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Ariyapala, I.S., Holsopple, J.M., Popodi, E.M., Hartwick, D.G., Kahsai, L., Cook, K.R., Sokol, N.S. (2020). Identification of Split-GAL4 Drivers and Enhancers That Allow Regional Cell Type Manipulations of the Drosophila melanogaster Intestine.  Genetics 216(4): 891--903.
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Research paper

The Drosophila adult midgut is a model epithelial tissue composed of a few major cell types with distinct regional identities. One of the limitations to its analysis is the lack of tools to manipulate gene expression based on these regional identities. To overcome this obstacle, we applied the intersectional split-GAL4 system to the adult midgut and report 653 driver combinations that label cells by region and cell type. We first identified 424 split-GAL4 drivers with midgut expression from ∼7300 drivers screened, and then evaluated the expression patterns of each of these 424 when paired with three reference drivers that report activity specifically in progenitor cells, enteroendocrine cells, or enterocytes. We also evaluated a subset of the drivers expressed in progenitor cells for expression in enteroblasts using another reference driver. We show that driver combinations can define novel cell populations by identifying a driver that marks a distinct subset of enteroendocrine cells expressing genes usually associated with progenitor cells. The regional cell type patterns associated with the entire set of driver combinations are documented in a freely available website, providing information for the design of thousands of additional driver combinations to experimentally manipulate small subsets of intestinal cells. In addition, we show that intestinal enhancers identified with the split-GAL4 system can confer equivalent expression patterns on other transgenic reporters. Altogether, the resource reported here will enable more precisely targeted gene expression for studying intestinal processes, epithelial cell functions, and diseases affecting self-renewing tissues.

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PMC7768249 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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