Animal development depends on the successive refinement of cell fates and cell potentials. Embryonic stem cells, for example, are pluripotent but their descendents gradually take on more specific fates depending on the extracellular cues they perceive and intrinsic factors they express. Understanding this process at a mechanistic level is important for eventually harnessing the potential of stem cells for medicine, as well as for understanding many diseases, such as cancers, where this process fails to be properly regulated. In this project, the model system to be investigated is appendage specification in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. One goal is to understand, at a molecular level, how the initial leg and wing primordia become established in the early embryo. A second goal is to characterize the mechanism by which cis-regulatory enhancer elements integrate signaling and transcription factor inputs during the formation of the proximal- distal axis in the leg. A third goal is to investigate how the Epidermal Growth Factor pathway establishes positional information in the distal-most segments of the leg. Together, these Aims will provide significant insights into how appendages are first specified to how final positional information in the leg is achieved.

Public Health Relevance

This project addresses fundamental processes during animal development, in particular, how cells gradually restrict their potentials as development proceeds. Stem cells, for example, are pluripotent, but some of their descendents have more limited potentials. When this process is not properly regulated, developmental defects and cancers can result.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Development - 2 Study Section (DEV2)
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Hoodbhoy, Tanya
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
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Newcomb, Susan; Voutev, Roumen; Jory, Aurelie et al. (2018) cis-regulatory architecture of a short-range EGFR organizing center in the Drosophila melanogaster leg. PLoS Genet 14:e1007568
Requena, David; Álvarez, Jose Andres; Gabilondo, Hugo et al. (2017) Origins and Specification of the Drosophila Wing. Curr Biol 27:3826-3836.e5
Voutev, Roumen; Mann, Richard S (2017) Bxb1 phage recombinase assists genome engineering in Drosophila melanogaster. Biotechniques 62:37-38
Voutev, Roumen; Mann, Richard S (2016) Streamlined scanning for enhancer elements in Drosophila melanogaster. Biotechniques 60:141-4
Zhou, Tianyin; Shen, Ning; Yang, Lin et al. (2015) Quantitative modeling of transcription factor binding specificities using DNA shape. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:4654-9
Riley, Todd R; Lazarovici, Allan; Mann, Richard S et al. (2015) Building accurate sequence-to-affinity models from high-throughput in vitro protein-DNA binding data using FeatureREDUCE. Elife 4:
Abe, Namiko; Dror, Iris; Yang, Lin et al. (2015) Deconvolving the recognition of DNA shape from sequence. Cell 161:307-18
Agelopoulos, Marios; McKay, Daniel J; Mann, Richard S (2014) cgChIP: a cell type- and gene-specific method for chromatin analysis. Methods Mol Biol 1196:291-306
Slattery, Matthew; Voutev, Roumen; Ma, Lijia et al. (2013) Divergent transcriptional regulatory logic at the intersection of tissue growth and developmental patterning. PLoS Genet 9:e1003753
Oh, Hyangyee; Slattery, Matthew; Ma, Lijia et al. (2013) Genome-wide association of Yorkie with chromatin and chromatin-remodeling complexes. Cell Rep 3:309-18

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