs, but rather by the adipokinetic hormone (AKH)-producing cells of the corpora cardiaca, and we demonstrate that AKH signaling is required in the IPCs for sugar-dependent Dilp3 release. Thus, IPCs integrate multiple cues to regulate secretion of distinct insulin subtypes under varying nutrient conditions. PMID:25882208

  14. RNAi and antiviral defense in Drosophila: setting up a systemic immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlikow, Margot; Goic, Bertsy; Saleh, Maria-Carla

    2014-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) controls gene expression in eukaryotic cells and thus, cellular homeostasis. In addition, in plants, nematodes and arthropods it is a central antiviral effector mechanism. Antiviral RNAi has been well described as a cell autonomous response, which is triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules. This dsRNA is the precursor for the silencing of viral RNA in a sequence-specific manner. In plants, systemic antiviral immunity has been demonstrated, however much less is known in animals. Recently, some evidence for a systemic antiviral response in arthropods has come to light. Cell autonomous RNAi may not be sufficient to reach an efficient antiviral response, and the organism might rely on the spread and uptake of an RNAi signal of unknown origin. In this review, we offer a perspective on how RNAi-mediated antiviral immunity could confer systemic protection in insects and we propose directions for future research to understand the mechanism of RNAi-immune signal sorting, spreading and amplification.

  15. A versatile ΦC31 based reporter system for measuring AP-1 and Nrf2 signaling in Drosophila and in tissue culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nirmalya Chatterjee

    Full Text Available This paper describes the construction and characterization of a system of transcriptional reporter genes for monitoring the activity of signaling pathways and gene regulation mechanisms in intact Drosophila, dissected tissues or cultured cells. Transgenic integration of the reporters into the Drosophila germline was performed in a site-directed manner, using ΦC31 integrase. This strategy avoids variable position effects and assures low base level activity and high signal responsiveness. Defined integration sites furthermore enable the experimenter to compare the activity of different reporters in one organism. The reporter constructs have a modular design to facilitate the combination of promoter elements (synthetic transcription factor binding sites or natural regulatory sequences, reporter genes (eGFP, or DsRed.T4, and genomic integration sites. The system was used to analyze and compare the activity and signal response profiles of two stress inducible transcription factors, AP-1 and Nrf2. To complement the transgenic reporter fly lines, tissue culture assays were developed in which the same synthetic ARE and TRE elements control the expression of firefly luciferase.

  16. Effective gene silencing in Drosophila ovarian germline by artificial microRNAs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hailong Wang; YanJun Mu; Dahua Chen

    2011-01-01

    @@ Dear Editor, Drosophila oogenesis is of great interest because it represents an excellent model system to study a number of fascinating biological processes, such as stem cell regulation, germ cell meiosis and oocyte determination, as well as signal interactions between germline and soma.A typical Drosophila ovary is composed of 16-20 ovarioles, each consisting of an anterior functional unit called a germarium and a linear string of differentiated egg chambers posterior to the germarium [1] (Figure 1A and 1B).Drosophila oogenesis initiates at the tip of the germarium, when a germline stem cell (GSC) divides asymmetrically to generate a daughter GSC and a cystoblast that eventually develops into a mature egg [2] (Figure 1C and 1E).

  17. Multiple strategies of oxygen supply in Drosophila malignancies identify tracheogenesis as a novel cancer hallmark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grifoni, Daniela; Sollazzo, Manuela; Fontana, Elisabetta; Froldi, Francesca; Pession, Annalisa

    2015-03-12

    Angiogenesis is the term used to describe all the alterations in blood vessel growth induced by a tumour mass following hypoxic stress. The occurrence of multiple strategies of vessel recruitment favours drug resistance, greatly complicating the treatment of certain tumours. In Drosophila, oxygen is conveyed to the internal organs by the tracheal system, a closed tubular network whose role in cancer growth is so far unexplored. We found that, as observed in human cancers, Drosophila malignant cells suffer from oxygen shortage, release pro-tracheogenic factors, co-opt nearby vessels and get incorporated into the tracheal walls. We also found that the parallelisms observed in cellular behaviours are supported by genetic and molecular conservation. Finally, we identified a molecular circuitry associated with the differentiation of cancer cells into tracheal cells. In summary, our findings identify tracheogenesis as a novel cancer hallmark in Drosophila, further expanding the power of the fly model in cancer research.

  18. Yolk proteins in the male reproductive system of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster: spatial and temporal patterns of expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Magdalena M; Suszczynska, Agnieszka; Kotwica-Rolinska, Joanna; Czerwik, Tomasz; Paterczyk, Bohdan; Polanska, Marta A; Bernatowicz, Piotr; Bebas, Piotr

    2014-04-01

    In insects, spermatozoa develop in the testes as clones of single spermatogonia covered by specialized somatic cyst cells (cc). Upon completion of spermatogenesis, spermatozoa are released to the vas deferens, while the cc remain in the testes and die. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the released spermatozoa first reach the seminal vesicles (SV), the organ where post-testicular maturation begins. Here, we demonstrate the temporal (restricted to the evening and early night hours) accumulation of membranous vesicles containing proteins in the SV lumen of D. melanogaster. When SV vesicles were isolated from the semen and co-incubated with testis-derived spermatozoa in vitro, their contents bound to the spermatozoa along their tails. The proteins of the SV vesicles were then characterized using 2-D electrophoresis. We identified a prominent protein spot of around 45-47 kDa, which disappears from the SV vesicles in the night, i.e. shortly after they appear in the SV lumen. Sequencing of peptides derived from this spot by mass spectrometry revealed identity with three yolk proteins (YP1-3). This unexpected result was confirmed by western blotting, which demonstrated that SV vesicles contain proteins that are immunoreactive with an antibody against D. melanogaster YP1-3. The expression of all yp genes was shown to be a unique feature of testis tissues. Using RNA probes we found that their transcripts localize exclusively to the cc that cover fully developed spermatozoa in the distal part of each testis. Temporally, the expression of yp genes was found to be restricted to a short period during the day and is followed by the evening accumulation of YP proteins in the cc. Immunohistochemical staining confirmed that cc are the source of SV vesicles containing YPs that are released into the SV lumen. These vesicles interact with spermatozoa and as a result, YPs become extrinsic proteins of the sperm membrane. Thus, we describe for the first time the expression of

  19. Modeling Complex Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Boccara, Nino

    2010-01-01

    Modeling Complex Systems, 2nd Edition, explores the process of modeling complex systems, providing examples from such diverse fields as ecology, epidemiology, sociology, seismology, and economics. It illustrates how models of complex systems are built and provides indispensable mathematical tools for studying their dynamics. This vital introductory text is useful for advanced undergraduate students in various scientific disciplines, and serves as an important reference book for graduate students and young researchers. This enhanced second edition includes: . -recent research results and bibliographic references -extra footnotes which provide biographical information on cited scientists who have made significant contributions to the field -new and improved worked-out examples to aid a student’s comprehension of the content -exercises to challenge the reader and complement the material Nino Boccara is also the author of Essentials of Mathematica: With Applications to Mathematics and Physics (Springer, 2007).

  20. Multiple sites of adaptation lead to contrast encoding in the Drosophila olfactory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafaro, Jon

    2016-04-01

    Animals often encounter large increases in odor intensity that can persist for many seconds. These increases in the background odor are often accompanied by increases in the variance of the odor stimulus. Previous studies have shown that a persistent odor stimulus (odor background) results in a decrease in the response to brief odor pulses in the olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). However, the contribution of adapting mechanisms beyond theORNs is not clear. Thus, it is unclear how adaptive mechanisms are distributed within the olfactory circuit and what impact downstream adaptation may have on the encoding of odor stimuli. In this study, adaptation to the same odor stimulus is examined at multiple levels in the well studied and accessibleDrosophilaolfactory system. The responses of theORNs are compared to the responses of the second order, projection neurons (PNs), directly connected to them. Adaptation inPNspike rate was found to be much greater than adaptation in theORNspike rate. This greater adaptation allowsPNs to encode odor contrast (ratio of pulse intensity to background intensity) with little ambiguity. Moreover, distinct neural mechanisms contribute to different aspects of adaptation; adaptation to the background odor is dominated by adaptation in spike generation in bothORNs andPNs, while adaptation to the odor pulse is dominated by changes within olfactory transduction and the glomerulus. These observations suggest that the olfactory system adapts at multiple sites to better match its response gain to stimulus statistics.

