A targeted gain of function screen in the embryonic CNS of Drosophila

Vicki L. McGovern, Christina A. Pacak, Stephen T. Sewell, Michelle L. Turski, Mark A. Seeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to identify genes involved in the development of the central nervous system (CNS) we have undertaken a gain of function screen in the embryonic CNS of Drosophila. Transposable P-elements and the UAS/GAL4 system were used to initiate transcription of genes in a pan-neural pattern using scaGAL4. Over 4100 individual P-element insertion lines were screened with monoclonal antibodies BP102 and 1D4 to visualize axon pathways. Twenty-five P-element insertions corresponding to 18 genes resulted in aberrant CNS axon pathfinding when misexpressed with scaGAL4. Genes involved in axon guidance, embryonic patterning, and cell cycle regulation were isolated. In addition, we identified several zinc finger transcription factors not previously implicated in axon guidance or CNS development. This group includes Squeeze, Kruppel homolog-1, Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4, and two uncharacterized genes, CG11966 and CG9650. Calnexin99A, a putative molecular chaperone, was isolated as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1207
Number of pages15
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Szeged Stock Centre in Hungary and the Bloomington Drosophila Sock Center for providing us with the EP collection. We thank T. Aigaki for the GS starter line and C. Zeng for providing us with independent GS lines. S. Crews provided us with the sim GAL4 driver line. Various antibodies were obtained from the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank at the University of Iowa supported by the NICHD. C. Zeigler and B. Schmitt contributed technical assistance. Finally, we thank Y.-J. Choi, D. Forsthoefel, and A. Simcox for their helpful suggestions on this manuscript. This work was supported by N.S.F. grant IBN-9896095 and N.I.H. grant NS32839 to M.A.S.


  • Axon guidance
  • Calnexin99A
  • CG11966
  • CG9650
  • Drosophila
  • Gain of function screen
  • Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4
  • Kruppel-homolog1
  • Squeeze


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