Dr. Paul LASKO
[visit the Lasko Lab Website]

View Research Oportunity in the Lasko Lab (Jan. 28, 2010)

Paul Lasko received a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he carried out a genetic saturation of the chromosomal region surrounding the Drosophila vestigial gene in the laboratory of Mary Lou Pardue. He then moved to the laboratory of Michael Ashburner, in the Department of Genetics at Cambridge University, where he cloned and did an initial characterization of vasa. Paul Lasko joined the Biology Department at McGill University in April 1990, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1996 and to Full Professor in 1999. He has served as Biology Department Chair since June 2000, and is a founding member of the DBRI. Dr Lasko was a Research Scientist of the National Cancer Institute of Canada from 1992-98, won the Young Scientist Award of the Genetics Society of Canada in 1998 and its Award of Excellence in 2004, and is a contributor to the Faculty of 1000.

Research in the Lasko laboratory

The research in Paul Lasko’s laboratory focuses on several topics. The Lasko lab has had a long standing interest in the vasa gene of Drosophila, which encodes a positive regulator of translation of gurken mRNA, and probably also of other germ-line specific mRNAs. The Lasko lab uses genetic and molecular means to identify RNA targets for Vasa, as well as Vasa partner proteins that will provide additional insight into its function.

This work has led them to investigate other translational control mechanisms that operate in the Drosophila oocyte and underlie embryonic axis establishment. For example, they are investigating the function of Bicaudal-C, a KH-domain RNA-binding protein that participates in anterior-posterior axis establishment, that also operates non-cell-autonomously in follicle cell patterning. Paul Lasko has also collaborated with Nahum Sonenberg (Department of Biochemistry and McGill Cancer Centre) and his colleagues to elucidate the role of 4EHP, a protein related to the translation initiation factor eIF4E, in Bicoid-mediated translational repression of caudal mRNA. The Lasko and Sonenberg labs have also collaborated in an investigation of the role of eIF4E binding proteins in regulating growth and in stress response.

Selected Publications (Click HERE to view all Publications)

Lasko P., Sonenberg N. (2007) Coordinated transcriptional and translational control in metabolic homeostasis in flies. Genes Dev. 21: 235-237.

Cho, P.F., Gamberi, C., Cho-Park, Y.A., Cho-Park, I.B., Lasko, P. and Sonenberg, N. (2006) Cap-dependent Translational Inhibition Establishes Two Opposing Morphogen Gradients in Drosophila. Current Biology 16: 2035-2041.

Xing, Y., Gosden, R., Lasko, P. and Clarke, H. (2006) Murine homologues of the Drosophila gustavus gene are expressed in ovarian granulosa cells. Reproduction 131: 905-915.

Tettweiler G., Lasko P. (2006) A new model for translational regulation of specific mRNAs. Trends Biochem Sci. 31: 607-10.
Linder, P. and Lasko, P. (2006) Bent out of shape: RNA unwinding by the DEAD-box helicase Vasa. Cell 125: 219-221.
Gamberi, C., Johnstone, O., and Lasko, P. (2006) Drosophila RNA binding proteins. Int. Rev. Cytol. 248: 43-139.
Lasko, P., Cho, O., Poulin, F., and Sonenberg, N. (2005) Contrasting mechanisms of regulating translation of specific Drosophila germ line mRNAs at the level of 5’ cap structure binding.  Biochem. Soc. Trans. 33: 1544-1546.
Tettweiler, G., Miron, M., Jenkins, M., Sonenberg, N., and Lasko, P. (2005) Starvation and oxidative stress resistance in Drosophila are mediated through eIF4E-binding protein. Genes Dev. 19: 1840-1843.

Thomson, T. and Lasko, P. (2005) Tudor and its domains: germ cell formation from a Tudor perspective. Cell Research 15: 281-291.

Cho, P., Poulin, F., Cho-Park, Y. A., Cho-Park, I. B., Chicoine, J. D., Lasko, P. and Sonenberg, N. (2005) A new paradigm for translational control: inhibition of caudal via 5’-3’ tethering by Bicoid and the eIF4E cognate 4EHP. Cell 121: 411-423.

Johnstone, O., Deuring, R., Bock, R., Linder, P., Fuller, M., and Lasko, P. (2005) Belle is a Drosophila DEAD-box protein required for viability and in the germ line. Dev. Biol. 277: 92-101.

Dansereau, D. A., McKearin, D., and Lasko, P. (2005) Oogenesis. In Gilbert, L., Gill, S., and Iatrou, K. (eds.) Comprehensive Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Molecular Biology  (Elsevier Press: Amsterdam), p. 39-85.