  1. Immunohistochemical analysis of a novel dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase-like protein in Drosophila neural circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tzu-An; Liu, Ming-Cheh; Yang, Yuh-Shyong

    2008-02-29

    Sulfotransferase (ST)-catalyzed sulfation plays an important role in various neuronal functions such as homeostasis of catecholamine neurotransmitters and hormones. Drosophila is a popular model for the study of memory and behavioral manifestations because it is able to mimic the intricate neuroregulation and recognition in humans. However, there has been no evidence indicating that cytosolic ST(s) is(are) present in Drosophila. The aim of this study is to investigate whether or not cytosolic ST(s) is(are) expressed in the Drosophila nervous system. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated the presence of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) ST-like protein in Drosophila brain and a sensitive fluorometric assay revealed its sulfating activity toward DHEA. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated this DHEA ST-like protein to be abundant in specific neurons as well as in several bundles of nerve fibers in Drosophila. Clarification of a possible link between ST and a neurotransmitter-mediated effect may eventually aid in designing approaches for alleviating neuronal disorders in humans.

  2. A genetic strategy to measure circulating Drosophila insulin reveals genes regulating insulin production and secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sangbin; Alfa, Ronald W; Topper, Sydni M; Kim, Grace E S; Kockel, Lutz; Kim, Seung K

    2014-08-01

    Insulin is a major regulator of metabolism in metazoans, including the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) suggest a genetic basis for reductions of both insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, phenotypes commonly observed in humans with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To identify molecular functions of genes linked to T2DM risk, we developed a genetic tool to measure insulin-like peptide 2 (Ilp2) levels in Drosophila, a model organism with superb experimental genetics. Our system permitted sensitive quantification of circulating Ilp2, including measures of Ilp2 dynamics during fasting and re-feeding, and demonstration of adaptive Ilp2 secretion in response to insulin receptor haploinsufficiency. Tissue specific dissection of this reduced insulin signaling phenotype revealed a critical role for insulin signaling in specific peripheral tissues. Knockdown of the Drosophila orthologues of human T2DM risk genes, including GLIS3 and BCL11A, revealed roles of these Drosophila genes in Ilp2 production or secretion. Discovery of Drosophila mechanisms and regulators controlling in vivo insulin dynamics should accelerate functional dissection of diabetes genetics.

  3. A pulsed magnetic stress applied to Drosophila melanogaster flies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delle Side, D.; Bozzetti, M. P.; Friscini, A.; Giuffreda, E.; Nassisi, V.; Specchia, V.; Velardi, L.

    2014-04-01

    We report the development of a system to feed pulsed magnetic stress to biological samples. The device is based on a RLC circuit that transforms the energy stored in a high voltage capacitor into a magnetic field inside a coil. The field has been characterized and we found that charging the capacitor with 24 kV results in a peak field of 0.4 T. In order to test its effect, we applied such a stress to the Drosophila melanogaster model and we examined its bio-effects. We analysed, in the germ cells, the effects on the control of specific DNA repetitive sequences that are activated after different environmental stresses. The deregulation of these sequences causes genomic instability and chromosomes breaks leading to sterility. The magnetic field treatment did not produce effects on repetitive sequences in the germ cells of Drosophila. Hence, this field doesn't produce deleterious effects linked to repetitive sequences derepression.

  4. CRISPR/Cas9 and genome editing in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassett, Andrew R; Liu, Ji-Long

    2014-01-20

    Recent advances in our ability to design DNA binding factors with specificity for desired sequences have resulted in a revolution in genetic engineering, enabling directed changes to the genome to be made relatively easily. Traditional techniques for generating genetic mutations in most organisms have relied on selection from large pools of randomly induced mutations for those of particular interest, or time-consuming gene targeting by homologous recombination. Drosophila melanogaster has always been at the forefront of genetic analysis, and application of these new genome editing techniques to this organism will revolutionise our approach to performing analysis of gene function in the future. We discuss the recent techniques that apply the CRISPR/Cas9 system to Drosophila, highlight potential uses for this technology and speculate upon the future of genome engineering in this model organism.

  5. Spindle mechanics and dynamics during mitosis in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Mijung; Scholey, Jonathan M

    2004-04-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model for studying mitosis. Syncytial embryos are amenable to time-lapse imaging of hundreds of synchronously dividing spindles, allowing the quantitation of spindle and chromosome dynamics with unprecedented fidelity. Other Drosophila cell types, including neuroblasts, cultured cells, spermatocytes and oocytes, contain spindles that differ in their design, providing cells amenable to different types of experiments and allowing identification of common core mechanisms. The function of mitotic proteins can be studied using mutants, inhibitor microinjection and RNA interference (RNAi) to identify the full inventory of mitotic proteins encoded by the genome. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how ensembles of mitotic proteins coordinate spindle assembly and chromosome motion in this system.

  6. Distributed generation systems model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barklund, C.R.

    1994-12-31

    A slide presentation is given on a distributed generation systems model developed at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, and its application to a situation within the Idaho Power Company`s service territory. The objectives of the work were to develop a screening model for distributed generation alternatives, to develop a better understanding of distributed generation as a utility resource, and to further INEL`s understanding of utility concerns in implementing technological change.

  7. Drosophila and experimental neurology in the post-genomic era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulman, Joshua M

    2015-12-01

    For decades, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been among the premiere genetic model systems for probing fundamental neurobiology, including elucidation of mechanisms responsible for human neurologic disorders. Flies continue to offer virtually unparalleled versatility and speed for genetic manipulation, strong genomic conservation, and a nervous system that recapitulates a range of cellular and network properties relevant to human disease. I focus here on four critical challenges emerging from recent advances in our understanding of the genomic basis of human neurologic disorders where innovative experimental strategies are urgently needed: (1) pinpointing causal genes from associated genomic loci; (2) confirming the functional impact of allelic variants; (3) elucidating nervous system roles for novel or poorly studied genes; and (4) probing network interactions within implicated regulatory pathways. Drosophila genetic approaches are ideally suited to address each of these potential translational roadblocks, and will therefore contribute to mechanistic insights and potential breakthrough therapies for complex genetic disorders in the coming years. Strategic collaboration between neurologists, human geneticists, and the Drosophila research community holds great promise to accelerate progress in the post-genomic era.

  8. Modeling the earth system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ojima, D. [ed.

    1992-12-31

    The 1990 Global Change Institute (GCI) on Earth System Modeling is the third of a series organized by the Office for Interdisciplinary Earth Studies to look in depth at particular issues critical to developing a better understanding of the earth system. The 1990 GCI on Earth System Modeling was organized around three themes: defining critical gaps in the knowledge of the earth system, developing simplified working models, and validating comprehensive system models. This book is divided into three sections that reflect these themes. Each section begins with a set of background papers offering a brief tutorial on the subject, followed by working group reports developed during the institute. These reports summarize the joint ideas and recommendations of the participants and bring to bear the interdisciplinary perspective that imbued the institute. Since the conclusion of the 1990 Global Change Institute, research programs, nationally and internationally, have moved forward to implement a number of the recommendations made at the institute, and many of the participants have maintained collegial interactions to develop research projects addressing the needs identified during the two weeks in Snowmass.

