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A gain-of-function suppressor screen for genes involved in dorsal-ventral boundary formation in the Drosophila wing.

Bejarano F., Luque C.M., Herranz H., Sorrosal G., Rafel N., Pham T.T., Milan M.

The Drosophila wing primordium is subdivided into a dorsal (D) and a ventral (V) compartment by the activity of the LIM-homeodomain protein Apterous in D cells. Cell interactions between D and V cells induce the activation of Notch at the DV boundary. Notch is required for the maintenance of the compartment boundary and the growth of the wing primordium. Beadex, a gain-of-function allele of dLMO, results in increased levels of dLMO protein, which interferes with the activity of Apterous and results in defects in DV axis formation. We performed a gain-of-function enhancer-promoter (EP) screen to search for suppressors of Beadex when overexpressed in D cells. We identified 53 lines corresponding to 35 genes. Loci encoding for micro-RNAs and proteins involved in chromatin organization, transcriptional control, and vesicle trafficking were characterized in the context of dLMO activity and DV boundary formation. Our results indicate that a gain-of-function genetic screen in a sensitized background, as opposed to classical loss-of-function-based screenings, is a very efficient way to identify redundant genes involved in a developmental process.

Genetics 178:307-323(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]