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Dorsal-Ventral Gene Expression in the Drosophila Embryo Reflects the Dynamics and Precision of the Dorsal Nuclear Gradient

Reeves, Gregory T. and Trisnadi, Nathanie and Truong, Thai V. and Nahmad, Marcos and Katz, Sophie and Stathopoulos, Angelike (2012) Dorsal-Ventral Gene Expression in the Drosophila Embryo Reflects the Dynamics and Precision of the Dorsal Nuclear Gradient. Developmental Cell, 22 (3). pp. 544-557. ISSN 1534-5807. PMCID PMC3469262. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2011.12.007.

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Patterning of the dorsal-ventral axis in the early Drosophila embryo depends on the nuclear distribution of the Dorsal transcription factor. Using live two-photon light-sheet microscopy, we quantified the nuclear Dorsal gradient in space and time and found that its amplitude and basal levels display oscillations throughout early embryonic development. These dynamics raise questions regarding how cells can reproducibly establish patterns of gene expression from a rapidly varying signal. We therefore quantified domains of Dorsal target genes, discovering their expression patterns are also dynamic. Computational modeling of this system reveals a correlation between Dorsal gradient dynamics and changes in target gene expression and suggests that these dynamics, together with time averaging of noise, results in the formation of graded gene expression borders in regions where the gradient is nearly flat. We propose that mRNA levels remain plastic during transient signaling events, allowing tissues to refine patterns in the face of genetic or environmental variation.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Trisnadi, Nathanie0000-0003-0920-1282
Stathopoulos, Angelike0000-0001-6597-2036
Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier Inc. Received 9 July 2011. Revised 25 October 2011. Accepted 14 December 2011. Available online 16 February 2012. Published online: February 16, 2012. We are grateful to Scott Fraser (Caltech) for advice on experimental approach and comments on the manuscript. We also thank Leslie Dunipace (Caltech) for reagents and advice on BAC recombineering, Anil Ozdemir (Caltech) for reagents, and Greg Bietel (Northwestern University) for providing the Venus DNA sequence. The anti-Dorsal antibody developed by Ruth Steward was obtained from the DSHB, developed under the auspices of the NICHD and maintained by The University of Iowa, Department of Biology. This work was supported by the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research to G.T.R, by the Caltech Beckman Institute and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science grant P50HG004071 to T.V.T. to provide funds to build the two-photon light-sheet microscope, and by grant R01 GM077668 from the NIGMS to A.S.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Beckman InstituteUNSPECIFIED
NIHR01 GM077668
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC3469262
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120413-134016147
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Official Citation:Gregory T. Reeves, Nathanie Trisnadi, Thai V. Truong, Marcos Nahmad, Sophie Katz, Angelike Stathopoulos, Dorsal-Ventral Gene Expression in the Drosophila Embryo Reflects the Dynamics and Precision of the Dorsal Nuclear Gradient, Developmental Cell, Volume 22, Issue 3, 13 March 2012, Pages 544-557, ISSN 1534-5807, 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.12.007.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:30082
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:13 Apr 2012 21:03
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:36

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