  9. Circadian control of dendrite morphology in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paweł Weber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the first optic neuropil (lamina of the fly's visual system, monopolar cells L1 and L2 and glia show circadian rhythms in morphological plasticity. They change their size and shape during the day and night. The most pronounced changes have been detected in circadian size of the L2 axons. Looking for a functional significance of the circadian plasticity observed in axons, we examined the morphological plasticity of the L2 dendrites. They extend from axons and harbor postsynaptic sites of tetrad synaptic contacts from the photoreceptor terminals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The plasticity of L2 dendrites was evaluated by measuring an outline of the L2 dendritic trees. These were from confocal images of cross sections of L2 cells labeled with GFP. They were in wild-type and clock mutant flies held under different light conditions and sacrified at different time points. We found that the L2 dendrites are longest at the beginning of the day in both males and females. This rhythm observed under a day/night regime (LD was maintained in constant darkness (DD but not in continuous light (LL. This rhythm was not present in the arrhythmic per(01 mutant in LD or in DD. In the clock photoreceptor cry(b mutant the rhythm was maintained but its pattern was different than that observed in wild-type flies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results obtained showed that the L2 dendrites exhibit circadian structural plasticity. Their morphology is controlled by the per gene-dependent circadian clock. The L2 dendrites are longest at the beginning of the day when the daytime tetrad presynaptic sites are most numerous and L2 axons are swollen. The presence of the rhythm, but with a different pattern in cry(b mutants in LD and DD indicates a new role of cry in the visual system. The new role is in maintaining the circadian pattern of changes of the L2 dendrite length and shape.

  10. A conserved transcriptional network regulates lamina development in the Drosophila visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piñeiro, Cristina; Lopes, Carla S; Casares, Fernando

    2014-07-01

    The visual system of insects is a multilayered structure composed externally by the compound eye and internally by the three ganglia of the optic lobe: lamina, medulla and the lobula complex. The differentiation of lamina neurons depends heavily on Hedgehog (Hh) signaling, which is delivered by the incoming photoreceptor axons, and occurs in a wave-like fashion. Despite the primary role of lamina neurons in visual perception, it is still unclear how these neurons are specified from neuroepithelial (NE) progenitors. Here we show that a homothorax (hth)-eyes absent (eya)-sine oculis (so)-dachshund (dac) gene regulatory cassette is involved in this specification. Lamina neurons differentiate from NE progenitors that express hth, eya and so. One of the first events in the differentiation of lamina neurons is the upregulation of dac expression in response to Hh signaling. We show that this dac upregulation, which marks the transition from NE progenitors into lamina precursors, also requires Eya/So, the expression of which is locked in by mutual feedback. dac expression is crucial for lamina differentiation because it ensures repression of hth, a negative regulator of single-minded, and thus dac allows further lamina neuron differentiation. Therefore, the specification of lamina neurons is controlled by coupling the cell-autonomous hth-eya-so-dac regulatory cassette to Hh signaling.

  11. Effect of bromocriptine alginate nanocomposite (BANC on a transgenic Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasir Hasan Siddique

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The effect of bromocriptine, a dopamine agonist, administered in the form of bromocriptine alginate nanocomposite (BANC was studied on Parkinson's disease (PD model flies. The synthesized BANC was subject to characterization and, at a final concentration of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 µM, was mixed in diet. The PD flies were allowed to feed on it for 24 days. A significant dose-dependent delay in the loss of climbing activity and activity pattern was observed in PD flies exposed to 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 µM BANC. The PD flies exposed to BANC also showed a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation and glutathione-S-transferase activity, and an increase in glutathione content. However, no gross morphological changes were observed in the brains of PD flies compared with controls. The results suggest that BANC is effective in reducing the PD symptoms in these transgenic flies.

  12. DeadEasy caspase: automatic counting of apoptotic cells in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel G Forero

    Full Text Available Development, cancer, neurodegenerative and demyelinating diseases, injury, and stem cell manipulations are characterised by alterations in cell number. Research into development, disease, and the effects of drugs require cell number counts. These are generally indirect estimates, because counting cells in an animal or organ is paradoxically difficult, as well as being tedious and unmanageable. Drosophila is a powerful model organism used to investigate the genetic bases of development and disease. There are Drosophila models for multiple neurodegenerative diseases, characterised by an increase in cell death. However, a fast, reliable, and accurate way to count the number of dying cells in vivo is not available. Here, we present a method based on image filtering and mathematical morphology techniques, to count automatically the number of dying cells in intact fruit-fly embryos. We call the resulting programme DeadEasy Caspase. It has been validated for Drosophila and we present examples of its power to address biological questions. Quantification is automatic, accurate, objective, and very fast. DeadEasy Caspase will be freely available as an ImageJ plug-in, and it can be modified for use in other sample types. It is of interest to the Drosophila and wider biomedical communities. DeadEasy Caspase is a powerful tool for the analysis of cell survival and cell death in development and in disease, such as neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. Combined with the power of Drosophila genetics, DeadEasy expands the tools that enable the use of Drosophila to analyse gene function, model disease and test drugs in the intact nervous system and whole animal.

  13. An age-related reduction of brain TBPH/TDP-43 levels precedes the onset of locomotion defects in a Drosophila ALS model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cragnaz, L; Klima, R; De Conti, L; Romano, G; Feiguin, F; Buratti, E; Baralle, M; Baralle, F E

    2015-12-17

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. The average age of onset of both sporadic and familial cases is 50-60 years of age. The presence of cytoplasmic inclusions of the RNA-binding protein TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) in the affected neurons is seen in 95% of the ALS cases, which results in TDP-43 nuclear clearance and loss of function. The Drosophila melanogaster ortholog of TDP-43 (TBPH) shares many characteristics with the human protein. Using a TDP-43 aggregation inducer previously developed in human cells, we created a transgenic fly that shows an adult locomotive defect. Phenotype onset correlates with a physiologically age-related drop of TDP-43/TBPH mRNA and protein levels, seen both in mice and flies. Artificial reduction of mRNA levels, in vivo, anticipates the locomotion defect to the larval stage. Our study links, for the first time, aggregation and the age-related, evolutionary conserved reduction of TDP-43/TBPH levels with the onset of an ALS-like locomotion defect in a Drosophila model. A similar process might trigger the human disease. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Supplementation of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) Improves Lifespan and Locomotor Activity in Paraquat-Sensitive DJ-1β(Δ93) Flies, a Parkinson's Disease Model in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ajay; Christian, Pearl K; Panchal, Komal; Guruprasad, B R; Tiwari, Anand K

    2017-09-03

    Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) consumed by humans and other animals because of its nutritional values and pharmacological properties. Apart from high protein contents, it also contains high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as carotenoids, β-carotene, phycocyanin, and phycocyanobilin, indicating its possible pharmaco-therapeutic utility. In the present study using DJ-1β(Δ93) flies, a Parkinson's disease model in Drosophila, we have demonstrated the therapeutic effect of spirulina and its active component C-phycocyanin (C-PC) in the improvement of lifespan and locomotor behavior. Our findings indicate that dietary supplementation of spirulina significantly improves the lifespan and locomotor activity of paraquat-fed DJ-1β(Δ93) flies. Furthermore, supplementation of spirulina and C-PC individually and independently reduced the cellular stress marked by deregulating the expression of heat shock protein 70 and Jun-N-terminal kinase signaling in DJ-1β(Δ93) flies. A significant decrease in superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in spirulina-fed DJ-1β(Δ93) flies tends to indicate the involvement of antioxidant properties associated with spirulina in the modulation of stress-induced signaling and improvement in lifespan and locomotor activity in Drosophila DJ-1β(Δ93) flies. Our results suggest that antioxidant boosting properties of spirulina can be used as a nutritional supplement for improving the lifespan and locomotor behavior in Parkinson's disease.

  15. Genetic inhibition of solute-linked carrier 39 family transporter 1 ameliorates aβ pathology in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minglin Lang

    Full Text Available The aggregation or oligomerization of amyloid-β (Aβ peptide is thought to be the primary causative event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD. Considerable in vitro evidence indicates that the aggregation/oligomerization of Aβ is promoted in the presence of Zn; however, the functional role of Zn in AD pathogenesis is still not well clarified in vivo. Zn is imported into the brain mainly through the solute-linked carrier (Slc 39 family transporters. Using a genetically tractable Drosophila model, we found that the expression of dZip1, the orthologue of human Slc39 family transporter hZip1 in Drosophila, was altered in the brains of Aβ42-expressing flies, and Zn homeostasis could be modulated by forcible dZip1 expression changes. An array of phenotypes associated with Aβ expression could be modified by altering dZip1 expression. Importantly, Aβ42 fibril deposits as well as its SDS-soluble form were dramatically reduced upon dZip1 inhibition, resulting in less neurodegeneration, significantly improved cognitive performance, and prolonged lifespan of the Aβ42-transgenic flies. These findings suggest that zinc contributes significantly to the Aβ pathology, and manipulation of zinc transporters in AD brains may provide a novel therapeutic strategy.

