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Gene Review

Gal  -  beta galactosidase

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG9092, Dmel\CG9092, beta-GAL, beta-Gal-1, beta-gal, ...
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Disease relevance of Gal

  • Such an analysis is of particular interest because Drosophila is commonly used for making transformants that carry fusion genes in which the E. coli beta-galactosidase gene, lacZ, is used as a reporter gene [1].
  • Severe hypoxia blocked expression of a heat-shock-inducible lacZ transgene [2].
  • A HES-1 and lacZ-transducing retrovirus (SG-HES1) and a control lacZ-transducing retrovirus (SG) were injected into the lateral ventricles of mouse embryos, and the fate of the infected neural precursor cells was examined by X-gal staining [3].
  • The development of the lamina, the first optic ganglion of the fly visual system, depends on inductive cues from the innervating photoreceptor axons. lacZ expression from a P-element insertion, A72, occurs in the anlage of the lamina coincident with axon ingrowth from the eye imaginal disc [4].
  • For type B, a variation of enhancer detection was devised in which beta-galactosidase is assayed spectrophotometrically with and without bacterial infection [5].

High impact information on Gal

  • We screened 11,000 enhancer trap lines, isolated several expressing beta-galactosidase in small subsets of muscle fibers prior to innervation, and identified two of these as inserts in connectin and Toll, members of the leucine-rich repeat gene family [6].
  • In the ectoderm, all galactosidase-positive transformants show the same characteristic pattern [7].
  • To investigate the in vivo function of Cutl1, we have replaced the C-terminal Cut repeat 3 and homeodomain exons with an in-frame lacZ gene by targeted mutagenesis in the mouse [8].
  • A 1.2-kb Fab-7 DNA fragment was placed between divergently transcribed white and lacZ test promoters and challenged with several defined enhancers expressed in the early embryo [9].
  • Here, we describe the exact replacement of a defective unmarked P element by an enhancer-trap transposon marked by the miniwhite gene and carrying lacZ as a reporter gene [10].

Chemical compound and disease context of Gal


Biological context of Gal

  • The results of an EMS mutagenesis screen showed that, besides the beta-Gal-1 locus, there are four loci defined by recessive lethal mutations which map in the 26A7-9 region [12].
  • In the first, gene dosage dependent variation in beta-galactosidase activity levels in segmental aneuploids, generated from crosses of Y-autosome translocation stocks, was determined quantitatively [12].
  • Endogenous beta-galactosidase activity in the larval, pupal, and adult stages of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, indicates need for caution in lacZ fusion-gene studies [1].
  • The lines were analyzed in two ways: (1) the identification of cis-acting patterning information within the Drosophila genome, as revealed by a lacZ reporter gene within the P element, and (2) the isolation of lethal mutations [13].
  • Mutated Pc proteins were expressed as Pc-beta-galactosidase fusion proteins, and their nuclear distribution was examined by indirect immunofluorescence in tissue culture cells and on polytene chromosomes of transgenic larvae [14].

Anatomical context of Gal

  • In the course of testing this compound, a new beta-galactoside hydrolytic activity, different from the previously identified beta-galactosidase, has been discovered to reside in macrophages and the intervitelline space [15].
  • Thereafter, beta-galactosidase activity is undetectable until the pupal stage when the prothoracic gland-corpora allata and the optic lobes are beta-galactosidase positive [16].
  • We show that 14 kb of 5'-flanking DNA directs expression of seven lacZ stripes in the blastoderm embryo [17].
  • Nearly ubiquitous expression of the zeste-lacZ gene is found in late embryos and first instar larvae, but disappears almost completely except in brain and gonads by third instar larva [18].
  • We have used lacZ reporter gene constructs to study the promoter/enhancer regions of the Drosophila FMRFamide neuropeptide gene in germ line transformants [19].

Associations of Gal with chemical compounds


Physical interactions of Gal


Regulatory relationships of Gal

  • We identified cis-acting Kr control units which drive beta-galactosidase expression in 10 known locations of Kr expression in early and late embryos [26].

