Research Article

2007
Lu J, Ruhf M-L, Perrimon N, Leder P. A genome-wide RNA interference screen identifies putative chromatin regulators essential for E2F repression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104 (22) :9381-6. Abstract

Regulation of chromatin structure is critical in many fundamental cellular processes. Previous studies have suggested that the Rb tumor suppressor may recruit multiple chromatin regulatory proteins to repress E2F, a key regulator of cell proliferation and differentiation. Taking advantage of the evolutionary conservation of the E2F pathway, we have conducted a genome-wide RNAi screen in cultured Drosophila cells for genes required for repression of E2F activity. Among the genes identified are components of the putative Domino chromatin remodeling complex, as well as the Polycomb Group (PcG) protein-like fly tumor suppressor, L3mbt, and the related CG16975/dSfmbt. These factors are recruited to E2F-responsive promoters through physical association with E2F and are required for repression of endogenous E2F target genes. Surprisingly, their inhibitory activities on E2F appear to be independent of Rb. In Drosophila, domino mutation enhances cell proliferation induced by E2F overexpression and suppresses a loss-of-function cyclin E mutation. These findings suggest that potential chromatin regulation mediated by Domino and PcG-like factors plays an important role in controlling E2F activity and cell growth.

2007_PNAS_Lu.pdf Supplement.pdf
2006
Gibson MC, Patel AB, Nagpal R, Perrimon N. The emergence of geometric order in proliferating metazoan epithelia. Nature. 2006;442 (7106) :1038-41. Abstract

The predominantly hexagonal cell pattern of simple epithelia was noted in the earliest microscopic analyses of animal tissues, a topology commonly thought to reflect cell sorting into optimally packed honeycomb arrays. Here we use a discrete Markov model validated by time-lapse microscopy and clonal analysis to demonstrate that the distribution of polygonal cell types in epithelia is not a result of cell packing, but rather a direct mathematical consequence of cell proliferation. On the basis of in vivo analysis of mitotic cell junction dynamics in Drosophila imaginal discs, we mathematically predict the convergence of epithelial topology to a fixed equilibrium distribution of cellular polygons. This distribution is empirically confirmed in tissue samples from vertebrate, arthropod and cnidarian organisms, suggesting that a similar proliferation-dependent cell pattern underlies pattern formation and morphogenesis throughout the metazoa.

2006_Nature_Gibson.pdf Supplement.pdf
Kulkarni MM, Booker M, Silver SJ, Friedman A, Hong P, Perrimon N, et al. Evidence of off-target effects associated with long dsRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster cell-based assays. Nat Methods. 2006;3 (10) :833-8. Abstract

To evaluate the specificity of long dsRNAs used in high-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) screens performed at the Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC), we performed a global analysis of their activity in 30 genome-wide screens completed at our facility. Notably, our analysis predicts that dsRNAs containing > or = 19-nucleotide perfect matches identified in silico to unintended targets may contribute to a significant false positive error rate arising from off-target effects. We confirmed experimentally that such sequences in dsRNAs lead to false positives and to efficient knockdown of a cross-hybridizing transcript, raising a cautionary note about interpreting results based on the use of a single dsRNA per gene. Although a full appreciation of all causes of false positive errors remains to be determined, we suggest simple guidelines to help ensure high-quality information from RNAi high-throughput screens.

2006_Nat Meth_Kulkarni.pdf Supplemental Files.zip
Micchelli CA, Perrimon N. Evidence that stem cells reside in the adult Drosophila midgut epithelium. Nature. 2006;439 (7075) :475-9. Abstract

Adult stem cells maintain organ systems throughout the course of life and facilitate repair after injury or disease. A fundamental property of stem and progenitor cell division is the capacity to retain a proliferative state or generate differentiated daughter cells; however, little is currently known about signals that regulate the balance between these processes. Here, we characterize a proliferating cellular compartment in the adult Drosophila midgut. Using genetic mosaic analysis we demonstrate that differentiated cells in the epithelium arise from a common lineage. Furthermore, we show that reduction of Notch signalling leads to an increase in the number of midgut progenitor cells, whereas activation of the Notch pathway leads to a decrease in proliferation. Thus, the midgut progenitor's default state is proliferation, which is inhibited through the Notch signalling pathway. The ability to identify, manipulate and genetically trace cell lineages in the midgut should lead to the discovery of additional genes that regulate stem and progenitor cell biology in the gastrointestinal tract.

