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Dev Biol. 2014 Feb 1;386(1):152-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.11.012. Epub 2013 Nov 16.

Onset of atonal expression in Drosophila retinal progenitors involves redundant and synergistic contributions of Ey/Pax6 and So binding sites within two distant enhancers.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Center for Vision Research, and SUNY Eye Institute, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.
2
Ben May Institute for Cancer Research, Chicago University, Chicago, IL, USA.
3
Human Genome Sequencing Center, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
4
Department of Ophthalmology, Center for Vision Research, and SUNY Eye Institute, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA; Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA; Department of Neuroscience & Physiology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA. Electronic address: pignonif@upstate.edu.

Abstract

Proneural transcription factors drive the generation of specialized neurons during nervous system development, and their dynamic expression pattern is critical to their function. The activation of the proneural gene atonal (ato) in the Drosophila eye disc epithelium represents a critical step in the transition from retinal progenitor cell to developing photoreceptor neuron. We show here that the onset of ato transcription depends on two distant enhancers that function differently in subsets of retinal progenitor cells. A detailed analysis of the crosstalk between these enhancers identifies a critical role for three binding sites for the Retinal Determination factors Eyeless (Ey) and Sine oculis (So). We show how these sites interact to induce ato expression in distinct regions of the eye field and confirm them to be occupied by endogenous Ey and So proteins in vivo. Our study suggests that Ey and So operate differently through the same 3' cis-regulatory sites in distinct populations of retinal progenitors.

KEYWORDS:

Atoh7; Eye specification; Math5; Neurogenesis; Proneural factor

PMID:
24247006
PMCID:
PMC5223736
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.11.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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