  16. Mechanical Systems, Classical Models

    CERN Document Server

    Teodorescu, Petre P

    2009-01-01

    This third volume completes the Work Mechanical Systems, Classical Models. The first two volumes dealt with particle dynamics and with discrete and continuous mechanical systems. The present volume studies analytical mechanics. Topics like Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, the Hamilton-Jacobi method, and a study of systems with separate variables are thoroughly discussed. Also included are variational principles and canonical transformations, integral invariants and exterior differential calculus, and particular attention is given to non-holonomic mechanical systems. The author explains in detail all important aspects of the science of mechanics, regarded as a natural science, and shows how they are useful in understanding important natural phenomena and solving problems of interest in applied and engineering sciences. Professor Teodorescu has spent more than fifty years as a Professor of Mechanics at the University of Bucharest and this book relies on the extensive literature on the subject as well as th...

  17. A Drosophila Model of Neuronopathic Gaucher Disease Demonstrates Lysosomal-Autophagic Defects and Altered mTOR Signalling and Is Functionally Rescued by Rapamycin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grönke, Sebastian; Castillo-Quan, Jorge Iván; Woodling, Nathaniel S.; Li, Li; Sirka, Ernestas; Gegg, Matthew; Mills, Kevin; Hardy, John; Bjedov, Ivana

    2016-01-01

    Glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) mutations are associated with Gaucher disease (GD), an autosomal recessive disorder caused by functional deficiency of glucocerebrosidase (GBA), a lysosomal enzyme that hydrolyzes glucosylceramide to ceramide and glucose. Neuronopathic forms of GD can be associated with rapid neurological decline (Type II) or manifest as a chronic form (Type III) with a wide spectrum of neurological signs. Furthermore, there is now a well-established link between GBA1 mutations and Parkinson's disease (PD), with heterozygote mutations in GBA1 considered the commonest genetic defect in PD. Here we describe a novel Drosophila model of GD that lacks the two fly GBA1 orthologs. This knock-out model recapitulates the main features of GD at the cellular level with severe lysosomal defects and accumulation of glucosylceramide in the fly brain. We also demonstrate a block in autophagy flux in association with reduced lifespan, age-dependent locomotor deficits and accumulation of autophagy substrates in dGBA-deficient fly brains. Furthermore, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling is downregulated in dGBA knock-out flies, with a concomitant upregulation of Mitf gene expression, the fly ortholog of mammalian TFEB, likely as a compensatory response to the autophagy block. Moreover, the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin is able to partially ameliorate the lifespan, locomotor, and oxidative stress phenotypes. Together, our results demonstrate that this dGBA1-deficient fly model is a useful platform for the further study of the role of lysosomal-autophagic impairment and the potential therapeutic benefits of rapamycin in neuronopathic GD. These results also have important implications for the role of autophagy and mTOR signaling in GBA1-associated PD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We developed a Drosophila model of neuronopathic GD by knocking-out the fly orthologs of the GBA1 gene, demonstrating abnormal lysosomal pathology in the fly brain. Functioning lysosomes are

  18. Coordinated development of muscles and tendon-like structures: early interactions in the Drosophila leg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    cedric esoler

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The formation of the musculoskeletal system is a remarkable example of tissue assembly. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, precise connectivity between muscles and skeleton (or exoskeleton via tendons or equivalent structures is fundamental for movement and stability of the body. The molecular and cellular processes underpinning muscle formation are well established and significant advances have been made in understanding tendon development. However, the mechanisms contributing to proper connection between these two tissues have received less attention. Observations of coordinated development of tendons and muscles suggest these tissues may interact during the different steps in their development. There is growing evidence that, depending on animal model and muscle type, these interactions can take place from progenitor induction to the final step of the formation of the musculoskeletal system. Here we briefly review and compare the mechanisms behind muscle and tendon interaction throughout the development of vertebrates and Drosophila before going on to discuss our recent findings on the coordinated development of muscles and tendon-like structures in Drosophila leg. By altering apodeme formation (the functional Drosophila equivalent of tendons in vertebrates during the early steps of leg development, we affect the spatial localisation of subsequent myoblasts. These findings provide the first evidence of the developmental impact of early interactions between muscle and tendon-like precursors, and confirm the appendicular Drosophila muscle system as a valuable model for studying these processes.

  19. NEP systems model

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Jeffrey A.

    A new nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems analysis code is discussed. The new code is modular and consists of a driver code and various subsystem models. The code models five different subsystems: (1) reactor/shield; (2) power conversion; (3) heat rejection; (4) power management and distribution (PMAD); and (5) thrusters. The code optimizes for the following design criteria: minimum mass; minimum radiator area; and low mass/low area. The code also optimizes the following parameters: separation distance; temperature ratio; pressure ratio; and transmission frequency. The discussion is presented in vugraph form.

  20. TIF-IA-dependent regulation of ribosome synthesis in drosophila muscle is required to maintain systemic insulin signaling and larval growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Abhishek; Rideout, Elizabeth J; Grewal, Savraj S

    2014-10-01

    The conserved TOR kinase signaling network links nutrient availability to cell, tissue and body growth in animals. One important growth-regulatory target of TOR signaling is ribosome biogenesis. Studies in yeast and mammalian cell culture have described how TOR controls rRNA synthesis-a limiting step in ribosome biogenesis-via the RNA Polymerase I transcription factor TIF-IA. However, the contribution of TOR-dependent ribosome synthesis to tissue and body growth in animals is less clear. Here we show in Drosophila larvae that ribosome synthesis in muscle is required non-autonomously to maintain normal body growth and development. We find that amino acid starvation and TOR inhibition lead to reduced levels of TIF-IA, and decreased rRNA synthesis in larval muscle. When we mimic this decrease in muscle ribosome synthesis using RNAi-mediated knockdown of TIF-IA, we observe delayed larval development and reduced body growth. This reduction in growth is caused by lowered systemic insulin signaling via two endocrine responses: reduced expression of Drosophila insulin-like peptides (dILPs) from the brain and increased expression of Imp-L2-a secreted factor that binds and inhibits dILP activity-from muscle. We also observed that maintaining TIF-IA levels in muscle could partially reverse the starvation-mediated suppression of systemic insulin signaling. Finally, we show that activation of TOR specifically in muscle can increase overall body size and this effect requires TIF-IA function. These data suggest that muscle ribosome synthesis functions as a nutrient-dependent checkpoint for overall body growth: in nutrient rich conditions, TOR is required to maintain levels of TIF-IA and ribosome synthesis to promote high levels of systemic insulin, but under conditions of starvation stress, reduced muscle ribosome synthesis triggers an endocrine response that limits systemic insulin signaling to restrict growth and maintain homeostasis.

  1. National Energy Modeling System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skinner, C.W. (Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC (United States))

    1993-01-01

    The Energy Information Administration is developing a new National Energy Modeling System to provide annual forecasts of energy supply, demand, and prices on a regional basis in the United States and, to a limited extent, in the rest of the world. The design for the system was based on a requirements analysis, a comparison of requirements with existing modeling capabilities, and a series of widely circulated issue papers defining the choices and tradeoffs for 13 key design decisions. An initial prototpye of the new NEMS was implemented in late 1992, with a more complete, operational version in 1993. NEMS is expected to provide EIA and other users with a greatly enhanced ability to illustrate quickly and effectively the effects of a wide range of energy policy proposals.