2006_Nature_Micchelli.pdf 2006_Nature_Micchelli_Supp.pdf
Bard F, Casano L, Mallabiabarrena A, Wallace E, Saito K, Kitayama H, et al. Functional genomics reveals genes involved in protein secretion and Golgi organization. Nature. 2006;439 (7076) :604-7. Abstract

Yeast genetics and in vitro biochemical analysis have identified numerous genes involved in protein secretion. As compared with yeast, however, the metazoan secretory pathway is more complex and many mechanisms that regulate organization of the Golgi apparatus remain poorly characterized. We performed a genome-wide RNA-mediated interference screen in a Drosophila cell line to identify genes required for constitutive protein secretion. We then classified the genes on the basis of the effect of their depletion on organization of the Golgi membranes. Here we show that depletion of class A genes redistributes Golgi membranes into the endoplasmic reticulum, depletion of class B genes leads to Golgi fragmentation, depletion of class C genes leads to aggregation of Golgi membranes, and depletion of class D genes causes no obvious change. Of the 20 new gene products characterized so far, several localize to the Golgi membranes and the endoplasmic reticulum.

2006_Nature_Bard.pdf Supplement.pdf
Friedman A, Perrimon N. A functional RNAi screen for regulators of receptor tyrosine kinase and ERK signalling. Nature. 2006;444 (7116) :230-4. Abstract

Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signalling through extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) has pivotal roles during metazoan development, underlying processes as diverse as fate determination, differentiation, proliferation, survival, migration and growth. Abnormal RTK/ERK signalling has been extensively documented to contribute to developmental disorders and disease, most notably in oncogenic transformation by mutant RTKs or downstream pathway components such as Ras and Raf. Although the core RTK/ERK signalling cassette has been characterized by decades of research using mammalian cell culture and forward genetic screens in model organisms, signal propagation through this pathway is probably regulated by a larger network of moderate, context-specific proteins. The genes encoding these proteins may not have been discovered through traditional screens owing, in particular, to the requirement for visible phenotypes. To obtain a global view of RTK/ERK signalling, we performed an unbiased, RNA interference (RNAi), genome-wide, high-throughput screen in Drosophila cells using a novel, quantitative, cellular assay monitoring ERK activation. Here we show that ERK pathway output integrates a wide array of conserved cellular processes. Further analysis of selected components-in multiple cell types with different RTK ligands and oncogenic stimuli-validates and classifies 331 pathway regulators. The relevance of these genes is highlighted by our isolation of a Ste20-like kinase and a PPM-family phosphatase that seem to regulate RTK/ERK signalling in vivo and in mammalian cells. Novel regulators that modulate specific pathway outputs may be selective targets for drug discovery.

2006_Nature_Friedman.pdf Supplemental Files.zip
Karsten P, Plischke I, Perrimon N, Zeidler MP. Mutational analysis reveals separable DNA binding and trans-activation of Drosophila STAT92E. Cell Signal. 2006;18 (6) :819-29. Abstract

