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Mol Cell Biol. 1992 May;12(5):2444-53.

The Drosophila ACE3 chorion element autonomously induces amplification.

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Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.


The Drosophila chorion genes amplify in the follicle cells by repeated rounds of reinitiation of DNA replication. ACE3 (amplification control element from the third chromosome) has been identified by a series of deletion experiments as an important control element for amplification of the third-chromosome chorion cluster. Several elements that quantitatively enhance amplification also have been defined. We show that a single 440-bp ACE3 sequence is sufficient to regulate amplification with proper developmental specificity autonomously from other chorion DNA sequences and regulatory elements. Although ACE3 is sufficient for amplification, the levels of amplification are low even when ACE3 is present in multiple copies. When controlled solely by ACE3, amplification initiates either at ACE3 or within closely linked sequences. Amplification of an ACE3 transposon insertion produces a gradient of amplified DNA that extends into flanking sequences approximately the same distance as does the amplification gradient at the endogenous chorion locus. The profile and extent of the amplified gradient imply that the low levels of amplification observed are the result of limited rounds of initiation of DNA replication. Transposon inserts containing multiple copies of ACE3 in a tandem, head-to-tail array are maintained stably in the chromosome. However, mobilization of the P-element transposons containing ACE3 multimers results in deletions within the array at a high frequency.

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