  2. Drosophila's view on insect vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borst, Alexander

    2009-01-13

    Within the last 400 million years, insects have radiated into at least a million species, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms: they are the most successful group in the animal kingdom, found in almost all environments of the planet, ranging in body size from a mere 0.1 mm up to half a meter. Their eyes, together with the respective parts of the nervous system dedicated to the processing of visual information, have long been the subject of intense investigation but, with the exception of some very basic reflexes, it is still not possible to link an insect's visual input to its behavioral output. Fortunately for the field, the fruit fly Drosophila is an insect, too. This genetic workhorse holds great promise for the insect vision field, offering the possibility of recording, suppressing or stimulating any single neuron in its nervous system. Here, I shall give a brief synopsis of what we currently know about insect vision, describe the genetic toolset available in Drosophila and give some recent examples of how the application of these tools have furthered our understanding of color and motion vision in Drosophila.

  3. Modeling Novo Nordisk Production Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miller, Thomas Dedenroth

    1997-01-01

    This report describes attributes of models and systems, and how models can be used for description of production systems. There are special attention on the 'Theory of Domains'.......This report describes attributes of models and systems, and how models can be used for description of production systems. There are special attention on the 'Theory of Domains'....

  4. Neural circuit architecture defects in a Drosophila model of Fragile X syndrome are alleviated by minocycline treatment and genetic removal of matrix metalloproteinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saul S. Siller

    2011-09-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS, caused by loss of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 product (FMRP, is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. FXS patients suffer multiple behavioral symptoms, including hyperactivity, disrupted circadian cycles, and learning and memory deficits. Recently, a study in the mouse FXS model showed that the tetracycline derivative minocycline effectively remediates the disease state via a proposed matrix metalloproteinase (MMP inhibition mechanism. Here, we use the well-characterized Drosophila FXS model to assess the effects of minocycline treatment on multiple neural circuit morphological defects and to investigate the MMP hypothesis. We first treat Drosophila Fmr1 (dfmr1 null animals with minocycline to assay the effects on mutant synaptic architecture in three disparate locations: the neuromuscular junction (NMJ, clock neurons in the circadian activity circuit and Kenyon cells in the mushroom body learning and memory center. We find that minocycline effectively restores normal synaptic structure in all three circuits, promising therapeutic potential for FXS treatment. We next tested the MMP hypothesis by assaying the effects of overexpressing the sole Drosophila tissue inhibitor of MMP (TIMP in dfmr1 null mutants. We find that TIMP overexpression effectively prevents defects in the NMJ synaptic architecture in dfmr1 mutants. Moreover, co-removal of dfmr1 similarly rescues TIMP overexpression phenotypes, including cellular tracheal defects and lethality. To further test the MMP hypothesis, we generated dfmr1;mmp1 double null mutants. Null mmp1 mutants are 100% lethal and display cellular tracheal defects, but co-removal of dfmr1 allows adult viability and prevents tracheal defects. Conversely, co-removal of mmp1 ameliorates the NMJ synaptic architecture defects in dfmr1 null mutants, despite the lack of detectable difference in MMP1 expression or gelatinase activity between the single

  5. Transactivation Domain of Human c-Myc Is Essential to Alleviate Poly(Q)-Mediated Neurotoxicity in Drosophila Disease Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Kritika; Sarkar, Surajit

    2017-03-18

    Polyglutamine (poly(Q)) disorders, such as Huntington's disease (HD) and spinocerebellar ataxias, represent a group of neurological disorders which arise due to an atypically expanded poly(Q) tract in the coding region of the affected gene. Pathogenesis of these disorders inside the cells begins with the assembly of these mutant proteins in the form of insoluble inclusion bodies (IBs), which progressively sequester several vital cellular transcription factors and other essential proteins, and finally leads to neuronal dysfunction and apoptosis. We have shown earlier that targeted upregulation of Drosophila myc (dmyc) dominantly suppresses the poly(Q) toxicity in Drosophila. The present study examines the ability of the human c-myc proto-oncogene and also identifies the specific c-Myc isoform which drives the mitigation of poly(Q)-mediated neurotoxicity, so that it could be further substantiated as a potential drug target. We report for the first time that similar to dmyc, tissue-specific induced expression of human c-myc also suppresses poly(Q)-mediated neurotoxicity by an analogous mechanism. Among the three isoforms of c-Myc, the rescue potential was maximally manifested by the full-length c-Myc2 protein, followed by c-Myc1, but not by c-MycS which lacks the transactivation domain. Our study suggests that strategies focussing on the transactivation domain of c-Myc could be a very useful approach to design novel drug molecules against poly(Q) disorders.

  6. Posterior gut development in Drosophila:a model system for identifying genes controlling epithelial morphogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LENGYELJUEITHA; SUEJUNLIU

    1998-01-01

    The posterior gut of the Drosophila embryo,consisting of hindgut and Malpighian tubules,provides a simple,well-defined system where it is possible to use a genetic approach to define components essential for epithelial morphogenesis.We review here the advantages of Drosophila as a model genetic organism,the morphogenesis of the epithelial structures of the posterior gut,and what is known about the genetic requirements to form these structures.In overview,primordia are patterned by expression of hierarchies of transcription factors;this leads to localized expression of cell signaling molecules,and finally,to the least understood step:modulation of cell adhesion and cell shape.We describe approaches to identify additional genes that are required for morphogenesis of these simple epithelia,particularly those that might play a structural role by affecting cell adhesion and cell shape.

  7. Stathmin is required for stability of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, Ethan R; Heerssen, Heather M; Wright, Christina M; Davis, Graeme W; DiAntonio, Aaron

    2011-10-19

    Synaptic connections can be stably maintained for prolonged periods, yet can be rapidly disassembled during the developmental refinement of neural circuitry and following cytological insults that lead to neurodegeneration. To date, the molecular mechanisms that determine whether a synapse will persist versus being remodeled or eliminated remain poorly understood. Mutations in Drosophila stathmin were isolated in two independent genetic screens that sought mutations leading to impaired synapse stability at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here we demonstrate that Stathmin, a protein that associates with microtubules and can function as a point of signaling integration, is necessary to maintain the stability of the Drosophila NMJ. We show that Stathmin protein is widely distributed within motoneurons and that loss of Stathmin causes impaired NMJ growth and stability. In addition, we show that stathmin mutants display evidence of defective axonal transport, a common feature associated with neuronal degeneration and altered synapse stability. The disassembly of the NMJ in stathmin includes a predictable sequence of cytological events, suggesting that a common program of synapse disassembly is induced following the loss of Stathmin protein. These data define a required function for Stathmin during synapse maintenance in a model system in which there is only a single stathmin gene, enabling future genetic investigation of Stathmin function with potential relevance to the cause and progression of neuromuscular degenerative disease.

  8. Dopamine modulates metabolic rate and temperature sensitivity in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taro Ueno

    Full Text Available Homeothermal animals, such as mammals, maintain their body temperature by heat generation and heat dissipation, while poikilothermal animals, such as insects, accomplish it by relocating to an environment of their favored temperature. Catecholamines are known to regulate thermogenesis and metabolic rate in mammals, but their roles in other animals are poorly understood. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been used as a model system for the genetic studies of temperature preference behavior. Here, we demonstrate that metabolic rate and temperature sensitivity of some temperature sensitive behaviors are regulated by dopamine in Drosophila. Temperature-sensitive molecules like dTrpA1 and shi(ts induce temperature-dependent behavioral changes, and the temperature at which the changes are induced were lowered in the dopamine transporter-defective mutant, fumin. The mutant also displays a preference for lower temperatures. This thermophobic phenotype was rescued by the genetic recovery of the dopamine transporter in dopamine neurons. Flies fed with a dopamine biosynthesis inhibitor (3-iodo-L-tyrosine, which diminishes dopamine signaling, exhibited preference for a higher temperature. Furthermore, we found that the metabolic rate is up-regulated in the fumin mutant. Taken together, dopamine has functions in the temperature sensitivity of behavioral changes and metabolic rate regulation in Drosophila, as well as its previously reported functions in arousal/sleep regulation.