Other interactions of Gal


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Gal

  • We have constructed such maps by applying X-gal staining methods to serial frozen sections and whole mounts of larval, prepupal, pupal, and adult stages of D. melanogaster reared under axenic conditions [1].
  • The temporal and spatial expression of the period gene of Drosophila melanogaster has been analyzed by examining the expression of a per beta-galactosidase fusion gene in transformants and by in situ hybridization experiments with wild-type flies [16].
  • Polyclonal sera directed against the bacterial lacZ fusion protein recognized the same nuclear protein on Western blots [32].
  • By immunoprecipitation, we showed that two of the largest subunits of RNA pol II coprecipitated with the N-terminal 315-residue fusion protein by using antibodies against beta-galactosidase [33].
  • Additionally, we have initiated a dissection of pb's promoter and enhancer elements using lacZ reporter gene constructs [34].


  1. Endogenous beta-galactosidase activity in the larval, pupal, and adult stages of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, indicates need for caution in lacZ fusion-gene studies. Schnetzer, J.W., Tyler, M.S. Biol. Bull. (1996) [Pubmed]
  2. Nitric oxide-induced suspended animation promotes survival during hypoxia. Teodoro, R.O., O'Farrell, P.H. EMBO J. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Persistent expression of helix-loop-helix factor HES-1 prevents mammalian neural differentiation in the central nervous system. Ishibashi, M., Moriyoshi, K., Sasai, Y., Shiota, K., Nakanishi, S., Kageyama, R. EMBO J. (1994) [Pubmed]
  4. Ingrowth by photoreceptor axons induces transcription of a retrotransposon in the developing Drosophila brain. Mozer, B.A., Benzer, S. Development (1994) [Pubmed]
  5. Identification of immune system and response genes, and novel mutations causing melanotic tumor formation in Drosophila melanogaster. Rodriguez, A., Zhou, Z., Tang, M.L., Meller, S., Chen, J., Bellen, H., Kimbrell, D.A. Genetics (1996) [Pubmed]
  6. Connectin: a homophilic cell adhesion molecule expressed on a subset of muscles and the motoneurons that innervate them in Drosophila. Nose, A., Mahajan, V.B., Goodman, C.S. Cell (1992) [Pubmed]
  7. Differential regulation of Ultrabithorax in two germ layers of Drosophila. Bienz, M., Saari, G., Tremml, G., Müller, J., Züst, B., Lawrence, P.A. Cell (1988) [Pubmed]
  8. The transcriptional repressor CDP (Cutl1) is essential for epithelial cell differentiation of the lung and the hair follicle. Ellis, T., Gambardella, L., Horcher, M., Tschanz, S., Capol, J., Bertram, P., Jochum, W., Barrandon, Y., Busslinger, M. Genes Dev. (2001) [Pubmed]
  9. The Fab-7 element of the bithorax complex attenuates enhancer-promoter interactions in the Drosophila embryo. Zhou, J., Barolo, S., Szymanski, P., Levine, M. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  10. Enhancer-trap targeting at the Broad-Complex locus of Drosophila melanogaster. Gonzy-Tréboul, G., Lepesant, J.A., Deutsch, J. Genes Dev. (1995) [Pubmed]
  11. Green fluorescent protein/beta-galactosidase double reporters for visualizing Drosophila gene expression patterns. Timmons, L., Becker, J., Barthmaier, P., Fyrberg, C., Shearn, A., Fyrberg, E. Dev. Genet. (1997) [Pubmed]
  12. Cytogenic mapping and isolation of mutations of the beta-Gal-1 locus of Drosophila melanogaster. Knipple, D.C., MacIntyre, R.J. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1984) [Pubmed]
  13. Searching for pattern and mutation in the Drosophila genome with a P-lacZ vector. Bier, E., Vaessin, H., Shepherd, S., Lee, K., McCall, K., Barbel, S., Ackerman, L., Carretto, R., Uemura, T., Grell, E. Genes Dev. (1989) [Pubmed]
  14. Analysis of the functional role of the Polycomb chromo domain in Drosophila melanogaster. Messmer, S., Franke, A., Paro, R. Genes Dev. (1992) [Pubmed]
  15. Synthesis of a new substrate for detection of lacZ gene expression in live Drosophila embryos. Minden, J.S. BioTechniques (1996) [Pubmed]
