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Nucleic Acids Res. 1994 Apr 11;22(7):1257-64.

Redundant cis-acting elements control expression of the Drosophila affinidisjuncta Adh gene in the larval fat body.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, KY 40292.


The alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) gene in the Hawaiian species of fruit fly, Drosophila affinidisjuncta, like the Adh genes from all Drosophila species analyzed, is expressed at high levels in the larval fat body via a larval-specific promoter. To identify the cis-acting elements involved in this highly conserved aspect of Adh gene expression, deleted D. affinidisjuncta genes were introduced into D. melanogaster by somatic transformation. Unlike previously described methods, this transformation system allows analysis of Adh gene expression specifically in the larval fat body. The arrangement of sequences influencing expression of the proximal promoter of this gene in the larval fat body differs markedly from that described for the Adh gene from the distant relative, D. melanogaster. Multiple redundant elements dispersed 5' and 3' to the gene, only some of which map to regions carrying evolutionarily conserved sequences, affect expression in the fat body. D. affinidisjuncta employs a novel mode of Adh gene regulation in which the proximal promoter is influenced by sequences having roles in expression of the distal promoter. This gene is also unique in that far upstream sequences can compensate for loss of sequences within 200 bp of the proximal RNA start site. Furthermore, expression is influenced in an unusual, context-dependent manner by a naturally-occurring 3' duplication of the proximal promoter--a feature found only in Hawaiian species.

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