Prof. Dr. Arzu ÇELIK

Boğaziçi University
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Kuzey Park, 302
34342 Bebek - Istanbul
+90 (212) 359 7562
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Cell Type Specification During Eye Development

A fundamental problem common to the development of most sensory systems is the generation of functionally distinct neuronal cell types. The visual system constitutes a unique model to study the generation of cellular diversity within an otherwise homogeneous neuronal population. We use the fly retina to dissect signaling events that regulate the late phase of eye development, in particular those that control the selective expression of different rhodopsin genes in distinct photoreceptor (PR) subtypes. In many cases it has been shown that factors important for the development of the fly retina may also play a role in the vertebrate retina. Thus, in addition to the elucidation of basic developmental processes, our studies will aid the development of tools to fight eye diseases in humans.

Understanding Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Drosophila melanogaster can be employed as a convenient model to perform functional investigation of human disease genes as the fly genome contains more than 75% orthologous disease-causing genes in its genome. We study novel mutations in several human genes in order to understand their role in neuronal development, establishment of network connections, and consequent behavioral outputs. We aim to illustrate how these genetic factors can deregulate brain function and cause intellectual disability. We apply RNAi gene silencing, and CRISPR/Cas gene editing tools to introduce desired genetic alterations to Drosophila orthologs and perform behavioral, structural, and functional analyses. Understanding the mechanism of action underlying such genetic mutations will help to shape the basis of therapeutic strategies.

Selected Publications

  • Fokina A, and Çelik A (2023) Glycans in Drosophila eye development. in preparation

  • Larti F*, Candayan A*, Mandacı BC, Akın Y, Polat, GK, Akkülah T, Cengiz Ş, Fırat-Karalar E, Parman Y, Battaloğlu E, and Çelik A (2023) Septin11 is the underlying cause of spinocerebellar ataxia with sensory neuropathy. in preparation

  • Çevrim BÇ, Mika K, Özturan G, Kahraman A, Vulstreke V, Callaerts P, and Çelik A (2023) The cell adhesion molecule Unzipped mediates neuron-neuron and neuron-glia interactions to control mushroom body development. submitted Cell and Tissue Research

  • Khoshbakht S, Beheshtian M, Fattahi Z, Bazazzadegan Z, Parsimehr E, Fadaee M, Vazehan R, Zonooz MF, Abolhassani A, Makvand M, Kariminejad A, Çelik, A, Kahrizi, K., and H. Najmabadi (2021) CEP104 and CEP290; genes with ciliary functions cause intellectual disability in multiple Iranian families. Archives of Iranian Medicine, 24(5):364-373, doi: 10.34172/aim.2021.53

  • Şahin HB, Sayın S, Holder M, Buğra K, and Çelik A (2020) Salt Inducible Kinases as Novel Notch Interactors in the Developing Drosophila Retina. PLoS One, 15(6): e0234744

  • Terzioğlu Kara E, Kıral FR, Öztürk Çolak A, and Çelik A (2020) Generation and characterization of inner photoreceptor‐specific enhancer‐trap lines using a novel piggyBac‐Gal4 element in Drosophila. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, 104(2):e21675

  • Kazeminasab S, Taşkıran II, Fattahi Z, Bazzazzadegan N, Hosseini M, Rahimi M, Olaad Nabi M, Haddadi M, Çelik A, Ropers HH, Najmabadi H, and K Kahrizi K (2018) CNKSR1 gene defect can cause syndromic autosomal recessive intellectual disability. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics 177(8):691-699. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32648

  • Fattahi Z, Sheikh T, Musante L, Rasheed M, Taşkıran II, Harripaul R, Hu H, Kazeminasab S, Alam MR, Hosseini M, Larti F, Ghaderi Z, Çelik A, Ayub M, Ansar M, Haddadi M, Wienker TF, Ropers HH, Kahrizi K, Vincent JB, and H Najmabadi (2018) Biallelic missense variants in ZBTB11 can cause intellectual disability in human. Human Molecular Genetics 27(18):3177-3188. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy220.

  • Köstler S, Alaybeyoğlu B, Weichenberger CX, and Çelik A (2015) FlyOde – a platform for community curation and interactive visualization of dynamic gene regulatory networks in Drosophila eye development. F1000 Research 4:1484-9.

  • Potier D, Davie K, Hulselmans G, Sanchez MN, Haagen L, Huynh-Thu VA, Koldere D, Çelik A, Geurts P, Christiaens V, and Aerts S (2014) Mapping gene regulatory networks in Drosophila eye development by large-scale transcriptome perturbations and motif inference. Cell Reports 9:1-14.

  • Tsachaki M, Mishra AK, Rister J, Ng J, Çelik A, and Sprecher SG (2013) Binary cell fate decisions and fate transformation in the Drosophila larval eye. PLoS Genetics 9(12):e1004027.

  • Li X, Erclik T, Chen Z, Venkatesh S, Morante J, Çelik A, and Desplan C, (2013) Temporal specification of neuroblasts controls neuronal diversity in the Drosophila medulla. Nature 498(7455):456-62.

  • Vasiliauskas D, Mazzoni EO, Sprecher SG, Johnston RJ Jr, Lidder P, Vogt N, Çelik A, and Desplan C (2011) Feedback from Rhodopsin controls Rhodopsin exclusion in Drosophila R8 photoreceptors. Nature 479(7371):108-12.

  • Mazzoni EO, Çelik A, Wernet MF, Vasiliauskas D, Cook TA, Johnston RJ, Pichaud F, and Desplan C (2008) Iroquois-Complex genes induce co-expression of visual pigments in Drosophila. PLoS Biology 6(4):e9.

  • Wernet MF, Çelik A, Mikeladze-Dvali T, and Desplan C (2007) Generation of uniform fly retinas. Current Biology 17(23):r1002-3.