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Science. 2017 May 19;356(6339):717-721. doi: 10.1126/science.aal3096.

Blocking promiscuous activation at cryptic promoters directs cell type-specific gene expression.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, USA.
2
Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, USA.
3
Institut für Molekularbiologie und Tumorforschung, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany.
4
Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, USA. mtfuller@stanford.edu.
5
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, USA.

Abstract

To selectively express cell type-specific transcripts during development, it is critical to maintain genes required for other lineages in a silent state. Here, we show in the Drosophila male germline stem cell lineage that a spermatocyte-specific zinc finger protein, Kumgang (Kmg), working with the chromatin remodeler dMi-2 prevents transcription of genes normally expressed only in somatic lineages. By blocking transcription from normally cryptic promoters, Kmg restricts activation by Aly, a component of the testis-meiotic arrest complex, to transcripts for male germ cell differentiation. Our results suggest that as new regions of the genome become open for transcription during terminal differentiation, blocking the action of a promiscuous activator on cryptic promoters is a critical mechanism for specifying precise gene activation.

PMID:
28522526
PMCID:
PMC5572561
DOI:
10.1126/science.aal3096
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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