Ilaria Rebay, PhD Ilaria Rebay
Signal Transduction in Drosophila Development

Professor, Ben May Department for Cancer Research, Committee on Cancer Biology, Committee on Development, Regeneration & Stem Cell Biology, Committee on Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology, Committee on Cell & Molecular Biology

B.A., Mathematics, Columbia University, 1987
Ph.D., Biology, Yale University, 1993


Research Summary

My laboratory works at the interface between signal transduction and developmental biology. The long term goal of our research is to understand how complex developmental decisions are controlled in time and space by multiple signaling pathways. Our approach involves first identifying the individual genes comprising the regulatory network, and second elucidating the complex functional relationships between the components in order to determine the critical nodes where information is integrated. Specifically, we study how nuclear events downstream of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathway regulate cell fate specification decisions during embryonic and retinal neural development, with particular emphasis on elucidating the post-translational control mechanisms that modulate and facilitate interactions within the network. Drosophila, and in particular the fly eye, provides an unparalleled model tissue in which to study the mechanisms of signal integration both because of its experimental tractability and because a complex interplay between multiple signaling pathways regulates many aspects of its development. Furthermore, because developmental signaling mechanisms have all been highly conserved in evolution, our work elucidating the molecular circuitries used in Drosophila directly advances understanding of how cell fates are designated and maintained in all animals, and why misregulation results in cancer and disease in humans. Thus our current and long term strategy involves combining genetic, genomic, proteomic, biochemical and cell biological methodologies in order to elucidate the conserved molecular circuitries that link and coordinate signaling modules in the developing retina.

Selected Publications

The Relationship between Long-range Chromatin Occupancy and Polymerization of the Drosophila ETS Family Transcriptional Repressor Yan. Webber JL, Zhang J, Cote L, Vivekanand P, Ni X, Zhou J, Nègre N, Carthew RW, White KP, Rebay I. Genetics. 2012 Nov 19. [Epub ahead of print] (PubMed)

The Abelson tyrosine kinase regulates Notch endocytosis and signaling to maintain neuronal cell fate in Drosophila photoreceptors. Xiong W, Morillo SA, Rebay I. 2013 Jan;140(1):176-84. (PubMed)

The SAM domain of human TEL2 can abrogate transcriptional output from TEL1 (ETV-6) and ETS1/ETS2. Vivekanand P, Rebay I. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37151. (PubMed)

Nemo phosphorylates Eyes absent and enhances output from the Eya-Sine oculis transcriptional complex during Drosophila retinal determination. Morillo SA, Braid LR, Verheyen EM, Rebay I. Dev Biol. 2012 May 1;365(1):267-76. (PubMed)

Abelson tyrosine kinase is required for Drosophila photoreceptor morphogenesis and retinal epithelial patterning. Xiong W, Rebay I. Dev Dyn. 2011 Jul;240(7):1745-55. (PubMed)

Modeling bistable cell-fate choices in the Drosophila eye: qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Graham TG, Tabei SM, Dinner AR, Rebay I. Development. 2010 Jul;137(14):2265-78. Review. (PubMed)

Sterile alpha motif domain-mediated self-association plays an essential role in modulating the activity of the Drosophila ETS family transcriptional repressor Yan. Zhang J, Graham TG, Vivekanand P, Cote L, Cetera M, Rebay I. Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Mar;30(5):1158-70. (PubMed)

Interactions with the abelson tyrosine kinase reveal compartmentalization of eyes absent function between nucleus and cytoplasm. Xiong W, Dabbouseh NM, Rebay I. Dev Cell. 2009 Feb;16(2):271-9. (PubMed)

Identification of transcriptional targets of the dual-function transcription factor/phosphatase eyes absent. Jemc J, Rebay I. Dev Biol. 2007 Oct 15;310(2):416-29. (PubMed)


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