The Francis Crick Institute
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Rapid and robust optogenetic control of gene expression in Drosophila

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-11, 13:53 authored by Florencia di Pietro, Sophie Herszterg, Anqi Huang, Floris Bosveld, Cyrille Alexandre, Lucas Sancéré, Stéphane Pelletier, Amina Joudat, Varun Kapoor, Jean-Paul Vincent, Yohanns Bellaïche
Deciphering gene function requires the ability to control gene expression in space and time. Binary systems such as the Gal4/UAS provide a powerful means to modulate gene expression and to induce loss or gain of function. This is best exemplified in Drosophila, where the Gal4/UAS system has been critical to discover conserved mechanisms in development, physiology, neurobiology, and metabolism, to cite a few. Here we describe a transgenic light-inducible Gal4/UAS system (ShineGal4/UAS) based on Magnet photoswitches. We show that it allows efficient, rapid, and robust activation of UAS-driven transgenes in different tissues and at various developmental stages in Drosophila. Furthermore, we illustrate how ShineGal4 enables the generation of gain and loss-of-function phenotypes at animal, organ, and cellular levels. Thanks to the large repertoire of UAS-driven transgenes, ShineGal4 enriches the Drosophila genetic toolkit by allowing in vivo control of gene expression with high temporal and spatial resolutions.


Crick (Grant ID: 10204, Grant title: Vincent FC001204) Wellcome Trust (Grant ID: 206341/Z/17/Z, Grant title: WT 206341/Z/17/Z)