In the canonical model of JAK/STAT signalling STAT transcription factors are activated by JAK mediated tyrosine phosphorylation following pathway stimulation by external cytokines. Activated STAT molecules then homo- or heterodimerise before translocating to the nucleus where they bind to DNA sequences within the promoters of pathway target genes. DNA-bound STAT dimers then activate transcription of their targets via interaction with components of the basal transcription machinery. Here we describe a missense mutation in the SH2 domain of the single Drosophila STAT92E homologue which results in an amino-acid substitution conserved in both the canonical SH2 domain and STAT-like molecules previously identified in C. elegans and the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. This mutation leads to nuclear accumulation and constitutive DNA binding of Drosophila STAT92E even in the absence of JAK stimulation. Strikingly, this mutant shows only limited transcriptional activity in tissue culture based assays and functions as a dominant-negative at both the phenotypic and molecular levels in vivo. These features represent aspects of both dominant gain-of-function and dominant-negative activities and imply that the functions of DNA binding can be functionally separated from the role of STAT92E as a transcriptional activator. It is thus possible that an alternative post-translational modification, in addition to tyrosine phosphorylation, may be required to allow STAT to act as a transcriptional activator and suggests the existence of an alternative mechanism by which STAT transcriptional activity may be regulated in vivo.

2006_Cell Sig_Karsten.pdf
Chen L-Y, Wang J-C, Hyvert Y, Lin H-P, Perrimon N, Imler J-L, et al. Weckle is a zinc finger adaptor of the toll pathway in dorsoventral patterning of the Drosophila embryo. Curr Biol. 2006;16 (12) :1183-93. Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Drosophila Toll pathway takes part in both establishment of the embryonic dorsoventral axis and induction of the innate immune response in adults. Upon activation by the cytokine Spätzle, Toll interacts with the adaptor proteins DmMyD88 and Tube and the kinase Pelle and triggers degradation of the inhibitor Cactus, thus allowing the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor Dorsal/Dif. weckle (wek) was previously identified as a new dorsal group gene that encodes a putative zinc finger transcription factor. However, its role in the Toll pathway was unknown. RESULTS: Here, we isolated new wek alleles and demonstrated that cactus is epistatic to wek, which in turn is epistatic to Toll. Consistent with this, Wek localizes to the plasma membrane of embryos, independently of Toll signaling. Wek homodimerizes and associates with Toll. Moreover, Wek binds to and localizes DmMyD88 to the plasma membrane. Thus, Wek acts as an adaptor to assemble/stabilize a Toll/Wek/DmMyD88/Tube complex. Remarkably, unlike the DmMyD88/tube/pelle/cactus gene cassette of the Toll pathway, wek plays a minimal role, if any, in the immune defense against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that Wek is an adaptor to link Toll and DmMyD88 and is required for efficient recruitment of DmMyD88 to Toll. Unexpectedly, wek is dispensable for innate immune response, thus revealing differences in the Toll-mediated activation of Dorsal in the embryo and Dif in the fat body of adult flies.

2006_Curr Bio_Chen.pdf Supplement.pdf
Cherry S, Kunte A, Wang H, Coyne C, Rawson RB, Perrimon N. COPI activity coupled with fatty acid biosynthesis is required for viral replication. PLoS Pathog. 2006;2 (10) :e102. Abstract

During infection by diverse viral families, RNA replication occurs on the surface of virally induced cytoplasmic membranes of cellular origin. How this process is regulated, and which cellular factors are required, has been unclear. Moreover, the host-pathogen interactions that facilitate the formation of this new compartment might represent critical determinants of viral pathogenesis, and their elucidation may lead to novel insights into the coordination of vesicular trafficking events during infection. Here we show that in Drosophila cells, Drosophila C virus remodels the Golgi apparatus and forms a novel vesicular compartment, on the surface of which viral RNA replication takes place. Using genome-wide RNA interference screening, we found that this step in the viral lifecycle requires at least two host encoded pathways: the coat protein complex I (COPI) coatamer and fatty acid biosynthesis. Our results integrate, clarify, and extend numerous observations concerning the cell biology of viral replication, allowing us to conclude that the coupling of new cellular membrane formation with the budding of these vesicles from the Golgi apparatus allows for the regulated generation of this new virogenic organelle, which is essential for viral replication. Additionally, because these pathways are also limiting in flies and in human cells infected with the related RNA virus poliovirus, they may represent novel targets for antiviral therapies.

