Assistant Professor of Biology
Developmental control of gene expression
Gene expression control in germ cells
The germline is an immortal cell lineage tasked with propagating the highest quality DNA. Germ cells regulate mutation and recombination rates, suppress selfish genetic elements like transposons, and produce gametes. The germline also gives rise to multiple somatic cell lineages to help it acquire nutrients and reproduce within a highly competitive and changing environment (the world). Perhaps to juggle its myriad functions, germ cells regulate genes differently than highly specialized somatic cells. We study how and why germ cells adopt this unique transcriptional state using a variety of tools we developed to purify and genetically manipulate germ cells in the experimentally tractable Drosophila ovary.
Developmental regulation of gene silencing
As somatic cells differentiate, they inhibit the transcription of many genes they will no longer need for their specialized purposes. This developmentally-regulated gene silencing is triggered and maintained by Polycomb-Group proteins. Using a new model system, Drosophila nurse cell differentiation, we study how Polycomb-Group proteins initiate silencing on the right genes at the right time.
- DeLuca SZ, Ghildiyal M, Pang LY, Spradling AC. Differentiating Drosophila female germ cells initiate Polycomb silencing by regulating PRC2-interacting proteins. eLife 2020;9:e56922 (2020)
- DeLuca SZ and Spradling AC. Efficient Expression of Genes in the Drosophila Germline Using a UAS-Promoter Free of Interference by Hsp70 piRNAs. (2018)
- Yu Z, O'Farrell PH, Yakubovich N, DeLuca SZ. The Mitochondrial DNA Polymerase Promotes Elimination of Paternal Mitochondrial Genomes. Curr Biol. 2017 Apr 3;27(7):1033-103 (2017).
- Nagarkar-Jaiswal S*, DeLuca SZ*, Lee PT, Lin WW, Pan H, Zuo Z, Lv J, Spradling AC, Bellen HJ. A genetic toolkit for tagging intronic MiMIC containing genes. eLife 2015;4:e08469 (2015).
- DeLuca SZ and O’Farrell PH. Barriers to Male Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA in Sperm Development. Developmental Cell. 2012 Mar 13;22(3):660-8. (2012).
- Foe IT, Foster SA, Cheung SK, DeLuca SZ, Morgan DO, Toczyski DP. Ubiquitination of Cdc20 by the APC Occurs through an Intramolecular Mechanism. Current Biology 2011 Nov 22;21(22):1870-7 (2011).
- Xu H, DeLuca SZ, O'Farrell PH. Manipulating the metazoan mitochondrial genome with targeted restriction enzymes. Science. 2008 Jul 25;321(5888):575-7. (2008)
- Au WC*, Crisp MJ*, DeLuca SZ*, Rando OJ, Basrai MA. Altered dosage and mislocalization of histone H3 and Cse4p lead to chromosome loss in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 2008 May; 179(1): 263–275.(2008).