Identification of the Drosophila Mes4 gene as a novel target of the transcription factor DREF.
ABSTRACT The Mes4 gene has been identified as one of the maternal Dorsal target genes in Drosophila. In the present study, we found a DNA replication-related element (DRE, 5'-TATCGATA) in the Mes4 promoter recognized by the DRE-binding factor (DREF). Luciferase transient expression assays in S2 cells using Mes4 promoter-luciferase fusion plasmids revealed that the DRE sequence is essential for Mes4 promoter activity. Requirement of DRE for Mes4 promoter activity was further confirmed by anti-beta-galactosidase antibody-staining of various tissues from transgenic flies carrying Mes4 promoter-lacZ fusion genes. Furthermore, wild type Mes4 promoter activity was decreased by 40% in DREF-depleted S2 cells. These results indicate that DREF positively regulates Mes4 gene expression. Band mobility shift analyses using Kc cell nuclear extracts further indicated that the DRE sequence in the Mes4 promoter is especially important for binding to DREF. Moreover, specific binding of DREF to the involved genomic region could be demonstrated by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays using anti-DREF antibodies. These results, taken together, indicate that the DRE/DREF system activates transcription of the Mes4 gene. In addition, knockdown of the Mes4 gene in wing imaginal discs using the GAL4-UAS system caused an atrophied wing phenotype, suggesting that Mes4 is required for wing morphogenesis.
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ABSTRACT: The ATRX gene encodes a chromatin remodeling protein that has two important domains, a helicase/ATPase domain and a domain composed of two zinc fingers called the ADD domain. The ADD domain binds to histone tails and has been proposed to mediate their binding to chromatin. The putative ATRX homolog in Drosophila (XNP/dATRX) has a conserved helicase/ATPase domain but lacks the ADD domain. In this study, we propose that XNP/dATRX interacts with other proteins with chromatin-binding domains to recognize specific regions of chromatin to regulate gene expression. We report a novel functional interaction between XNP/dATRX and the cell proliferation factor DREF in the expression of pannier (pnr). DREF binds to DNA-replication elements (DRE) at the pnr promoter to modulate pnr expression. XNP/dATRX interacts with DREF, and the contact between the two factors occurs at the DRE sites, resulting in transcriptional repression of pnr. The occupancy of XNP/dATRX at the DRE, depends on DNA binding of DREF at this site. Interestingly, XNP/dATRX regulates some, but not all of the genes modulated by DREF, suggesting a promoter-specific role of XNP/dATRX in gene regulation. This work establishes that XNP/dATRX directly contacts the transcriptional activator DREF in the chromatin to regulate gene expression.Nucleic Acids Research 02/2012; 40(4):1460-74. · 8.03 Impact Factor