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We report a simple yet extremely efficient platform for systematic gene targeting by the RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 in Drosophila. The system comprises two transgenic strains: one expressing Cas9 protein from the germline-specific nanos promoter and the other ubiquitously expressing a custom guide RNA (gRNA) that targets a unique site in the genome. The(More)
Pruning is important for sculpting neural circuits, as it removes excessive or inaccurate projections. Here we show that the removal of sensory neuron dendrites during pruning in Drosophila melanogaster is directed by local caspase activity. Suppressing caspase activity prevented dendrite removal, whereas a global activation of caspases within a neuron(More)
Accidental cell death often leads to compensatory proliferation. In Drosophila imaginal discs, for example, gamma-irradiation induces extensive cell death, which is rapidly compensated by elevated proliferation. Excessive compensatory proliferation can be artificially induced by "undead cells" that are kept alive by inhibition of effector caspases in the(More)
The DNA damage checkpoint, the first pathway known to be activated in response to DNA damage, is a mechanism by which the cell cycle is temporarily arrested to allow DNA repair. The checkpoint pathway transmits signals from the sites of DNA damage to the cell cycle machinery through the evolutionarily conserved ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) and ATR(More)
The bodies of most teleost fish species are covered with specialized subepithelial structures known as scales. The scale is an epithelial appendage that differentiates from the dermal mesenchyme. Mammals, on the other hand, have no scales, but instead their bodies are covered with hair. Although their appearances are quite different, scales and hair can be(More)
To facilitate large-scale functional studies in Drosophila, the Drosophila Transgenic RNAi Project (TRiP) at Harvard Medical School (HMS) was established along with several goals: developing efficient vectors for RNAi that work in all tissues, generating a genome-scale collection of RNAi stocks with input from the community, distributing the lines as they(More)
The neuroendocrine peptides CCHamide-1 and -2, encoded by the genes ccha1 and -2, are produced by endocrine cells in the midgut and by neurons in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we used the CRISPR/Cas9 technique to disrupt the ccha1 and -2 genes and identify mutant phenotypes with a focus on ccha-2 mutants. We found that both larval and adult(More)
Drosophila melanogaster has the longest history as a genetic model system and even in the present day remains the front runner in diverse fields of biology. However, lack of a convenient method to make specified modifications to endogenous genes has been a pain in the neck for many fly geneticists for decades. Synthetic nuclease technologies, especially the(More)
Deregulation of the EGFR signaling pathway is one of the most frequently observed genetic abnormalities that drives cancer development. Although mutations in the downstream components of the EGFR signaling pathway, including KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA, have been reported in numerous cancers, extensive mutation and copy number analysis of these genes in clinical(More)
The molecular status of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has not been as well studied in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) as in lung cancer. We examined the frequencies of EGFR mutations as well as the expression/phosphorylation status of the EGFR protein in HNSCC patients. Moreover, we tried to elucidate associations between EGFR(More)