  9. On the mechanics of cardiac function of Drosophila embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Mingming; Sato, Thomas N

    2008-01-01

    The heart is a vital organ that provides essential circulation throughout the body. Malfunction of cardiac pumping, thus, leads to serious and most of the times, to fatal diseases. Mechanics of cardiac pumping is a complex process, and many experimental and theoretical approaches have been undertaken to understand this process. We have taken advantage of the simplicity of the embryonic heart of an invertebrate, Drosophila melanogaster, to understand the fundamental mechanics of the beating heart. We applied a live imaging technique to the beating embryonic heart combined with analytical imaging tools to study the dynamic mechanics of the pumping. Furthermore, we have identified one mutant line that exhibits aberrant pumping mechanics. The Drosophila embryonic heart consists of only 104 cardiac cells forming a simple straight tube that can be easily accessed for real-time imaging. Therefore, combined with the wealth of available genetic tools, the embryonic Drosophila heart may serve as a powerful model system for studies of human heart diseases, such as arrhythmia and congenital heart diseases. We, furthermore, believe our mechanistic data provides important information that is useful for our further understanding of the design of biological structure and function and for engineering the pumps for medical uses.

  10. System of systems modeling and analysis.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, James E.; Anderson, Dennis James; Longsine, Dennis E. (Intera, Inc., Austin, TX); Shirah, Donald N.

    2005-01-01

    This report documents the results of an LDRD program entitled 'System of Systems Modeling and Analysis' that was conducted during FY 2003 and FY 2004. Systems that themselves consist of multiple systems (referred to here as System of Systems or SoS) introduce a level of complexity to systems performance analysis and optimization that is not readily addressable by existing capabilities. The objective of the 'System of Systems Modeling and Analysis' project was to develop an integrated modeling and simulation environment that addresses the complex SoS modeling and analysis needs. The approach to meeting this objective involved two key efforts. First, a static analysis approach, called state modeling, has been developed that is useful for analyzing the average performance of systems over defined use conditions. The state modeling capability supports analysis and optimization of multiple systems and multiple performance measures or measures of effectiveness. The second effort involves time simulation which represents every system in the simulation using an encapsulated state model (State Model Object or SMO). The time simulation can analyze any number of systems including cross-platform dependencies and a detailed treatment of the logistics required to support the systems in a defined mission.

  11. A knock-in model of human epilepsy in Drosophila reveals a novel cellular mechanism associated with heat-induced seizure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lei; Gilligan, Jeff; Staber, Cynthia; Schutte, Ryan J; Nguyen, Vivian; O'Dowd, Diane K; Reenan, Robert

    2012-10-10

    Over 40 missense mutations in the human SCN1A sodium channel gene are linked to an epilepsy syndrome termed genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). Inheritance of GEFS+ is dominant, but the underlying cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we report that knock-in of a GEFS+ SCN1A mutation (K1270T) into the Drosophila sodium channel gene, para, causes a semidominant temperature-induced seizure phenotype. Electrophysiological studies of GABAergic interneurons in the brains of adult GEFS+ flies reveal a novel cellular mechanism underlying heat-induced seizures: the deactivation threshold for persistent sodium currents reversibly shifts to a more negative voltage when the temperature is elevated. This leads to sustained depolarizations in GABAergic neurons and reduced inhibitory activity in the central nervous system. Furthermore, our data indicate a natural temperature-dependent shift in sodium current deactivation (exacerbated by mutation) may contribute to febrile seizures in GEFS+ and perhaps normal individuals.

  12. The role of carcinine in signaling at the Drosophila photoreceptor synapse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan A Gavin

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The Drosophila melanogaster photoreceptor cell has long served as a model system for researchers focusing on how animal sensory neurons receive information from their surroundings and translate this information into chemical and electrical messages. Electroretinograph (ERG analysis of Drosophila mutants has helped to elucidate some of the genes involved in the visual transduction pathway downstream of the photoreceptor cell, and it is now clear that photoreceptor cell signaling is dependent upon the proper release and recycling of the neurotransmitter histamine. While the neurotransmitter transporters responsible for clearing histamine, and its metabolite carcinine, from the synaptic cleft have remained unknown, a strong candidate for a transporter of either substrate is the uncharacterized inebriated protein. The inebriated gene (ine encodes a putative neurotransmitter transporter that has been localized to photoreceptor cells in Drosophila and mutations in ine result in an abnormal ERG phenotype in Drosophila. Loss-of-function mutations in ebony, a gene required for the synthesis of carcinine in Drosophila, suppress components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype, while loss-of-function mutations in tan, a gene necessary for the hydrolysis of carcinine in Drosophila, have no effect on the ERG phenotype in ine mutants. We also show that by feeding wild-type flies carcinine, we can duplicate components of mutant ine ERGs. Finally, we demonstrate that treatment with H(3 receptor agonists or inverse agonists rescue several components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype. Here, we provide pharmacological and genetic epistatic evidence that ine encodes a carcinine neurotransmitter transporter. We also speculate that the oscillations observed in mutant ine ERG traces are the result of the aberrant activity of a putative H(3 receptor.

  13. Drosophila SMN complex proteins Gemin2, Gemin3, and Gemin5 are components of U bodies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cauchi, Ruben J.; Sanchez-Pulido, Luis [MRC Functional Genomics Unit, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QX (United Kingdom); Liu, Ji-Long, E-mail: jilong.liu@dpag.ox.ac.uk [MRC Functional Genomics Unit, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QX (United Kingdom)

    2010-08-15

    Uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (U snRNPs) play key roles in pre-mRNA processing in the nucleus. The assembly of most U snRNPs takes place in the cytoplasm and is facilitated by the survival motor neuron (SMN) complex. Discrete cytoplasmic RNA granules called U bodies have been proposed to be specific sites for snRNP assembly because they contain U snRNPs and SMN. U bodies invariably associate with P bodies, which are involved in mRNA decay and translational control. However, it remains unknown whether other SMN complex proteins also localise to U bodies. In Drosophila there are four SMN complex proteins, namely SMN, Gemin2/CG10419, Gemin3 and Gemin5/Rigor mortis. Drosophila Gemin3 was originally identified as the Drosophila orthologue of human and yeast Dhh1, a component of P bodies. Through an in silico analysis of the DEAD-box RNA helicases we confirmed that Gemin3 is the bona fide Drosophila orthologue of vertebrate Gemin3 whereas the Drosophila orthologue of Dhh1 is Me31B. We then made use of the Drosophila egg chamber as a model system to study the subcellular distribution of the Gemin proteins as well as Me31B. Our cytological investigations show that Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5 colocalise with SMN in U bodies. Although they are excluded from P bodies, as components of U bodies, Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5 are consistently found associated with P bodies, wherein Me31B resides. In addition to a role in snRNP biogenesis, SMN complexes residing in U bodies may also be involved in mRNP assembly and/or transport.

  14. The role of carcinine in signaling at the Drosophila photoreceptor synapse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan A Gavin

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The Drosophila melanogaster photoreceptor cell has long served as a model system for researchers focusing on how animal sensory neurons receive information from their surroundings and translate this information into chemical and electrical messages. Electroretinograph (ERG analysis of Drosophila mutants has helped to elucidate some of the genes involved in the visual transduction pathway downstream of the photoreceptor cell, and it is now clear that photoreceptor cell signaling is dependent upon the proper release and recycling of the neurotransmitter histamine. While the neurotransmitter transporters responsible for clearing histamine, and its metabolite carcinine, from the synaptic cleft have remained unknown, a strong candidate for a transporter of either substrate is the uncharacterized inebriated protein. The inebriated gene (ine encodes a putative neurotransmitter transporter that has been localized to photoreceptor cells in Drosophila and mutations in ine result in an abnormal ERG phenotype in Drosophila. Loss-of-function mutations in ebony, a gene required for the synthesis of carcinine in Drosophila, suppress components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype, while loss-of-function mutations in tan, a gene necessary for the hydrolysis of carcinine in Drosophila, have no effect on the ERG phenotype in ine mutants. We also show that by feeding wild-type flies carcinine, we can duplicate components of mutant ine ERGs. Finally, we demonstrate that treatment with H(3 receptor agonists or inverse agonists rescue several components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype. Here, we provide pharmacological and genetic epistatic evidence that ine encodes a carcinine neurotransmitter transporter. We also speculate that the oscillations observed in mutant ine ERG traces are the result of the aberrant activity of a putative H(3 receptor.

