Past and current members of the Casares’ lab analyzed the gene regulatory network of transcription factors and signaling molecules that control the early development of the Drosophila eye, this grid of information is called retinal determination gene network (RDGN).
After the generation of quantitative expression profiles for a number of the key RDGN transcription factors, at a single-cell resolution, the RDGN’s model was readjusted. The members of the Casares’ lab teamed up with Julia Cantisan-Gomez and Maria Carmen Lemos from the Department of Condensed Matter Physics, University of Sevilla to model mathematically a simplified gene network derived from the revised RDGN. This collaborative group of researchers was able to describe a toggle-switch and a feed-forward loop that engage in the control of the Drosophila retinal determination gene network.
In the figure: Confocal image of a late third larval stage (L3) eye disc, stained for Hth, Eya, and the photoreceptor marker Elav. These genes mark three major domains in the primordium: progenitors (“G”), precursors (“P”), and differentiating retina (“R”). The dashed line marks the approximate location of the morphogenetic furrow (MF). The retinal determination gene network (RDGN) comprises the regulatory interactions that span the specification of progenitors and their transition to atonal-expressing retinal precursors. “a” and “p” indicate anterior and posterior, respectively (adapted from the paper).
Check the full work here!