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Genetics. 2012 Aug;191(4):1129-41. doi: 10.1534/genetics.112.140475. Epub 2012 May 29.

Transvection is common throughout the Drosophila genome.

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Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Virginia 20147, USA.


Higher-order genome organization plays an important role in transcriptional regulation. In Drosophila, somatic pairing of homologous chromosomes can lead to transvection, by which the regulatory region of a gene can influence transcription in trans. We observe transvection between transgenes inserted at commonly used phiC31 integration sites in the Drosophila genome. When two transgenes that carry endogenous regulatory elements driving the expression of either LexA or GAL4 are inserted at the same integration site and paired, the enhancer of one transgene can drive or repress expression of the paired transgene. These transvection effects depend on compatibility between regulatory elements and are often restricted to a subset of cell types within a given expression pattern. We further show that activated UAS transgenes can also drive transcription in trans. We discuss the implication of these findings for (1) understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie transvection and (2) the design of experiments that utilize site-specific integration.

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