William Ja

William Ja, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Department Of Neuroscience

Department: SR-NEURO-JA LAB
Business Phone: (561) 228-2956
Business Email: w.ja@ufl.edu

About William Ja

Additional Positions:
Associate Professor, Metabolism and Aging
2015 – 2017 · Scripps Research
Assistant Professor, Metabolism and Aging
2010 – 2015 · Scripps Research
Postdoctoral Scholar in Biology with Dr. Seymour Benzer
2005 – 2009 · California Institute of Technology

Research Profile

Over a century of research on the fruit fly has resulted in profound discoveries in basic cellular processes, and has enabled the use of Drosophila as a model for human disease and drug discovery. Our laboratory uses diverse tools in chemistry and biology to dissect genetic pathways that are involved in aging and behavior. We are currently involved in several major directions:

1. Interactions of symbiotic microorganisms with Drosophila Our studies establish the molecular relationships between the fly-associated microbes, nutrition, and host health and aging. Projects include phylogenetic and genomic studies, analyses of host and bacterial gene expression, and genetic manipulation of candidate host mechanisms for modulating the gut microbiota.

2. Genetic pathways involved with aging and nutrition We have identified candidate genes that modify lifespan in response to nutrition, mimicking the effects of dietary restriction. The mechanistic analysis of these genetic pathways includes application of large-scale methods (metabolomics, lipidomics) and gene expression studies on Drosophila mutants. We are also investigating small molecule-modulators of mitochondrial function in cell culture models of aging.

3. Drosophila feeding behavior We are developing simple tools for measuring short- and long-term food consumption in flies and characterizing genetic mutants with abnormal feeding behavior. This work will provide a better understanding of the central genetic and neuronal mechanisms that underlie appetite and feeding.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

