The same dorsal binding site mediates both activation and repression in a context-dependent manner

Duojia Pan, Albert J. Courey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Like many DNA binding transcription factors, the Drosophila morphogen encoded by dorsal can both stimulate and repress promoter activity. In particular, this factor activates twist and represses zerknullt on the ventral side of the early embryo. We find that when multiple copies of a dorsal binding site from the zerknullt ventral repressor element are fused to a heterologous basal promoter, the resulting construct is activated by dorsal to give a ventral specific expression pattern. Thus, the ability of a dorsal binding site to mediate repression rather than activation is not an intrinsic property of the site, but depends upon its context. We also show that a hybrid promoter containing both the zerknullt ventral repressor element and the twist ventral activator region is not ventrally active in the early embryo, demonstrating that repression is dominant over activation. Thus, the default mode of action of the dorsal protein is transcriptional activation. Additional factors may modify dorsal activity to bring about repression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1837-1842
Number of pages6
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Keywords

  • Dorsal
  • Dorsal-ventral formation
  • Drosophila embryogenesis
  • Twist
  • Zerknullt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The same dorsal binding site mediates both activation and repression in a context-dependent manner'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this