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A regulatory code for neurogenic gene expression in the Drosophila embryo

Markstein, Michelle and Zinzen, Robert and Markstein, Peter and Yee, Ka-Ping and Erives, Albert and Stathopoulos, Angela (2004) A regulatory code for neurogenic gene expression in the Drosophila embryo. Development, 131 (10). pp. 2387-2394. ISSN 0950-1991.

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Bioinformatics methods have identified enhancers that mediate restricted expression in the Drosophila embryo. However, only a small fraction of the predicted enhancers actually work when tested in vivo. In the present study, co-regulated neurogenic enhancers that are activated by intermediate levels of the Dorsal regulatory gradient are shown to contain several shared sequence motifs. These motifs permitted the identification of new neurogenic enhancers with high precision: five out of seven predicted enhancers direct restricted expression within ventral regions of the neurogenic ectoderm. Mutations in some of the shared motifs disrupt enhancer function, and evidence is presented that the Twist and Su(H) regulatory proteins are essential for the specification of the ventral neurogenic ectoderm prior to gastrulation. The regulatory model of neurogenic gene expression defined in this study permitted the identification of a neurogenic enhancer in the distant Anopheles genome. We discuss the prospects for deciphering regulatory codes that link primary DNA sequence information with predicted patterns of gene expression.

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Stathopoulos, Angela0000-0001-6597-2036
Additional Information:Published by The Company of Biologists 2004. Accepted 12 February 2004. First published online May 5, 2004 doi: 10.1242/10.1242/dev.01124. We thank Kate Senger and John Cowden for sharing unpublished results; Fred Biemar for advice; Anthony James at UC Irvine for the gift of Anopheles gambiae genomic DNA; Hilary Ashe at the University of Manchester for the E2G vector; and Khoa Tran, Austin Luke and Rachel Bernstein for technical assistance. This work was funded by a grant from the NIH (GM46638). Supplemental data available online.
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Subject Keywords:Drosophila, Anopheles, cis-regulation, enhancers, neurogenic ectoderm, mesectoderm, Twist, Su(H), Dorsal
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:MARdev04
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ID Code:11660
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Deposited On:17 Sep 2008 19:08
Last Modified:24 Apr 2017 18:25

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