GEHRING, WALTER / Ciencias de la Vida / Investigadores

Centro Internacional de Investigación Científica

Investigadores

Ciencias de la Vida / GEHRING, WALTER

Walter.Gehringunibas.ch

Puesto

Division of Cell Biology
Biozentrum, University of Basel
Basel, Switzerland.

Genetic Control of Development: Homeotic Genes, Cell Determination and Differentiation, Eye Morphogenesis and Evolution

In the 1990s Walter J. Gehring made a fundamental discovery for our knowledge of the eye. He identified the gene Pax 6 as the agent responsible for the development of this complex, perfect mechanism. Pax 6 is, in fact, a master control gene, or high-level regulator in the gene hierarchy, and as such, it can activate the other genes it wants to involve in the construction of a visual system in all animals, man included. The importance of Pax 6 was established by Walter J. Gehring through an especially “spectacular” experiment in which the forced expression of this gene in the Drosophila produced the formation of an eye in one of the most inconceivable places: on the legs, wings or antennae of the fruit fly.
After this, Gehring and his group discovered that Pax 6 is in turn “commanded” by another gene – the Notch – and that both are responsible not only for the formation of the eye, but also for its maintenance and cellular regeneration. The discovery of this mechanism could be of fundamental importance to our understanding of as well as the cure for a serious eye disease that strikes a very high percentage of the elderly population: retinal macula degeneration, which
leads to total blindness. Thus, this is a disease in which the regeneration of cells dependent on
Pax 6 and Notch is somehow “impeded” in many people who reach a certain age.

1982 : Otto Naegeli-Prize
1986 : Warren Triennial Prize (Harvard Medical School)
1986 : Dr. Albert Wander Preis (Wander AG. Bern)
1986 : Prix Charles-Léopold Mayer (Institut de France, Paris)
1987 : Prix Louis Jeantet de Médecine (Fondation Jeantet Genève)
1987 : Gairdner Foundation International Award (Canada)
1993 : Prix d'Honneur Science pour l'Art, Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, Paris
1995 : Runnström Medal, Stockholm
1996 : 1994-95 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize for outstanding research article in Science
1996 : Otto Warburg-Medaille 1996, Gesellschaft für biologische Chemie (GBCh) Munich
1996 : Prix Paul Wintrebert, Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
1997 : Mendel-Medal, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
1997 : March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, awarded by March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, White Plains, NY
2000 : Karl Ritter Von Frisch-Medaille 2000, Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft, Bonn
2000 : Kyoto Prize, The Inamori Foundation
2002 : Balzan Prize

Kurata, S., Go, M..J., Artavanis-Tsakonas, S. and Gehring, W.J. (2000). Notch signalling and the determination of appendage identity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 2117-2122.

Kurusu, M., Nagao, T., Walldorf, U., Flister, S., Gehring. W.J. and, Furukubo-Tokunaga, K. (2000). Genetic control of development of the mushroom bodies, the associative learning centers in the Drosopila brain, by the eyeless, twin of eyeless, and dachshund Genes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 2140-2144.

Engels, A., Reichert, H., Gehring, W.J. and Gärtner, W. (2000). Functional expression of a locust visual pigment in transgenic Drosophila melanogaster. Eur. J. Biochem. 267, 1917-1922.

Seimiya, M. and Gehring, W. (2000). The Drosophila homeobox gene optix is capable of inducing ectopic eyes by an eyeless-independent mechnism. Development 127, 1879-1886.

Miller, D.J., Hayward, D.C., Reece-Hoyes, J., Scholten, I., Catmull, J., Gehring, W.J., Callaerts, P., Larsen, J.E. and Ball, E. (2000). Pax gene diversity in the basal cnidarian Acropora millepora (Cnideria; Anthozoa): Implications for the evolution of the Pax gene family. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 4475-4480

Pineda, D, Gonzalez, J., Callaerts, P., Ikeo, K., Gehring, W.J. and Salo, E. (2000). Searching for the prototypic eye genetic network: sine oculis is essential for eye regeneration in planarians. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 4525-4529

Berry, M. and Gehring, W.J. (2000). Phosphorylation status of the SCR homeodomain determines its functional activity: essential role for protein phosphatase 2A,B'. EMBO J. 19, 2946-2957.

Engels, A., Reichert, H., Gehring, W.J. and Gartner, W. (2000): Functional expression of a locust visual pigment in transgenic Drosophila melanogaster. Eur J Biochem 267, 1917-1922.

Gehring, W.J. (2000): Ein tiefer Blick in die Entwicklung und Evolution der Augen. Eine besondere Dankesrede. Zoologie, Mitt. DZG

Groger, H., Callaerts, P., Gehring, W.J. and Schmid, V. (2000): Characterization and expression analysis of an ancestor-type Pax gene in the hydrozoan jellyfish Podocoryne carnea. Mech Dev 94, 157-169.

