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Fly (Austin). 2007 Jan-Feb;1(1):13-22. Epub 2007 Jan 4.

A Drosophila overexpression screen for modifiers of Rho signalling in cytokinesis.

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  • 1ARC Special Research Centre for the Molecular Genetics of Development, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.


To identify genes that modulate Rho signalling during cytokinesis we tested the effect of overexpressing a set of 2190 genes on an eye phenotype caused by defective Rho activation. The resulting 112 modifier loci fell into three main classes: cell cycle genes, signalling effectors and metabolic enzymes. We developed a further series of genetic tests to refine the interactors into those most likely to modify Rho signalling during cytokinesis. In addition to a number of genes previously implicated in the Rho pathway during cytokinesis, we identified four novel primary candidates: cdc14, Pitslre, PDK1 and thread/diap1. cdc14 orthologs have, however, been implicated in cytokinesis in other organisms, as have molecules related to Thread/Diap1. The identification of several modifiers that are genetically redundant paralogs highlights the ability of overexpression screens to identify genes that are refractory to traditional loss-of-function approaches. Overexpression screens and sensitized phenotypes, therefore, may help identify the many factors that are expected to be involved in cytokinesis but have not been discovered by previous genetic screens.

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