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Lee Tzumin Lab / Publications
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4 Publications

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    08/24/10 | A complete developmental sequence of a Drosophila neuronal lineage as revealed by twin-spot MARCM.
    Yu H, Kao C, He Y, Ding P, Kao J, Lee T
    PLoS Biology. 2010 Aug 24;8:. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000461

    Drosophila brains contain numerous neurons that form complex circuits. These neurons are derived in stereotyped patterns from a fixed number of progenitors, called neuroblasts, and identifying individual neurons made by a neuroblast facilitates the reconstruction of neural circuits. An improved MARCM (mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker) technique, called twin-spot MARCM, allows one to label the sister clones derived from a common progenitor simultaneously in different colors. It enables identification of every single neuron in an extended neuronal lineage based on the order of neuron birth. Here we report the first example, to our knowledge, of complete lineage analysis among neurons derived from a common neuroblast that relay olfactory information from the antennal lobe (AL) to higher brain centers. By identifying the sequentially derived neurons, we found that the neuroblast serially makes 40 types of AL projection neurons (PNs). During embryogenesis, one PN with multi-glomerular innervation and 18 uniglomerular PNs targeting 17 glomeruli of the adult AL are born. Many more PNs of 22 additional types, including four types of polyglomerular PNs, derive after the neuroblast resumes dividing in early larvae. Although different offspring are generated in a rather arbitrary sequence, the birth order strictly dictates the fate of each post-mitotic neuron, including the fate of programmed cell death. Notably, the embryonic progenitor has an altered temporal identity following each self-renewing asymmetric cell division. After larval hatching, the same progenitor produces multiple neurons for each cell type, but the number of neurons for each type is tightly regulated. These observations substantiate the origin-dependent specification of neuron types. Sequencing neuronal lineages will not only unravel how a complex brain develops but also permit systematic identification of neuron types for detailed structure and function analysis of the brain.

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    02/01/10 | Birth time/order-dependent neuron type specification.
    Kao C, Lee T
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2010 Feb;20(1):14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2009.10.017

    Neurons derived from the same progenitor may acquire different fates according to their birth timing/order. To reveal temporally guided cell fates, we must determine neuron types as well as their lineage relationships and times of birth. Recent advances in genetic lineage analysis and fate mapping are facilitating such studies. For example, high-resolution lineage analysis can identify each sequentially derived neuron of a lineage and has revealed abrupt temporal identity changes in diverse Drosophila neuronal lineages. In addition, fate mapping of mouse neurons made from the same pool of precursors shows production of specific neuron types in specific temporal patterns. The tools used in these analyses are helping to further our understanding of the genetics of neuronal temporal identity.

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    01/01/10 | Automatic neuron tracing in volumetric microscopy images with anisotropic path searching.
    Xie J, Zhao T, Lee T, Myers E, Peng H
    Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention: MICCAI International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention. 2010;13:472-9

    Full reconstruction of neuron morphology is of fundamental interest for the analysis and understanding of neuron function. We have developed a novel method capable of tracing neurons in three-dimensional microscopy data automatically. In contrast to template-based methods, the proposed approach makes no assumptions on the shape or appearance of neuron’s body. Instead, an efficient seeding approach is applied to find significant pixels almost certainly within complex neuronal structures and the tracing problem is solved by computing an graph tree structure connecting these seeds. In addition, an automated neuron comparison method is introduced for performance evaluation and structure analysis. The proposed algorithm is computationally efficient. Experiments on different types of data show promising results.

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    01/01/10 | Lineage-specific effects of Notch/Numb signaling in post-embryonic development of the Drosophila brain.
    Lin S, Lai S, Yu H, Chihara T, Luo L, Lee T
    Development. 2010 Jan;137(1):43-51. doi: 10.1242/dev.041699

    Numb can antagonize Notch signaling to diversify the fates of sister cells. We report here that paired sister cells acquire different fates in all three Drosophila neuronal lineages that make diverse types of antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs). Only one in each pair of postmitotic neurons survives into the adult stage in both anterodorsal (ad) and ventral (v) PN lineages. Notably, Notch signaling specifies the PN fate in the vPN lineage but promotes programmed cell death in the missing siblings in the adPN lineage. In addition, Notch/Numb-mediated binary sibling fates underlie the production of PNs and local interneurons from common precursors in the lAL lineage. Furthermore, Numb is needed in the lateral but not adPN or vPN lineages to prevent the appearance of ectopic neuroblasts and to ensure proper self-renewal of neural progenitors. These lineage-specific outputs of Notch/Numb signaling show that a universal mechanism of binary fate decision can be utilized to govern diverse neural sibling differentiations.

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