2006_PLOS Path_Cherry.pdf Supplement.pdf
Flockhart I, Booker M, Kiger A, Boutros M, Armknecht S, Ramadan N, et al. FlyRNAi: the Drosophila RNAi screening center database. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34 (Database issue) :D489-94. Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) has become a powerful tool for genetic screening in Drosophila. At the Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC), we are using a library of over 21,000 double-stranded RNAs targeting known and predicted genes in Drosophila. This library is available for the use of visiting scientists wishing to perform full-genome RNAi screens. The data generated from these screens are collected in the DRSC database (http://flyRNAi.org/cgi-bin/RNAi_screens.pl) in a flexible format for the convenience of the scientist and for archiving data. The long-term goal of this database is to provide annotations for as many of the uncharacterized genes in Drosophila as possible. Data from published screens are available to the public through a highly configurable interface that allows detailed examination of the data and provides access to a number of other databases and bioinformatics tools.

2006_Nuc Acids Res_Flockhart.pdf
2005
Kirilly D, Spana EP, Perrimon N, Padgett RW, Xie T. BMP signaling is required for controlling somatic stem cell self-renewal in the Drosophila ovary. Dev Cell. 2005;9 (5) :651-62. Abstract

BMP signaling is essential for promoting self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells and Drosophila germline stem cells and for repressing stem cell proliferation in the mouse intestine and skin. However, it remains unknown whether BMP signaling can promote self-renewal of adult somatic stem cells. In this study, we show that BMP signaling is necessary and sufficient for promoting self-renewal and proliferation of somatic stem cells (SSCs) in the Drosophila ovary. BMP signaling is required in SSCs to directly control their maintenance and division, but is dispensable for proliferation of their differentiated progeny. Furthermore, BMP signaling is required to control SSC self-renewal, but not survival. Moreover, constitutive BMP signaling prolongs the SSC lifespan. Therefore, our study clearly demonstrates that BMP signaling directly promotes SSC self-renewal and proliferation in the Drosophila ovary. Our work further suggests that BMP signaling could promote self-renewal of adult stem cells in other systems.

2005_Dev Cell_Kirilly.pdf Supplement.pdf
Philips JA, Rubin EJ, Perrimon N. Drosophila RNAi screen reveals CD36 family member required for mycobacterial infection. Science. 2005;309 (5738) :1251-3. Abstract

Certain pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, survive within the hostile intracellular environment of a macrophage. To identify host factors required for mycobacterial entry and survival within macrophages, we performed a genomewide RNA interference screen in Drosophila macrophage-like cells, using Mycobacterium fortuitum. We identified factors required for general phagocytosis, as well as those needed specifically for mycobacterial infection. One specific factor, Peste (Pes), is a CD36 family member required for uptake of mycobacteria, but not Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus. Moreover, mammalian class B scavenger receptors (SRs) conferred uptake of bacteria into nonphagocytic cells, with SR-BI and SR-BII uniquely mediating uptake of M. fortuitum, which suggests a conserved role for class B SRs in pattern recognition and innate immunity.

2005_Science_Philips.pdf Supplement.pdf
Gibson MC, Perrimon N. Extrusion and death of DPP/BMP-compromised epithelial cells in the developing Drosophila wing. Science. 2005;307 (5716) :1785-9. Abstract

During animal development, epithelial cell fates are specified according to spatial position by extracellular signaling pathways. Among these, the transforming growth factor beta/bone morphogenetic protein (TGF-beta/BMP) pathways are evolutionarily conserved and play crucial roles in the development and homeostasis of a wide range of multicellular tissues. Here we show that in the developing Drosophila wing imaginal epithelium, cell clones deprived of the BMP-like ligand Decapentaplegic (DPP) do not die as previously thought but rather extrude from the cell layer as viable cysts exhibiting marked abnormalities in cell shape and cytoskeletal organization. We propose that in addition to assigning cell fates, a crucial developmental function of DPP/BMP signaling is the position-specific control of epithelial architecture.

