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The RNase III enzyme Dicer processes RNA into siRNAs and miRNAs, which direct a RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to cleave mRNA or block its translation (RNAi). We have characterized mutations in the Drosophila dicer-1 and dicer-2 genes. Mutation in dicer-1 blocks processing of miRNA precursors, whereas dicer-2 mutants are defective for processing siRNA(More)
Coordinated morphogenesis of ommatidia during Drosophila eye development establishes a mirror-image symmetric pattern across the entire eye bisected by an anteroposterior equator. We have investigated the mechanisms by which this pattern formation occurs and our results suggest that morphogenesis is coordinated by a graded signal transmitted bidirectionally(More)
We investigated the potential of double-stranded RNA to interfere with the function of genes in Drosophila. Injection of dsRNA into embryos resulted in potent and specific interference of several genes that were tested. In contrast, single-stranded RNA weakly interfered with gene activity. The method was used to determine the reception mechanism of the(More)
A critical question about signal transduction is how weak or transient activation of signaling pathways achieves a robust and long-term switch in gene expression. We report that a microRNA is part of a mechanism that makes cells sensitive to signals in the Drosophila eye. Expression of miR-7 is activated in cells as they begin differentiating into(More)
The transcription repressor Tramtrack (TTK) is found in cone cells but not photoreceptor cells of the Drosophila eye. We show that down-regulation of TTK expression occurs in photoreceptor cells and is required for their fate determination. Down-regulation requires the presence of Phyllopod (PHYL), which is induced by the RAS pathway, and Seven In Absentia(More)
Regulated transcription of the prospero gene in the Drosophila eye provides a model for how gene expression is specifically controlled by signals from receptor tyrosine kinases. We show that prospero is controlled by signals from the EGF receptor DER and the Sevenless receptor. A direct link is established between DER activation of a transcription enhancer(More)
We use native gel electrophoresis to characterize complexes that mediate RNA interference (RNAi) in Drosophila. Our data reveal three distinct complexes (R1, R2, and R3) that assemble on short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in vitro. To form, all three complexes require Dicer-2 (Dcr-2), which directly contacts siRNAs in the ATP-independent R1 complex. R1 serves(More)
One of the key characteristics of stem cells is their capacity to divide for long periods of time in an environment where most of the cells are quiescent. Therefore, a critical question in stem cell biology is how stem cells escape cell division stop signals. Here, we report the necessity of the microRNA (miRNA) pathway for proper control of germline stem(More)
The receptor tyrosine kinase Sevenless determines R7 cell fate by activation of the Ras1 pathway in a subset of equivalent cells competent to respond in the Drosophila eye. We show that the prospero gene becomes transcriptionally activated at a low level in all Sevenless-competent cells prior to Sevenless signaling, and this requires the activities of Ras1(More)