Expanding the Repertoire of Optogenetically Targeted Cells with an Enhanced Gene Expression System

Kenji F. Tanaka, Ko Matsui, Takuya Sasaki, Hiromi Sano, Shouta Sugio, Kai Fan, René Hen, Junichi Nakai, Yuchio Yanagawa, Hidetoshi Hasuwa, Masaru Okabe, Karl Deisseroth, Kazuhiro Ikenaka, Akihiro Yamanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


Drosophila neuroblasts (NBs) have emerged as a model for stem cell biology that is ideal for genetic analysis but is limited by the lack of cell-type-specific gene expression data. Here, we describe a method for isolating large numbers of pure NBs and differentiating neurons that retain both cell-cycle and lineage characteristics. We determine transcriptional profiles by mRNA sequencing and identify 28 predicted NB-specific transcription factors that can be arranged in a network containing hubs for Notch signaling, growth control, and chromatin regulation. Overexpression and RNA interference for these factors identify Klumpfuss as a regulator of self-renewal. We show that loss of Klumpfuss function causes premature differentiation and that overexpression results in the formation of transplantable brain tumors. Our data represent a valuable resource for investigating Drosophila developmental neurobiology, and the described method can be applied to other invertebrate stem cell lineages as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalCell Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 30

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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