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G3 (Bethesda). 2013 Jul 8;3(7):1177-89. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.006023.

Spatial profiling of nuclear receptor transcription patterns over the course of Drosophila development.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, The Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Previous work has shown that many of the 18 family members of Drosophila nuclear receptor transcription factors function in a temporal hierarchy to coordinate developmental progression and growth with the rate limiting process of metabolism. To gain further insight into these interactions and processes, we have undertaken a whole-family analysis of nuclear receptor mRNA spatial expression patterns over the entire process of embryogenesis, as well as the 3rd instar wandering larva stage, by using high-resolution fluorescence in situ hybridization. Overall, the patterns of expression are remarkably consistent with previously mapped spatial activity profiles documented during the same time points, with similar hot spots and temporal profiles in endocrine and metabolically important tissues. Among the more remarkable of the findings is that the majority of mRNA expression patterns observed show striking subcellular distributions, indicating potentially critical roles in the control of protein synthesis and subsequent subcellular distributions. These patterns will serve as a useful reference for future studies on the tissue-specific roles and interactions of nuclear receptor proteins, partners, cofactors and ligands.


Drosophila; development; expression; nuclear receptor; subcellular

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