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Development. 2001 Jun;128(11):2163-73.

The MCP silencer of the Drosophila Abd-B gene requires both Pleiohomeotic and GAGA factor for the maintenance of repression.

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  • 1Centro de Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, CSIC-UAM, Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain.

Abstract

Silencing of homeotic gene expression requires the function of cis-regulatory elements known as Polycomb Response Elements (PREs). The MCP silencer element of the Drosophila homeotic gene Abdominal-B has been shown to behave as a PRE and to be required for silencing throughout development. Using deletion analysis and reporter gene assays, we defined a 138 bp sequence within the MCP silencer that is sufficient for silencing of a reporter gene in the imaginal discs. Within the MCP138 fragment, there are four binding sites for the Pleiohomeotic protein (PHO) and two binding sites for the GAGA factor (GAF), encoded by the Trithorax-like gene. PHO and the GAF proteins bind to these sites in vitro. Mutational analysis of PHO and GAF binding sequences indicate that these sites are necessary for silencing in vivo. Moreover, silencing by MCP138 depends on the function of the Trithorax-like gene, and on the function of the PcG genes, including pleiohomeotic. Deletion and mutational analyses show that, individually, either PHO or GAF binding sites retain only weak silencing activity. However, when both PHO and GAF binding sites are present, they achieve strong silencing. We present a model in which robust silencing is achieved by sequential and facilitated binding of PHO and GAF.

PMID:
11493537
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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