2005_Science_Gibson.pdf Supplement.pdf
Schober M, Rebay I, Perrimon N. Function of the ETS transcription factor Yan in border cell migration. Development. 2005;132 (15) :3493-504. Abstract

Invasive cell migration in both normal development and metastatic cancer is regulated by various signaling pathways, transcription factors and cell-adhesion molecules. The coordination between these activities in the context of cell migration is poorly understood. During Drosophila oogenesis, a small group of cells called border cells exit the follicular epithelium to perform a stereotypic, invasive migration. We find that the ETS transcription factor Yan is required for border cell migration and that Yan expression is spatiotemporally regulated as border cells migrate from the anterior pole of the egg chamber towards the nurse cell-oocyte boundary. Yan expression is dependent on inputs from the JAK/STAT, Notch and Receptor Tyrosine Kinase pathways in border cells. Mechanistically, Yan functions to modulate the turnover of DE-Cadherin-dependent adhesive complexes to facilitate border cell migration. Our results suggest that Yan acts as a pivotal link between signal transduction, cell adhesion and invasive cell migration in Drosophila border cells.

2005_Dev_Schober.pdf Supplement.pdf
Dasgupta R, Kaykas A, Moon RT, Perrimon N. Functional genomic analysis of the Wnt-wingless signaling pathway. Science. 2005;308 (5723) :826-33. Abstract

The Wnt-Wingless (Wg) pathway is one of a core set of evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways that regulates many aspects of metazoan development. Aberrant Wnt signaling has been linked to human disease. In the present study, we used a genomewide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila cells to screen for regulators of the Wnt pathway. We identified 238 potential regulators, which include known pathway components, genes with functions not previously linked to this pathway, and genes with no previously assigned functions. Reciprocal-Best-Blast analyses reveal that 50% of the genes identified in the screen have human orthologs, of which approximately 18% are associated with human disease. Functional assays of selected genes from the cell-based screen in Drosophila, mammalian cells, and zebrafish embryos demonstrated that these genes have evolutionarily conserved functions in Wnt signaling. High-throughput RNAi screens in cultured cells, followed by functional analyses in model organisms, prove to be a rapid means of identifying regulators of signaling pathways implicated in development and disease.

2005_Science_Dasgupta.pdf Supplement.pdf
Nybakken K, Vokes SA, Lin T-Y, McMahon AP, Perrimon N. A genome-wide RNA interference screen in Drosophila melanogaster cells for new components of the Hh signaling pathway. Nat Genet. 2005;37 (12) :1323-32. Abstract

Members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family of signaling proteins are powerful regulators of developmental processes in many organisms and have been implicated in many human disease states. Here we report the results of a genome-wide RNA interference screen in Drosophila melanogaster cells for new components of the Hh signaling pathway. The screen identified hundreds of potential new regulators of Hh signaling, including many large protein complexes with pleiotropic effects, such as the coat protein complex I (COPI) complex, the ribosome and the proteasome. We identified the multimeric protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and two new kinases, the D. melanogaster orthologs of the vertebrate PITSLRE and cyclin-dependent kinase-9 (CDK9) kinases, as Hh regulators. We also identified a large group of constitutive and alternative splicing factors, two nucleoporins involved in mRNA export and several RNA-regulatory proteins as potent regulators of Hh signal transduction, indicating that splicing regulation and mRNA transport have a previously unrecognized role in Hh signaling. Finally, we showed that several of these genes have conserved roles in mammalian Hh signaling.

