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Genes Dev. 1992 Oct;6(10):1865-73.

DNA position-specific repression of transcription by a Drosophila zinc finger protein.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.

Abstract

Expression of the yellow (y) gene of Drosophila melanogaster is controlled by a series of tissue-specific transcriptional enhancers located in the 5' region and intron of the gene. Insertion of the gypsy retrotransposon in the y2 allele at -700 bp from the start of transcription results in a spatially restricted phenotype: Mutant tissues are those in which yellow expression is controlled by enhancers located upstream from the insertion site, but all other structures whose enhancers are downstream of the insertion site are normally pigmented. This observation can be reproduced by inserting just a 430-bp fragment containing the suppressor of Hairy-wing [su(Hw)]-binding region of gypsy into the same position where this element is inserted in y2, suggesting that the su(Hw)-binding region is sufficient to confer the mutant phenotype. Insertion of this sequence into various positions in the y gene gives rise to phenotypes that can be rationalized assuming that the presence of the su(Hw) protein inhibits the action of those tissue-specific enhancers that are located more distally from the su(Hw)-binding region with respect to the promoter. These results are discussed in light of current models that explain long-range effects of enhancers on gene expression.

PMID:
1327958
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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