0000-0002-4003-7356

Publications

2021
Author Correction: The Drosophila melanogaster Neprilysin Nepl15 is involved in lipid and carbohydrate storage.
Scientific reports. [DOI] 10.1038/s41598-021-84100-4. [PMID] 33633243.
2021
Circadian autophagy drives iTRF-mediated longevity
Nature. [DOI] 10.1038/s41586-021-03934-0.
2021
Neurofibromin regulates metabolic rate via neuronal mechanisms in Drosophila
Nature Communications. [DOI] 10.1038/s41467-021-24505-x. [PMID] 34257279.
2021
The Drosophila melanogaster Neprilysin Nepl15 is involved in lipid and carbohydrate storage.
Scientific reports. [DOI] 10.1038/s41598-021-81165-z. [PMID] 33483521.
2021
Vitamin preference in Drosophila.
Current biology : CB. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2021.06.046. [PMID] 34375595.
2020
Absolute ethanol intake predicts ethanol preference in Drosophila
Journal of Experimental Biology. [DOI] 10.1242/jeb.224121. [PMID] 32366685.
2020
Drosophila as a model for the gut microbiome
PLOS Pathogens. [DOI] 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008398. [PMID] 32324814.
2020
Excreta Quantification (EX-Q) for Longitudinal Measurements of Food Intake in Drosophila.
iScience. [DOI] 10.1016/j.isci.2019.100776. [PMID] 31901635.
2020
In vivo expression of peptidylarginine deiminase in Drosophila melanogaster
PLOS ONE. [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0227822. [PMID] 31940417.
2020
PGC1α Controls Sucrose Taste Sensitization in Drosophila.
Cell reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.044. [PMID] 32268099.
2020
YAP-Mediated Recruitment of YY1 and EZH2 Represses Transcription of Key Cell-Cycle Regulators
Cancer Research. [DOI] 10.1158/0008-5472.can-19-2415.
2019
A Molecular Target for an Alcohol Chain-Length Cutoff.
Journal of molecular biology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.jmb.2018.11.028. [PMID] 30529033.
2019
Combinatorial Pharyngeal Taste Coding for Feeding Avoidance in Adult Drosophila.
Cell reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.036. [PMID] 31644916.
2019
Rapamycin modulates tissue aging and lifespan independently of the gut microbiota in Drosophila.
Scientific reports. [DOI] 10.1038/s41598-019-44106-5. [PMID] 31127145.
2019
The Nutritional Environment Influences the Impact of Microbes on Drosophila melanogaster Life Span
mBio. [DOI] 10.1128/mbio.00885-19.
2018
Diet influences host–microbiota associations in Drosophila
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.1804948115. [PMID] 29735646.
2018
Evolutionary responses of Drosophila melanogaster under chronic malnutrition.
Frontiers in ecology and evolution. [DOI] 10.3389/fevo.2018.00047. [PMID] 31286000.
2018
Microbial Quantity Impacts Drosophila Nutrition, Development, and Lifespan.
iScience. [DOI] 10.1016/j.isci.2018.06.004. [PMID] 30240744.
2018
Small molecule alteration of RNA sequence in cells and animals.
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. [DOI] 10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.10.034. [PMID] 29079470.
2018
The adult foraging assay (AFA) detects strain and food-deprivation effects in feeding-related traits of Drosophila melanogaster.
Journal of insect physiology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2017.08.011. [PMID] 28860037.
2018
Using Pox-Neuro (Poxn) Mutants in Drosophila Gustation Research: A Double-Edged Sword.
Frontiers in cellular neuroscience. [DOI] 10.3389/fncel.2018.00382. [PMID] 30405359.
2017
Breaking Down Walls: Microbiota and the Aging Gut.
Cell host & microbe. [DOI] 10.1016/j.chom.2017.03.013. [PMID] 28407478.
2017
Mifepristone Reduces Food Palatability and Affects Drosophila Feeding and Lifespan.
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. [DOI] 10.1093/gerona/glw072. [PMID] 27093874.
2017
Nutrition Influences Caffeine-Mediated Sleep Loss in Drosophila
Sleep. [DOI] 10.1093/sleep/zsx146. [PMID] 29029291.
2017
Probabilistic Invasion Underlies Natural Gut Microbiome Stability.
Current biology : CB. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.034. [PMID] 28625783.
2017
Simultaneous measurement of sleep and feeding in individual Drosophila.
Nature protocols. [DOI] 10.1038/nprot.2017.096. [PMID] 29022943.
2017
Sucralose Suppresses Food Intake.
Cell metabolism. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.02.011. [PMID] 28273467.
2017
The 4E-BP growth pathway regulates the effect of ambient temperature on Drosophila metabolism and lifespan.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.1618994114. [PMID] 28827349.
2016
Author response: Postprandial sleep mechanics in Drosophila
. [DOI] 10.7554/elife.19334.022.
2016
Dietary Restriction Extends the Lifespan of Circadian Mutants tim and per.
Cell metabolism. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.11.002. [PMID] 27916531.
2016
Microbes without Borders: Decompartmentalization of the Aging Gut.