2005_Nat Gene_Nybakken.pdf Supplement.pdf
Agaisse H, Burrack LS, Philips JA, Rubin EJ, Perrimon N, Higgins DE. Genome-wide RNAi screen for host factors required for intracellular bacterial infection. Science. 2005;309 (5738) :1248-51. Abstract

Most studies of host-pathogen interactions have focused on pathogen-specific virulence determinants. Here, we report a genome-wide RNA interference screen to identify host factors required for intracellular bacterial pathogenesis. Using Drosophila cells and the cytosolic pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, we identified 305 double-stranded RNAs targeting a wide range of cellular functions that altered L. monocytogenes infection. Comparison to a similar screen with Mycobacterium fortuitum, a vacuolar pathogen, identified host factors that may play a general role in intracellular pathogenesis and factors that specifically affect access to the cytosol by L. monocytogenes.

2005_Science_Agaisse.pdf Supplement.pdf
Baeg G-H, Zhou R, Perrimon N. Genome-wide RNAi analysis of JAK/STAT signaling components in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 2005;19 (16) :1861-70. Abstract

The cytokine-activated Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway plays an important role in the control of a wide variety of biological processes. When misregulated, JAK/STAT signaling is associated with various human diseases, such as immune disorders and tumorigenesis. To gain insights into the mechanisms by which JAK/STAT signaling participates in these diverse biological responses, we carried out a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in cultured Drosophila cells. We identified 121 genes whose double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated knockdowns affected STAT92E activity. Of the 29 positive regulators, 13 are required for the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT92E. Furthermore, we found that the Drosophila homologs of RanBP3 and RanBP10 are negative regulators of JAK/STAT signaling through their control of nucleocytoplasmic transport of STAT92E. In addition, we identified a key negative regulator of Drosophila JAK/STAT signaling, protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP61F, and showed that it is a transcriptional target of JAK/STAT signaling, thus revealing a novel negative feedback loop. Our study has uncovered many uncharacterized genes required for different steps of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway.

2005_Gene Dev_Baeg.pdf Addendum.pdf Supplemental Files.zip
Cherry S, Doukas T, Armknecht S, Whelan S, Wang H, Sarnow P, et al. Genome-wide RNAi screen reveals a specific sensitivity of IRES-containing RNA viruses to host translation inhibition. Genes Dev. 2005;19 (4) :445-52. Abstract

The widespread class of RNA viruses that utilize internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) for translation include poliovirus and Hepatitis C virus. To identify host factors required for IRES-dependent translation and viral replication, we performed a genome-wide RNAi screen in Drosophila cells infected with Drosophila C virus (DCV). We identified 66 ribosomal proteins that, when depleted, specifically inhibit DCV growth, but not a non-IRES-containing RNA virus. Moreover, treatment of flies with a translation inhibitor is protective in vivo. Finally, this increased sensitivity to ribosome levels also holds true for poliovirus infection of human cells, demonstrating the generality of these findings.

2005_Gene Dev_Cherry.pdf Supplement.pdf
Hayward P, Brennan K, Sanders P, Balayo T, Dasgupta R, Perrimon N, et al. Notch modulates Wnt signalling by associating with Armadillo/beta-catenin and regulating its transcriptional activity. Development. 2005;132 (8) :1819-30. Abstract

The establishment and stability of cell fates during development depend on the integration of multiple signals, which ultimately modulate specific patterns of gene expression. While there is ample evidence for this integration at the level of gene regulatory sequences, little is known about its operation at other levels of cellular activity. Wnt and Notch signalling are important elements of the circuitry that regulates gene expression in development and disease. Genetic analysis has suggested that in addition to convergence on the transcription of specific genes, there are modulatory cross-regulatory interactions between these signalling pathways. We report that the nodal point of these interactions is an activity of Notch that regulates the activity and the amount of the active/oncogenic form of Armadillo/beta-catenin. This activity of Notch is independent of that induced upon cleavage of its intracellular domain and which mediates transcription through Su(H)/CBF1. The modulatory function of Notch described here, contributes to the establishment of a robust threshold for Wnt signalling which is likely to play important roles in both normal and pathological situations.

2005_Dev_Hayward.pdf Supplement.pdf

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