The GAL4 system: A versatile system for the expression of genes

David Anthony Elliott, Andrea H Brand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Other


Over the past decade the adoption and refinement of the GAL4 system by the Drosophila field has resulted in a wide array of tools with which the researcher can drive transgene expression in a precise spatiotemporal pattern. The GAL4 system relies on two components: (1) GAL4, a transcriptional activator from yeast, which is expressed in a tissue-specific manner and (2) a transgene under the control of the upstream activation sequence that is bound by GAL4 (UASG). The two components are brought together in a simple genetic cross. In the progeny of the cross, the transgene is only transcribed in those cells or tissues expressing the GAL4 protein. Recent modifications of the GAL4 system have improved the control of both the initiation and the spatial restriction of transgene expression. Here we describe the GAL4 system highlighting the properties that make it a powerful tool for the analysis of gene function in Drosophila and higher organisms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology - Drosophila: Methods and Protocols
EditorsChristian Dahmann
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherHumana Press
Pages79 - 95
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781588298171
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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