Daisuke Yamamoto

Tohoku University Graduate School of Life Sciences

What are Fruitless Proteins Really Doing for LOVEly Fruit Flies?

12:00 pm, Friday 18 September 2015

Location: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Sherrington Building

Abstract: Fruitless (Fru) proteins, together with Doublesex proteins, play key roles in neural sexual differentiation, and thus do so in the production of gender-typical behaviors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Fru proteins belong to the BTB-Zn finger family and thus are inferred to function as transcription factors. Do Fru proteins truly regulate transcription? If so, are all known Fru effects on neural sex determination ascribable to their activities as transcription factors? Among putative Fru-binding targets and putative Fru-cofactors, we focused on a few genes, the inactivation of which recapitulated fru mutant phenotypes at the single neuron level as revealed by MARCM. Reporter assays for Fru-mediated transcription, electrophoretic mobility shift assays for Fru-binding and CRISPR-Cas9-aided mutagenesis at a putative Fru-binding site all supported a transcription factor role. In addition, we found evidence that Fru can modulate cleavage of their cofactors thereby producing sex differences in the latter. These findings opened up new horizons for understanding the molecular basis for comprehensive Fru actions in neural sex determination.

Biography: Daisuke Yamamoto is a professor of Neurogenetics at Tohoku University Graduate School of Life Sciences, Sendai, Japan. He majored in Applied Entomology and Zoology (1976) at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan. For his Postdoctoral  training he worked at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, USA, from 1981 to 1983. He was appointed to be Director of ERATO Yamamoto Behavior Genes Project from 1994 to 1999. In 2005 he moved to Tohoku University.

For further information please contact Fiona Woods at fiona.woods@cncb.ox.ac.uk