The Fab-7 boundary is required to ensure that the iab-6 and iab-7 cis-regulatory domains in the Drosophila Bithorax complex can function autonomously. Though Fab-7 functions as a boundary from early embryogenesis through to the adult stage, this constitutive boundary activity depends on subelements whose activity is developmentally restricted. In the studies reported here, we have identified a factor, called early boundary activity (Elba), that confers Fab-7 boundary activity during early embryogenesis. The Elba factor binds to a recognition sequence within a Fab-7 subelement that has enhancer-blocking activity during early embryogenesis, but not during mid-embryogenesis or in the adult. We found that the Elba factor is present in early embryos but largely disappears during mid-embryogenesis. We show that mutations in the Elba recognition sequence that eliminate Elba binding in nuclear extracts disrupt the early boundary activity of the Fab-7 subelement. Conversely, we find that early boundary activity can be reconstituted by multimerizing the Elba recognition site.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology