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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 20;9(1):e85518. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085518. eCollection 2014.

A comparison of midline and tracheal gene regulation during Drosophila development.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.
  • 2Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, Saint Augustine's University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.
  • 3Department of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, United States of America.

Abstract

Within the Drosophila embryo, two related bHLH-PAS proteins, Single-minded and Trachealess, control development of the central nervous system midline and the trachea, respectively. These two proteins are bHLH-PAS transcription factors and independently form heterodimers with another bHLH-PAS protein, Tango. During early embryogenesis, expression of Single-minded is restricted to the midline and Trachealess to the trachea and salivary glands, whereas Tango is ubiquitously expressed. Both Single-minded/Tango and Trachealess/Tango heterodimers bind to the same DNA sequence, called the CNS midline element (CME) within cis-regulatory sequences of downstream target genes. While Single-minded/Tango and Trachealess/Tango activate some of the same genes in their respective tissues during embryogenesis, they also activate a number of different genes restricted to only certain tissues. The goal of this research is to understand how these two related heterodimers bind different enhancers to activate different genes, thereby regulating the development of functionally diverse tissues. Existing data indicates that Single-minded and Trachealess may bind to different co-factors restricted to various tissues, causing them to interact with the CME only within certain sequence contexts. This would lead to the activation of different target genes in different cell types. To understand how the context surrounding the CME is recognized by different bHLH-PAS heterodimers and their co-factors, we identified and analyzed novel enhancers that drive midline and/or tracheal expression and compared them to previously characterized enhancers. In addition, we tested expression of synthetic reporter genes containing the CME flanked by different sequences. Taken together, these experiments identify elements overrepresented within midline and tracheal enhancers and suggest that sequences immediately surrounding a CME help dictate whether a gene is expressed in the midline or trachea.

PMID:
24465586
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3896416
Free PMC Article
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