  15. Drosophila MOF controls Checkpoint protein2 and regulates genomic stability during early embryogenesis

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    Pushpavalli Sreerangam NCVL

    2013-01-01

    Drosophila as model system and carry out the interaction of MOF with the known components of the DNA damage pathway.

  16. Drosophila MOF controls Checkpoint protein2 and regulates genomic stability during early embryogenesis.

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    Pushpavalli, Sreerangam N C V L; Sarkar, Arpita; Ramaiah, M Janaki; Chowdhury, Debabani Roy; Bhadra, Utpal; Pal-Bhadra, Manika

    2013-01-24

    In Drosophila embryos, checkpoints maintain genome stability by delaying cell cycle progression that allows time for damage repair or to complete DNA synthesis. Drosophila MOF, a member of MYST histone acetyl transferase is an essential component of male X hyperactivation process. Until recently its involvement in G2/M cell cycle arrest and defects in ionizing radiation induced DNA damage pathways was not well established. Drosophila MOF is highly expressed during early embryogenesis. In the present study we show that haplo-insufficiency of maternal MOF leads to spontaneous mitotic defects like mitotic asynchrony, mitotic catastrophe and chromatid bridges in the syncytial embryos. Such abnormal nuclei are eliminated and digested in the yolk tissues by nuclear fall out mechanism. MOF negatively regulates Drosophila checkpoint kinase 2 tumor suppressor homologue. In response to DNA damage the checkpoint gene Chk2 (Drosophila mnk) is activated in the mof mutants, there by causing centrosomal inactivation suggesting its role in response to genotoxic stress. A drastic decrease in the fall out nuclei in the syncytial embryos derived from mof¹/+; mnkp⁶/+ females further confirms the role of DNA damage response gene Chk2 to ensure the removal of abnormal nuclei from the embryonic precursor pool and maintain genome stability. The fact that mof mutants undergo DNA damage has been further elucidated by the increased number of single and double stranded DNA breaks. mof mutants exhibited genomic instability as evidenced by the occurance of frequent mitotic bridges in anaphase, asynchronous nuclear divisions, disruption of cytoskeleton, inactivation of centrosomes finally leading to DNA damage. Our findings are consistent to what has been reported earlier in mammals that; reduced levels of MOF resulted in increased genomic instability while total loss resulted in lethality. The study can be further extended using Drosophila as model system and carry out the interaction of MOF

  17. Variation in the susceptibility of Drosophila to different entomopathogenic nematodes.

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    Peña, Jennifer M; Carrillo, Mayra A; Hallem, Elissa A

    2015-03-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in the genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema are lethal parasites of insects that are of interest as models for understanding parasite-host interactions and as biocontrol agents for insect pests. EPNs harbor a bacterial endosymbiont in their gut that assists in insect killing. EPNs are capable of infecting and killing a wide range of insects, yet how the nematodes and their bacterial endosymbionts interact with the insect immune system is poorly understood. Here, we develop a versatile model system for understanding the insect immune response to parasitic nematode infection that consists of seven species of EPNs as model parasites and five species of Drosophila fruit flies as model hosts. We show that the EPN Steinernema carpocapsae, which is widely used for insect control, is capable of infecting and killing D. melanogaster larvae. S. carpocapsae is associated with the bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila, and we show that X. nematophila induces expression of a subset of antimicrobial peptide genes and suppresses the melanization response to the nematode. We further show that EPNs vary in their virulence toward D. melanogaster and that Drosophila species vary in their susceptibilities to EPN infection. Differences in virulence among different EPN-host combinations result from differences in both rates of infection and rates of postinfection survival. Our results establish a powerful model system for understanding mechanisms of host-parasite interactions and the insect immune response to parasitic nematode infection.

  18. The putative Na⁺/Cl⁻-dependent neurotransmitter/osmolyte transporter inebriated in the Drosophila hindgut is essential for the maintenance of systemic water homeostasis.

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    Luan, Zhuo; Quigley, Caitlin; Li, Hong-Sheng

    2015-01-23

    Most organisms are able to maintain systemic water homeostasis over a wide range of external or dietary osmolarities. The excretory system, composed of the kidneys in mammals and the Malpighian tubules and hindgut in insects, can increase water conservation and absorption to maintain systemic water homeostasis, which enables organisms to tolerate external hypertonicity or desiccation. However, the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of systemic water homeostasis by the excretory system have not been fully characterized. In the present study, we found that the putative Na(+)/Cl(-)-dependent neurotransmitter/osmolyte transporter inebriated (ine) is expressed in the basolateral membrane of anterior hindgut epithelial cells. This was confirmed by comparison with a known basolateral localized protein, the α subunit of Na(+)-K(+) ATPase (ATPα). Under external hypertonicity, loss of ine in the hindgut epithelium results in severe dehydration without damage to the hindgut epithelial cells, implicating a physiological failure of water conservation/absorption. We also found that hindgut expression of ine is required for water conservation under desiccating conditions. Importantly, specific expression of ine in the hindgut epithelium can completely restore disrupted systemic water homeostasis in ine mutants under both conditions. Therefore, ine in the Drosophila hindgut is essential for the maintenance of systemic water homeostasis.

  19. Ancient Anxiety Pathways Influence Drosophila Defense Behaviors

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    Mohammad, Farhan; Aryal, Sameer; Ho, Joses; Stewart, James Charles; Norman, Nurul Ayuni; Tan, Teng Li; Eisaka, Agnese; Claridge-Chang, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Summary Anxiety helps us anticipate and assess potential danger in ambiguous situations [1, 2, 3]; however, the anxiety disorders are the most prevalent class of psychiatric illness [4, 5, 6]. Emotional states are shared between humans and other animals [7], as observed by behavioral manifestations [8], physiological responses [9], and gene conservation [10]. Anxiety research makes wide use of three rodent behavioral assays—elevated plus maze, open field, and light/dark box—that present a choice between sheltered and exposed regions [11]. Exposure avoidance in anxiety-related defense behaviors was confirmed to be a correlate of rodent anxiety by treatment with known anxiety-altering agents [12, 13, 14] and is now used to characterize anxiety systems. Modeling anxiety with a small neurogenetic animal would further aid the elucidation of its neuronal and molecular bases. Drosophila neurogenetics research has elucidated the mechanisms of fundamental behaviors and implicated genes that are often orthologous across species. In an enclosed arena, flies stay close to the walls during spontaneous locomotion [15, 16], a behavior proposed to be related to anxiety [17]. We tested this hypothesis with manipulations of the GABA receptor, serotonin signaling, and stress. The effects of these interventions were strikingly concordant with rodent anxiety, verifying that these behaviors report on an anxiety-like state. Application of this method was able to identify several new fly anxiety genes. The presence of conserved neurogenetic pathways in the insect brain identifies Drosophila as an attractive genetic model for the study of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, complementing existing rodent systems. PMID:27020741

  20. Genetic and systems level analysis of Drosophila sticky/citron kinase and dFmr1 mutants reveals common regulation of genetic networks

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    Zarnescu Daniela C

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In Drosophila, the genes sticky and dFmr1 have both been shown to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and chromatin structure. These genes also genetically interact with Argonaute family microRNA regulators. Furthermore, in mammalian systems, both genes have been implicated in neuronal development. Given these genetic and functional similarities, we tested Drosophila sticky and dFmr1 for a genetic interaction and measured whole genome expression in both mutants to assess similarities in gene regulation. Results We found that sticky mutations can dominantly suppress a dFmr1 gain-of-function phenotype in the developing eye, while phenotypes produced by RNAi knock-down of sticky were enhanced by dFmr1 RNAi and a dFmr1 loss-of-function mutation. We also identified a large number of transcripts that were misexpressed in both mutants suggesting that sticky and dFmr1 gene products similarly regulate gene expression. By integrating gene expression data with a protein-protein interaction network, we found that mutations in sticky and dFmr1 resulted in misexpression of common gene networks, and consequently predicted additional specific phenotypes previously not known to be associated with either gene. Further phenotypic analyses validated these predictions. Conclusion These findings establish a functional link between two previously unrelated genes. Microarray analysis indicates that sticky and dFmr1 are both required for regulation of many developmental genes in a variety of cell types. The diversity of transcripts regulated by these two genes suggests a clear cause of the pleiotropy that sticky and dFmr1 mutants display and provides many novel, testable hypotheses about the functions of these genes. As both of these genes are implicated in the development and function of the mammalian brain, these results have relevance to human health as well as to understanding more general biological processes.

