Saito Group • Invertebrate Genetics Laboratory

The mechanisms of transposon regulation in Drosophila


Research Summary

Transposable elements (TEs) occupy a large proportion of many eukaryotic genomes and play beneficial effects for the evolution of organisms. However, we do not have a clear understanding of how individual TEs are recognized and regulated in cells. Our laboratory is interested in molecular mechanisms on epigenetic regulations of TEs in Drosophila. To understand them, we are engaged in studying the piRNA pathways, chromatin regulation and germ line development using biochemical and high-throughput technologies, and genetic tools which are managed and distributed by genetic resources project (NIG-Fly).

(A) Schematic representation of piRNA-mediated TE silencing system in Drosophila. (B) Piwi (Green) is expressed in ovarian somatic cells and Vasa-positve (Red) germ cells. (C) Fly strains we are maintaining and providing under the National Bioresource Project.

Selected Publications

Katow H, Takahashi T, Saito K, Tanimoto H, Kondo S. Tango knock-ins visualize endogenous activity of G protein-coupled receptors in Drosophila. J Neurogenet. 2019 Mar – Jun;33(2):44-51.

Kondo S, Vedanayagam J, Mohammed J, Eizadshenass S, Kan L, Pang N, Aradhya R, Siepel A, Steinhauer J, Lai EC. New genes often acquire male-specific functions but rarely become essential in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 2017 Sep 15;31(18):1841-1846.

Iwasaki YW, Murano K, Ishizu H, Shibuya A, Iyoda Y, Siomi MC, Siomi H, Saito K. Piwi Modulates Chromatin Accessibility by Regulating Multiple Factors Including Histone H1 to Repress Transposons. Mol Cell. 2016 Aug 4;63(3):408-19.

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