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Genetics. 1997 Aug;146(4):1365-80.

A Polycomb and GAGA dependent silencer adjoins the Fab-7 boundary in the Drosophila bithorax complex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544, USA. khagstrom@watson.princeton.edu

Abstract

The homeotic genes of the Drosophila bithorax complex are controlled by a large cis-regulatory region that ensures their segmentally restricted pattern of expression. A deletion that removes the Frontabdominal-7 cis-regulatory region (Fab-7') dominantly transforms parasegment 11 into parasegment 12. Previous studies suggested that removal of a domain boundary element on the proximal side of Fab-7' is responsible for this gain-of-function phenotype. In this article we demonstrate that the Fab-7' deletion also removes a silencer element, the iab-7 PRE, which maps to a different DNA segment and plays a different role in regulating parasegment-specific expression patterns of the Abd-B gene. The iab-7 PRE mediates pairing-sensitive silencing of mini-white, and can maintain the segmentally restricted expression pattern of a BXD, Ubx/lacZ reporter transgene. Both silencing activities depend upon Polycomb Group proteins. Pairing-sensitive silencing is relieved by removing the transvection protein Zeste, but is enhanced in a novel pairing-independent manner by the zeste' allele. The iab-7 PRE silencer is contained within a 0.8-kb fragment that spans a nuclease hypersensitive site, and silencing appears to depend on the chromatin remodeling protein, the GAGA factor.

PMID:
9258680
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1208081
Free PMC Article
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