  1. The central molecular clock is robust in the face of behavioural arrhythmia in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease.

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    Chen, Ko-Fan; Possidente, Bernard; Lomas, David A; Crowther, Damian C

    2014-04-01

    Circadian behavioural deficits, including sleep irregularity and restlessness in the evening, are a distressing early feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have investigated these phenomena by studying the circadian behaviour of transgenic Drosophila expressing the amyloid beta peptide (Aβ). We find that Aβ expression results in an age-related loss of circadian behavioural rhythms despite ongoing normal molecular oscillations in the central clock neurons. Even in the absence of any behavioural correlate, the synchronised activity of the central clock remains protective, prolonging lifespan, in Aβ flies just as it does in control flies. Confocal microscopy and bioluminescence measurements point to processes downstream of the molecular clock as the main site of Aβ toxicity. In addition, there seems to be significant non-cell-autonomous Aβ toxicity resulting in morphological and probably functional signalling deficits in central clock neurons.

  2. Time-lapse cinematography in living Drosophila tissues: preparation of material.

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    Davis, Ilan; Parton, Richard M

    2006-11-01

    The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been an extraordinarily successful model organism for studying the genetic basis of development and evolution. It is arguably the best-understood complex multicellular model system, owing its success to many factors. Recent developments in imaging techniques, in particular sophisticated fluorescence microscopy methods and equipment, now allow cellular events to be studied at high resolution in living material. This ability has enabled the study of features that tend to be lost or damaged by fixation, such as transient or dynamic events. Although many of the techniques of live cell imaging in Drosophila are shared with the greater community of cell biologists working on other model systems, studying living fly tissues presents unique difficulties in keeping the cells alive, introducing fluorescent probes, and imaging through thick hazy cytoplasm. This protocol outlines the preparation of major tissue types amenable to study by time-lapse cinematography and different methods for keeping them alive.

  3. Identification and characterization of novel natural pathogen of Drosophila melanogaster isolated from wild captured Drosophila spp.

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    Singh, Karan; Zulkifli, Mohammad; Prasad, N G

    2016-12-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is an emerging model system for the study of evolutionary ecology of immunity. However, a large number of studies have used non natural pathogens as very few natural pathogens have been isolated and identified. Our aim was to isolate and characterize natural pathogen/s of D. melanogaster. A bacterial pathogen was isolated from wild caught Drosophila spp., identified as a new strain of Staphylococcus succinus subsp. succinus and named PK-1. This strain induced substantial mortality (36-62%) in adults of several laboratory populations of D. melanogaster. PK-1 grew rapidly within the body of the flies post infection and both males and females had roughly same number of colony forming units. Mortality was affected by mode of infection and dosage of the pathogen. However mating status of the host had no effect on mortality post infection. Given that there are very few known natural bacterial pathogens of D. melanogaster and that PK-1 can establish a sustained infection across various outbred and inbred populations of D. melanogaster this new isolate is a potential resource for future studies on immunity. Copyright © 2016 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. Automated measurement of Drosophila wings

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    Mezey Jason

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many studies in evolutionary biology and genetics are limited by the rate at which phenotypic information can be acquired. The wings of Drosophila species are a favorable target for automated analysis because of the many interesting questions in evolution and development that can be addressed with them, and because of their simple structure. Results We have developed an automated image analysis system (WINGMACHINE that measures the positions of all the veins and the edges of the wing blade of Drosophilid flies. A video image is obtained with the aid of a simple suction device that immobilizes the wing of a live fly. Low-level processing is used to find the major intersections of the veins. High-level processing then optimizes the fit of an a priori B-spline model of wing shape. WINGMACHINE allows the measurement of 1 wing per minute, including handling, imaging, analysis, and data editing. The repeatabilities of 12 vein intersections averaged 86% in a sample of flies of the same species and sex. Comparison of 2400 wings of 25 Drosophilid species shows that wing shape is quite conservative within the group, but that almost all taxa are diagnosably different from one another. Wing shape retains some phylogenetic structure, although some species have shapes very different from closely related species. The WINGMACHINE system facilitates artificial selection experiments on complex aspects of wing shape. We selected on an index which is a function of 14 separate measurements of each wing. After 14 generations, we achieved a 15 S.D. difference between up and down-selected treatments. Conclusion WINGMACHINE enables rapid, highly repeatable measurements of wings in the family Drosophilidae. Our approach to image analysis may be applicable to a variety of biological objects that can be represented as a framework of connected lines.

  5. Continued neurogenesis in adult Drosophila as a mechanism for recruiting environmental cue-dependent variants.

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    Selim Ben Rokia-Mille

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The skills used by winged insects to explore their environment are strongly dependent upon the integration of neurosensory information comprising visual, acoustic and olfactory signals. The neuronal architecture of the wing contains a vast array of different sensors which might convey information to the brain in order to guide the trajectories during flight. In Drosophila, the wing sensory cells are either chemoreceptors or mechanoreceptors and some of these sensors have as yet unknown functions. The axons of these two functionally distinct types of neurons are entangled, generating a single nerve. This simple and accessible coincidental signaling circuitry in Drosophila constitutes an excellent model system to investigate the developmental variability in relation to natural behavioral polymorphisms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A fluorescent marker was generated in neurons at all stages of the Drosophila life cycle using a highly efficient and controlled genetic recombination system that can be induced in dividing precursor cells (MARCM system, flybase web site. It allows fluorescent signals in axons only when the neuroblasts and/or neuronal cell precursors like SOP (sensory organ precursors undergo division during the precedent steps. We first show that a robust neurogenesis continues in the wing after the adults emerge from the pupae followed by an extensive axonal growth. Arguments are presented to suggest that this wing neurogenesis in the newborn adult flies was influenced by genetic determinants such as the frequency dependent for gene and by environmental cues such as population density. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that the neuronal architecture in the adult Drosophila wing is unfinished when the flies emerge from their pupae. This unexpected developmental step might be crucial for generating non-heritable variants and phenotypic plasticity. This might therefore constitute an advantage in an unstable ecological system and

  6. Why flies? Inexpensive public engagement exercises to explain the value of basic biomedical research on Drosophila melanogaster.

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    Pulver, Stefan R; Cognigni, Paola; Denholm, Barry; Fabre, Caroline; Gu, Wendy X W; Linneweber, Gerit; Prieto-Godino, Lucia; Urbancic, Vasja; Zwart, Maarten; Miguel-Aliaga, Irene

    2011-12-01

    Invertebrate model organisms are powerful systems for uncovering conserved principles of animal biology. Despite widespread use in scientific communities, invertebrate research is often severely undervalued by laypeople. Here, we present a set of simple, inexpensive public outreach exercises aimed at explaining to the public why basic research on one particular invertebrate, the insect Drosophila melanogaster, is valuable. First, we designed seven teaching modules that highlight cutting-edge research in Drosophila genetics, metabolism, physiology, and behavior. We then implemented these exercises in a public outreach event that included both children and adults. Quantitative evaluation of participant feedback suggests that these exercises 1) teach principles of animal biology, 2) help laypeople better understand why researchers study fruit flies, and 3) are effective over a wide range of age groups. Overall, this work provides a blueprint for how to use Drosophila as a vehicle for increasing public awareness and appreciation of basic research on genetically tractable insects in particular and invertebrates in general.

  7. ECO-BIOLOGICAL SYSTEM MODELING

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    T. I. Burak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The methodology for computer modeling of complex eco-biological models is presented in this paper. It is based on system approach of J. Forrester. Developed methodology is universal for complex ecological and biological systems. Modeling algorithm considers specialties of eco-biological systems and shows adequate and accurate results in practice.