Cell host & microbe. [DOI] 10.1016/j.chom.2016.01.016. [PMID] 26867169.
2016
Neurofibromin Loss of Function Drives Excessive Grooming in Drosophila.
G3 (Bethesda, Md.). [DOI] 10.1534/g3.115.026484. [PMID] 26896440.
2016
period-Regulated Feeding Behavior and TOR Signaling Modulate Survival of Infection.
Current biology : CB. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.008. [PMID] 27218838.
2016
period-Regulated Feeding Behavior and TOR Signaling Modulate Survival of Infection.
Current biology : CB. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.051. [PMID] 26748856.
2016
Postprandial sleep mechanics in Drosophila
eLife. [DOI] 10.7554/elife.19334.
2016
translin Is Required for Metabolic Regulation of Sleep.
Current biology : CB. [DOI] 10.1016/j.cub.2016.02.013. [PMID] 27020744.
2015
Acidic Food pH Increases Palatability and Consumption and Extends Drosophila Lifespan.
The Journal of nutrition. [DOI] 10.3945/jn.115.222380. [PMID] 26491123.
2015
Distinct Shifts in Microbiota Composition during Drosophila Aging Impair Intestinal Function and Drive Mortality.
Cell reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.08.004. [PMID] 26321641.
2015
Microbes Promote Amino Acid Harvest to Rescue Undernutrition in Drosophila.
Cell reports. [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.01.018. [PMID] 25683709.
2014
Diacylglycerol lipase regulates lifespan and oxidative stress response by inversely modulating TOR signaling in Drosophila and C. elegans.
Aging cell. [DOI] 10.1111/acel.12232. [PMID] 24889782.
2014
Quantifying Drosophila food intake: comparative analysis of current methodology.
Nature methods. [DOI] 10.1038/nmeth.2899. [PMID] 24681694.
2013
High carbohydrate-low protein consumption maximizes Drosophila lifespan.
Experimental gerontology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.exger.2013.02.003. [PMID] 23403040.
2013
Modulation of methuselah expression targeted to Drosophila insulin-producing cells extends life and enhances oxidative stress resistance.
Aging cell. [DOI] 10.1111/acel.12027. [PMID] 23121290.
2009
Non-lethal PCR genotyping of single Drosophila.
BioTechniques. [DOI] 10.2144/000113088. [PMID] 19450239.
2009
The Drosophila G protein-coupled receptor, Methuselah, exhibits a promiscuous response to peptides.
Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society. [DOI] 10.1002/pro.221. [PMID] 19672878.
2009
Water- and nutrient-dependent effects of dietary restriction on Drosophila lifespan.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.0908016106. [PMID] 19841272.
2008
Evolution of class-specific peptides targeting a hot spot of the Galphas subunit.
Journal of molecular biology. [DOI] 10.1016/j.jmb.2008.01.032. [PMID] 18329041.
2008
The predicted binding site and dynamics of peptide inhibitors to the Methuselah GPCR from Drosophila melanogaster.
Biochemistry. [DOI] 10.1021/bi801335p. [PMID] 18991399.
2007
Extension of Drosophila melanogaster life span with a GPCR peptide inhibitor.
Nature chemical biology. [PMID] 17546039.
2007
Prandiology of Drosophila and the CAFE assay.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [PMID] 17494737.
2006
Modulation of basal and receptor-induced GIRK potassium channel activity and neuronal excitability by the mammalian PINS homolog LGN.
Neuron. [PMID] 16701207.
2006
Turning G proteins on and off using peptide ligands.
ACS chemical biology. [PMID] 17168552.
2005
A peptide core motif for binding to heterotrimeric G protein alpha subunits.
The Journal of biological chemistry. [PMID] 16051611.
2005
Epitope mapping using mRNA display and a unidirectional nested deletion library.
Protein engineering, design & selection : PEDS. [PMID] 15980016.
2005
G-protein-directed ligand discovery with peptide combinatorial libraries.
Trends in biochemical sciences. [PMID] 15950876.
2004
In vitro selection of state-specific peptide modulators of G protein signaling using mRNA display.
Biochemistry. [PMID] 15248784.
1999
In vitro selection of nucleic acids and proteins: What are we learning?
Current opinion in structural biology. [PMID] 10449375.
1999
Optimization of high-speed DNA sequencing on microfabricated capillary electrophoresis channels.
Analytical chemistry. [PMID] 9989377.
1999
Ultra-high throughput rotary capillary array electrophoresis scanner for fluorescent DNA sequencing and analysis.
Electrophoresis. [PMID] 10424474.
Neurofibromin regulates metabolic rate via neuronal mechanisms in Drosophila
. [DOI] 10.1101/834788.

Grants

Apr 2022 ACTIVE
TRP channel regulation of feeding behavior in Drosophila
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIDCD

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(561) 228-2956
Emails:
Business:
w.ja@ufl.edu
Lab Administrative Coordinator II:
Alexandra James
View Profile
Addresses:
Business Mailing:
Location B312
130 SCRIPPS WAY BLDG 3B3
JUPITER FL 33458
Business Street:
130 SCRIPPS WAY # 3B3
JUPITER FL 33458