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Fly (Austin). 2012 Jul-Sep;6(3):173-83. doi: 10.4161/fly.20247. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Characterization of null and hypomorphic alleles of the Drosophila l(2)dtl/cdt2 gene: Larval lethality and male fertility.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC USA.

Abstract

The Drosophila lethal(2)denticleless (l(2)dtl) gene was originally reported as essential for embryogenesis and formation of the rows of tiny hairs on the larval ventral cuticle known as denticle belts. It is now well-established that l(2)dtl (also called cdt2) encodes a subunit of a Cullin 4-based E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets a number of key cell cycle regulatory proteins, including p21, Cdt1, E2F1 and Set8, to prevent replication defects and maintain cell cycle control. To investigate the role of l(2)dtl/cdt2 during development, we characterized existing l(2)dtl/cdt2 mutants and generated new deletion alleles, using P-element excision mutagenesis. Surprisingly, homozygous l(2)dtl/cdt2 mutant embryos developed beyond embryogenesis, had intact denticle belts, and lacked an observable embryonic replication defect. These mutants died during larval stages, affirming that loss of l(2)dtl/cdt2 function is lethal. Our data show that L(2)dtl/Cdt2 is maternally deposited, remains nuclear throughout the cell cycle, and has a previously unreported, elevated expression in the developing gonads. We also find that E2f1 regulates l(2)dtl/cdt2 expression during embryogenesis, possibly via several highly conserved putative E2f1 binding sites near the l(2)dtl/cdt2 promoter. Finally, hypomorphic allele combinations of the l(2)dtl/cdt2 gene result in a novel phenotype: viable, low-fertility males. We conclude that "denticleless" is a misnomer, but that l(2)dtl/cdt2 is an essential gene for Drosophila development.

KEYWORDS:

CRL; E2F; cdt2; embryonic gonadal expression; l(2)dtl; lethal(2)denticleless; male fertility

PMID:
22722696
DOI:
10.4161/fly.20247
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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