Thomson, T. and Lasko, P. (2004) Drosophilatudor is essential for polar granule assembly and pole cell specification, but not for posterior patterning. Genesis 40: 164-170.

Johnstone, O. and Lasko, P.  (2004) Interaction with eIF5B is essential for Vasa function during development. Development 131: 4167-4178.

Schuetze, C., Akit-Peters, M., Duong, J.-J., Cavey, M., Dörig, R., Lasko, P., and Suter, B. (2004) Map positions of third chromosome female sterile and lethal mutations of Drosophila melanogasterGenome 47: 832-838.

Boulanger, M.-C., Branscombe Miranda, T., Clarke, S., DiFruscio, M., Suter, B., Lasko, P., and Richard, S. (2004)  Characterization of Drosophila protein arginine methyltransferases DART1 and DART4. Biochem. J. 379: 283-289.

Roy, G., Miron, M., Khaleghpour, K., Lasko, P., and Sonenberg, N. (2004) The Drosophila PABP-interacting protein, dPaip2, is a novel effector of cell growth. Mol. Cell. Biol. 24: 1143-1154.

Miron, M., Lasko, P., and Sonenberg, N. (2003) Signaling from Akt to FRAP/TOR targets both 4E-BP and S6K in Drosophila. Mol. Cell. Biol. 23: 9117-9126.

Lasko, P. (2003) Cup-ling oskar localization to translational control. J. Cell Biol. 163: 1189-1191.

Lasko, P. (2003) Ribosomes rule: translation, not transcription, is the primary target of two major intercellular signaling pathways. Dev. Cell 5: 671-672.

Liu, N., Dansereau, D. A., and Lasko, P. (2003)Fat Facets interacts with Vasa in the Drosophila pole plasm and protects it from degradation. Curr. Biol. 13: 1905-1909.

Lasko, P. (2003) Gene regulation at the RNA layer: RNA-binding proteins in intercellular signaling networks. Science STKE 179: RE6.

Huang, H., Paliouras, M., Rambaldi, I., Lasko, P., and Featherstone, M. (2003) Non-muscle myosin promotes cytoplasmic localization of PBX. Mol. Cell. Biol. 23: 3636-3645.

DiFruscio, M., Styhler, S., Wikholm, E., Boulanger, M.-C., Lasko, P., and Richard, S. (2003) kep1 interacts genetically with dredd/Caspase-8: Kep1 regulates the balance of the dredd isoforms. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100: 1814-1819.

Lasko, P. (2003) Translational control in invertebrate development.  In Handbook of Cell Signaling (ed. N. Sonenberg, Academic Press, New York), vol. 3, p. 327-330.

Styhler, S., Nakamura, A., and Lasko, P. (2002) VASA localization requires the SPRY-domain and SOCS-box containing protein, GUSTAVUS. Dev. Cell 3: 865-876.

Larocque, D., Pilotte, J., Chen, T., Cloutier, F., Massie, B., Pedraza, L., Couture, R., Lasko, P., Almazan, G., and Richard, S. (2002) Nuclear retention of MBP RNA in the quaking viable mice. Neuron 36: 815-829.

Lasko, P. (2002) Diabetic flies? Using Drosophila melanogaster to understand the causes of monogenic and genetically complex diseases. Clin. Genet. 62: 358-367.

Lachance, P. E. D., Miron, M., Raught, B., Sonenberg, N. and Lasko, P. (2002) Phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is critical for growth. Mol. Cell. Biol. 22: 1656-1663.

Johnstone, O. and Lasko, P. (2001) Translational regulation and RNA localization in Drosophila oocytes and embryos. Annu. Rev. Genet. 35: 365-406.

Miron, M., Verdú, J., Lachance, P. E. D., Birnbaum, M. J., Lasko, P., and Sonenberg, N. (2001) The translational inhibitor 4E-BP is an effector of PI3K/Akt signaling in Drosophila, and regulates cell growth. Nature Cell Biol. 3: 596-601.

Butler, H., Levine, S., Wang, X., Bonyadi, S., Lasko, P., Suter, B., and Dörig, R. (2001) Map position and expression of the genes in the 38 region of DrosophilaGenetics 158: 1597-1614.

Lasko, P. (2000) Drosophila embryo: maternal interactions in specification of the anterior-posterior axis.  Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Macmillan, London, and published on-line on www.els.net.

Lasko, P. (2000) The Drosophila genome: translation factors and RNA binding proteins. J. Cell Biol. 150: F51-F56.

Sigrist, S. J., Thiel, P. R., Reiff, D. F., Lachance, P., Lasko, P., and Schuster, C. M. (2000) Postsynaptic translation controls morphology and efficacy of Drosophila neuromuscular junctions. Nature 405: 1062-1065.

