Rapid and robust optogenetic control of gene expression in Drosophila
journal contributionposted on 11.01.2022, 13:53 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.