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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2008 Aug;19(4):360-9. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2008.06.001. Epub 2008 Jun 8.

Identification of JAK/STAT pathway regulators--insights from RNAi screens.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


While many core JAK/STAT pathway components have been discovered in Drosophila via classical genetic approaches, the identification of pathway regulators has been more challenging. Recently two cell-based RNAi screens for JAK/STAT pathway regulators have been undertaken using libraries of double-stranded RNAs targeting a large proportion of the predicted Drosophila transcriptome. While both screens identified multiple regulators, only relatively few loci are common to both data sets. Here we compare the two screens and discuss these differences. Although many factors are likely to be contributory, differences in the assay design are of key importance. Low levels of stimulation favouring the identification of negative pathway regulators and high levels of stimulation favouring the identification of positively acting factors. Ultimately, the results from both screens are likely to be largely complementary and have identified a range of novel candidate regulators of JAK/STAT pathway activity as a starting point for new research directions in the future.

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