Adams, M. D., Celniker, S. E., Holt, R. A., Evans, C. A., Gocayne, J. D., Amanatides, P. G., Scherer, S., Li, P. W., Galle, R. F., George, R. A., Hoskins, R. A., Lewis, S., Richards, S., Ashburner, M., Henderson, S. N., Wortman, J. R., Yandell, M. D., Zhang, Q., Chen, L. X., Brandon, R. C., Rogers, Y.-H. C., Blazej, R. G., Champe, M., Pfeiffer, B. D., Wan, K. H., Doyle, C., Baxter, E. G., Nelson, C. R., Gabor Miklos, G. L., Abril Ferrando, J. F., Agbayani, A., An, H.-J., Ballew, R. M., Basu, A., Baxendale, J., Bayraktaroglu, L., Beasley, E. M., Beeson, K. Y., Benos, P. V., Berman, B. P., Bhandari, D., Bolshakov, S., Borkova, D., Botchan, M. R., Bouck, J., Brokstein, P., Burtis, K. C., Busam, D., Butler, H., Cadieu, E., Cherry, J. M., Dahlke, C., Davies, P., de Pablos, B., Delcher, A., Deng, Z., Deslattes Mays, A., Dew, I., Dietz, S. M., Dodson, K., Doup, L., Downes, M., Dugan-Rocha, S., Dunkov, B. C., Dunn, P., Durbin, K. J., Evangelista, C. C., Ferraz, C., Fleischmann, W., Fosler, C., Gabrielian, A. E., Garg, N., Gelbart, W. M., Glasser, K., Glodek, A., Gong, F., Gorrell, J. H., Gu, Z., Guan, P., Harris, M., Harris, N. L., Harvey, D., Heiman, T. J., Helt, G., Hernandez, J. R., Houck, J., Houston, K. A., Howland, T. J., Kalush, F., Karpen, G. H., Ke, P., Kennison, J. A., Ketchum, K. A., Kimmel, B., Kodira, C. D., Kraft, C., Kravitz, S., Kulp, D., Lai, Z., Lasko, P., Lei, Y., Levitsky, A. A., Li, J., Li, Z., Liang, Y., Lin, X., Liu, X., McIntosh, T. C., McPherson, D., Merkulov, G., Milshina, N. V., Mobarry, C., Morris, J., Moshrefi, A., Mount, S. M., Murphy, L., Muzny, D. M., Nelson, D. L., Nelson, D. R., Nixon, K., Nusskern, D. R., Pacleb, J. M., Palazzolo, M., Pan, S., Pollard, J., Reese, M., Reinert, K., Remington, K., Saunders, R. D. C., Shen, H., Shue, C., Sidén-Kiamos, I., Simpson, M., Skupski, M. P., Smith, T., Spradling, A. C., Stapleton, M., Sun, E., Sutton, G. G., Turner, R., Venter, E., Wang, A. H., Wang, X., Wang, Z.-Y., Wassarman, D. A., Weinstock, G. M., Woodage, T., Worley, K. C., Wu, D., Yang, S., Yao, A. Q., Ye, J., Zhan, M., Zhang, G., Zhao, Q., Zheng, E., Zheng, H. X., Zhong, F. N., Zhong, W., Zhou, X., Zhu, S., Zhu, X., Smith, H. O., Gibbs, R., Myers, G., Rubin, G. M., and Venter, J. C.  (2000) The genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster. Science 287: 2185-2195.

Carrera, P., Johnstone, O., Nakamura, A., Casanova, J., Jäckle, H., and Lasko, P. (2000) VASA mediates translation through interaction with a Drosophila yIF2 homolog. Mol. Cell 5: 181-187.

Saffman, E. E. and Lasko, P. (1999) Germ line development in vertebrates and invertebrates. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 55: 1141-1163.

Lasko, P. (1999) RNA sorting in Drosophila oocytes and embryos. FASEB J. 13: 421-433.

Lasko, P. (1999) Germ cell, line. In: Creighton, T. E., ed., The Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1004-1006. John Wiley and Sons.

Kobayashi, S., Amikura, R., Nakamura, A., and Lasko, P. F. (1999) Techniques for analyzing protein and RNA distribution in Drosophila ovaries and embryos at structural and ultrastructural resolution.  In: Richter, J., ed., Advances in molecular biology: a comparative methods approach to the study of oocytes and embryos. Oxford University Press.

[Abouheif] [Brouhard] [Dankort] [Dent] [Harrison] [Hekimi]
[Larsson] [Lasko] [Moon] [Nilson] [Roy] [Schöck] [Vogel] [Western] [Zetka]