Pier Paolo D’Avino

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In Drosophila, peaks of the titer of the steroid hormone ecdysone act as molecular signals that trigger all the major developmental transitions occurring along the life cycle. The EcR/USP heterodimer, known to constitute the functional ecdysone receptor, binds with high affinity to specific target sequences, the ecdysone response elements (EcREs), whose(More)
BACKGROUND Approximately one-third of the Drosophila kinome has been ascribed some cell-cycle function. However, little is known about which of its 117 protein phosphatases (PPs) or subunits have counteracting roles. RESULTS We investigated mitotic roles of PPs through systematic RNAi. We found that G(2)-M progression requires Puckered, the JNK MAP-kinase(More)
Cytokinesis controls the proper segregation of nuclear and cytoplasmic materials at the end of cell division. The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) has been proposed to monitor the final separation of the two daughter cells at the end of cytokinesis in order to prevent cell abscission in the presence of DNA at the cleavage site, but the precise molecular(More)
During the third larval instar, the steroid moulting hormone ecdysone activates three temporally distinct puff sets on the D. melanogaster salivary gland polytene chromosome: the so-called intermoult, early and late puffs. Hormonal regulation of intermoult puffs is quite complex and, so far, largely not understood. In order to further investigate this(More)
Several studies indicate that spindle microtubules determine the position of the cleavage plane at the end of cell division, but their exact role in triggering the formation and ingression of the cleavage furrow is still unclear. Here we show that in Drosophila depletion of either the GAP (GTPase-activating protein) or the kinesin-like subunit of the(More)
Drosophila imaginal discs are specified and patterned during embryonic and larval development, resulting in each cell acquiring a specific fate in the adult fly. Morphogenesis and differentiation of imaginal tissues, however, does not occur until metamorphosis, when pulses of the steroid hormone ecdysone direct these complex morphogenetic responses. In this(More)
In Drosophila melanogaster, three temporally distinct ecdysone-responsive puff sets, the so-called intermoult, early and late puffs, have been described on the salivary gland polytene chromosomes. We have analyzed in detail a DNA segment of the 3C polytene region, from which the originates one of the most prominent intermoult puffs, with the aim of(More)
The 3C11-12 polytene bands of the Drosophila melanogaster X chromosome give rise to a prominent puff, whose regression is triggered by the increase in the titre of the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone occurring before the metamorphosis. Here, we report the molecular characterization of three genes, named ng-2, ng-3 and ng-4, which we found to be closely(More)
Drosophila imaginal discs undergo extensive pattern formation during larval development, resulting in each cell acquiring a specific adult fate. The final manifestation of this pattern into adult structures is dependent on pulses of the steroid hormone ecdysone during metamorphosis, which trigger disc eversion, elongation and differentiation. We have(More)
Studies of Drosophila metamorphosis have been hampered by our inability to visualize many of the remarkable changes that occur within the puparium. To circumvent this problem, we have expressed GFP in specific tissues of living prepupae and pupae and compiled images of these animals into time-lapse movies. These studies reveal, for the first time, the(More)