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Poirier, L., Shane, A., Zheng, J., Seroude, L. (2008). Characterization of the Drosophila gene-switch system in aging studies: a cautionary tale.  Aging Cell 7(5): 758--770.
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Genetic studies have shown that in many model organisms, single gene mutations can dramatically influence aging. Systems that allow researchers to control a gene's temporal and spatial expression pattern, known as inducible gene-expression systems, are a valuable asset for the study of the influence of single genes on aging. One inducible gene-expression system reported to allow temporal and tissue-specific control of gene expression in Drosophila is the Gene-Switch system. However, this system has not been extensively characterized in the context of aging research. This report uses six Gene-Switch strains to examine the tissue localization and amount of expression achievable in the major tissue types of the fly. The quantitative analysis of adult flies fed with inducer through life reveals that the levels of expression are influenced by both the inducer concentration and the age of the animal in a strain-specific manner. Furthermore, the relationship between inducer concentration and expression level is unique to each strain and, in some cases, to each gender. The analysis of the spatial expression patterns in several strains revealed expression in more tissue types than previously assumed. Finally, most Gene-Switch strains display expression in the absence of inducer during development and/or during adulthood. These findings have important implications that may reconcile contradictions reported in studies investigating the effects of dFOXO on longevity. This study is an important guide to the design and interpretation of aging studies based on the Gene-Switch system.

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    Publication Type
    Aging Cell
    Aging Cell
    Publication Year
    1474-9718 1474-9728
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