Friday, December 9, 2016

From the Department of Very Specific Phenotypes: in vivo RNAi screen related to formation of protrusions on the corneal lens of the fly eye

Minami R, Sato C, Yamahama Y, Kubo H, Hariyama T, Kimura KI. An RNAi Screen for Genes Involved in Nanoscale Protrusion Formation on Corneal Lens in Drosophila melanogaster. Zoolog Sci. 2016 Dec;33(6):583-591. PMID: 27927092.

From the abstract: "The "moth-eye" structure, which is observed on the surface of corneal lens in several insects, supports anti-reflective and self-cleaning functions due to nanoscale protrusions ... the mechanism of protrusion formation from cell-secreted substances is unknown. ... In the present study, we sought to identify genes involved in "moth-eye" structure, formation in order to elucidate the developmental mechanism of the protrusions in Drosophila. We re-examined the aberrant patterns in classical glossy-eye mutants by scanning electron microscope and classified the aberrant patterns into groups. Next, we screened genes encoding putative structural cuticular proteins and genes involved in cuticular formation using eye specific RNAi silencing methods combined with the Gal4/UAS expression system. We identified 12 of 100 candidate genes, such as cuticular proteins family genes (Cuticular protein 23B and Cuticular protein 49Ah), cuticle secretion-related genes (Syntaxin 1A and Sec61 ββ subunit), ecdysone signaling and biosynthesis-related genes (Ecdysone receptor, Blimp-1, and shroud), and genes involved in cell polarity/cell architecture (Actin 5C, shotgun, armadillo, discs large1, and coracle). Although some of the genes we identified may affect corneal protrusion formation indirectly through general patterning defects in eye formation, these initial findings have encouraged us to more systematically explore the precise mechanisms underlying the formation of nanoscale protrusions in Drosophila."

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