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J Biomed Sci. 2001 May-Jun;8(3):270-7.

Utilization of Drosophila eye to probe the functions of two mammalian serine/threonine kinases, Snk and HsHPK.

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National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Here we report a quick functional analysis of two mammalian serine/threonine kinases, a serum inducible kinase (Snk) and Homo sapiens hepatoma protein kinase (HsHPK), using Drosophila eye as a model system. We generated transgenic fly lines carrying constructs of both kinases under control of the GAL upstream activating sequence (UAS). Each UAS line was then crossed to a line in which GAL4 expression was driven by one of the following promoters, eyeless (ey), glass or decapentaplegic. Thus, different kinase mutants can be ectopically expressed in a promoter-dependent manner. We observed that the ectopic expression of either the wild-type or active form of Snk driven by the glass promoter resulted in a rough-eye phenotype. Nevertheless, the ectopic expression of HsHPK under the control of the ey promoter resulted in a small-eye phenotype. The results of this study demonstrated that ectopic expression of these two mammalian genes could be achieved by the regulation of Drosophila promoters. In addition, the effects of these ectopically expressed genes on eye development could be an implication of their functions with respect to cell proliferation and differentiation. Thus, Drosophila eye, with the powerful genetic tools and vast information on eye development available, can be a useful system to probe the functions of mammalian genes in the postgenome era.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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