  16. Spatial and temporal expression of the period gene in Drosophila melanogaster. Liu, X., Lorenz, L., Yu, Q.N., Hall, J.C., Rosbash, M. Genes Dev. (1988) [Pubmed]
  17. Individual stripe regulatory elements in the Drosophila hairy promoter respond to maternal, gap, and pair-rule genes. Riddihough, G., Ish-Horowicz, D. Genes Dev. (1991) [Pubmed]
  18. Developmental expression of the Drosophila zeste gene and localization of zeste protein on polytene chromosomes. Pirrotta, V., Bickel, S., Mariani, C. Genes Dev. (1988) [Pubmed]
  19. Cell type-specific transcriptional regulation of the Drosophila FMRFamide neuropeptide gene. Schneider, L.E., Roberts, M.S., Taghert, P.H. Neuron (1993) [Pubmed]
  20. Molecular cloning and analysis of the chromosomal region 26A of Drosophila melanogaster. Knipple, D.C., Fuerst, T.R., MacIntyre, R.J. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1991) [Pubmed]
  21. The glycomes of Caenorhabditis elegans and other model organisms. Haslam, S.M., Gems, D., Morris, H.R., Dell, A. Biochem. Soc. Symp. (2002) [Pubmed]
  22. Zwitterionic and acidic glycosphingolipids of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. Seppo, A., Moreland, M., Schweingruber, H., Tiemeyer, M. Eur. J. Biochem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  23. Heat shock and ecdysterone activation of the Drosophila melanogaster hsp23 gene; a sequence element implied in developmental regulation. Mestril, R., Schiller, P., Amin, J., Klapper, H., Ananthan, J., Voellmy, R. EMBO J. (1986) [Pubmed]
  24. Spatial and temporal targeting of gene expression in Drosophila by means of a tetracycline-dependent transactivator system. Bello, B., Resendez-Perez, D., Gehring, W.J. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
  25. Temperature compensation and temporal expression mediated by an enhancer element in Drosophila. Hoopengardner, B., Helfand, S.L. Mech. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  26. cis-acting control elements for Krüppel expression in the Drosophila embryo. Hoch, M., Schröder, C., Seifert, E., Jäckle, H. EMBO J. (1990) [Pubmed]
  27. Identification and characterization of three Drosophila melanogaster glucuronyltransferases responsible for the synthesis of the conserved glycosaminoglycan-protein linkage region of proteoglycans. Two novel homologs exhibit broad specificity toward oligosaccharides from proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycosphingolipids. Kim, B.T., Tsuchida, K., Lincecum, J., Kitagawa, H., Bernfield, M., Sugahara, K. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  28. Transcriptional silencing by the Polycomb protein in Drosophila embryos. Müller, J. EMBO J. (1995) [Pubmed]
  29. Role of the oocyte nucleus in determination of the dorsoventral polarity of Drosophila as revealed by molecular analysis of the K10 gene. Prost, E., Deryckere, F., Roos, C., Haenlin, M., Pantesco, V., Mohier, E. Genes Dev. (1988) [Pubmed]
  30. Localization of sequences controlling the spatial, temporal, and sex-specific expression of the esterase 6 locus in Drosophila melanogaster adults. Ludwig, M.Z., Tamarina, N.A., Richmond, R.C. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
  31. Zinc fingers and other domains cooperate in binding of Drosophila sry beta and delta proteins at specific chromosomal sites. Noselli, S., Payre, F., Vincent, A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  32. Identification of a nonhistone chromosomal protein associated with heterochromatin in Drosophila melanogaster and its gene. James, T.C., Elgin, S.C. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  33. Targeting to transcriptionally active loci by the hydrophilic N-terminal domain of Drosophila DNA topoisomerase I. Shaiu, W.L., Hsieh, T.S. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  34. A functional analysis of 5', intronic and promoter regions of the homeotic gene proboscipedia in Drosophila melanogaster. Kapoun, A.M., Kaufman, T.C. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
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