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Genet Res (Camb). 2009 Aug;91(4):243-58. doi: 10.1017/S0016672309990152.

Targeted gain-of-function screening in Drosophila using GAL4-UAS and random transposon insertions.

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Department of Biology, Emory University, 1510 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Alterations in the activity level or temporal expression of key signalling genes elicit profound patterning effects during development. Consequently, gain-of-function genetic schemes that overexpress or misexpress such loci can identify novel candidates for functions essential for a developmental process. GAL4-Upstream Activating Sequence (UAS)-targeted regulation of gene expression in Drosophila has allowed rapid analyses of coding sequences for potential roles in specific tissues at particular developmental stages. GAL4 has also been combined with randomly mobilized transposons capable of UAS-directed misexpression or overexpression of flanking sequences. This combination has produced a genetic screening system that can uncover novel loci refractory to standard loss of function genetic approaches, such as redundant genes. Available libraries of strains with sequenced insertion sites can allow direct correlation of phenotypes to genetic function. These techniques have also been applied to genetic interaction screening, where a GAL4 driver and UAS-regulated insertion collection are combined with an extant mutant genotype. In this article, we summarize studies that have utilized GAL4-UAS overexpression or misexpression of random loci to screen for candidates involved in specific developmental processes.

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