Kurata, S., Go, M.J., Artavanis-Tsakonas, S. and Gehring, W.J. (2000): Notch signaling and the determination of appendage identity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97, 2117-2122.

Kurusu, M., Nagao, T., Walldorf, U., Flister, S., Gehring, W.J. and Furukubo-Tokunaga, K. (2000): Genetic control of development of the mushroom bodies, the associative learning centers in the Drosophila brain, by the eyeless, twin of eyeless, and Dachshund genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97, 2140-2144.

Miller, D.J., Hayward, D.C., Reece-Hoyes, J.S., Scholten, I., Catmull, J., Gehring, W.J., Callaerts, P., Larsen, J.E. and Ball, E.E. (2000): Pax gene diversity in the basal cnidarian Acropora millepora (Cnidaria, Anthozoa): implications for the evolution of the Pax gene family. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97, 4475-4480.

Pineda, D., Gonzalez, J., Callaerts, P., Ikeo, K., Gehring, W.J. and Salo, E. (2000): Searching for the prototypic eye genetic network: Sine oculis is essential for eye regeneration in planarians. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97, 4525-4529.

Seimiya, M. and Gehring, W.J. (2000): The Drosophila homeobox gene optix is capable of inducing ectopic eyes by an eyeless-independent mechanism. Development 127, 1879-1886.

Punzo, C., Kurata, S. and Gehring, W.J. (2001): The eyeless homeodomain is dispensable for eye development in Drosophila. Genes Dev 15, 1716-1723.

Plaza, S., Prince, F., Jaeger, J., Kloter, U., Flister, S., Benassayag, C., Cribbs, D. and Gehring, W.J. (2001): Molecular basis for the inhibition of Drosophila eye development by Antennapedia. Embo J 20, 802-811.

Kammermeier, L., Leemans, R., Hirth, F., Flister, S., Wenger, U., Walldorf, U., Gehring, W.J. and Reichert, H. (2001): Differential expression and function of the Drosophila Pax6 genes eyeless and twin of eyeless in embryonic central nervous system development. Mech Dev 103, 71-78.

Gehring, W.J. (2001): The genetic control of eye development and its implications for the evolution of the various eye-types. Zoology 104, 171-183.

Gehring, W.J. (eds). Wie Gene die Entwicklung steuern. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2001.

Walter, N. (2002): From Transdetermination to the Homeodomain at Atomic Resolution. An interview with Walter J. Gehring
by Niklaus Walter. Int J Dev Biol 46, 29-37.

Tarpin, M., Gehring, W.J. and Bierne, J. (2002): Conversion of a postocellar into an ocellar region as a transdetermination event occurring in adult ribbonworms. Mech Dev 118, 39-44.

Punzo, C., Seimiya, M., Flister, S., Gehring, W.J. and Plaza, S. (2002): Differential interactions of eyeless and twin of eyeless with the sine oculis enhancer. Development 129, 625-634.

Onuma, Y., Takahashi, S., Asashima, M., Kurata, S. and Gehring, W.J. (2002): Conservation of Pax 6 function and upstream activation by Notch signaling in eye development of frogs and flies. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99, 2020-2025.

Gehring, W.J. and Michaut, L. (2002): Diciphering the eye morphogenetic pathway. Uehara Memorial Foundation Symposium 2002. International Congress Series 1246, 83-89.

Gehring, W.J. (2002): The genetic control of eye development and its implications for the evolution of the various eye-types. Int J Dev Biol 46, 65-73.

Callaerts, P., Lee, P.N., Hartmann, B., Farfan, C., Choy, D.W., Ikeo, K., Fischbach, K.F., Gehring, W.J. and de Couet, H.G. (2002): HOX genes in the sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes: implications for the evolution of complex body plans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99, 2088-2093.

Michaut, L., Flister, S., Neeb, M., White, K.P., Certa, U. and Gehring, W.J. (2003): Analysis of the eye developmental pathway in Drosophila using DNA microarrays. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100, 4024-4029.

Gonzalez-Estevez, C., Momose, T., Gehring, W.J. and Salo, E. (2003): Planarian transgenic lines obtained by electroporation using transposon-derived vectors and an eye-specific GFP marker. Int J Dev Biol in press,

Gehring, W.J. and Rosbash, M. (2003): The Co-evolution of Blue-Light Photoreception and Circadian Rhythms. J Mol Evol 57, 1-4.

Benassayag, C., Plaza, S., Callaerts, P., Clements, J., Romeo, Y., Gehring, W.J. and Cribbs, D.L. (2003): Evidence for a direct functional antagonism of the selector genes proboscipedia and eyeless in Drosophila head development. Development 130, 575-586.

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