Developmentally regulated gene expression in Drosophila larval fat bodies

J. A. Lepesant, M. Levine, A. Garen, J. Lepesant-Kejzlarvoa, L. Rat, G. Somme-Martin

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During third-instar larval development of Drosophila melanogaster, the fat body tissue synthesizes six major methionine-containing polypeptides, three of which are the α, β, and γ subunits of the hexameric larval serum protein LSP-1, a fourth is the single subunit of the hexameric larval serum protein LSP-2, and the other two are polypeptides P6 and P1. Genomic DNA clones of the six structural genes for the polypeptides were isolated and characterized. Each gene maps by in situ hybridization at a single chromosomal site and appears to be present as a single copy in the genome. The LSP-1 and LSP-2 genes show striking regulatory similarities: The LSP-1β and γ transcripts are first detected in fat bodies within an hour after the second molt, and the LSP-1α and LSP-2 transcripts a few hours later; the four transcripts are subsequently maintained at high levels during most of the third instar and rapidly decrease shortly before pupariation. Ecdysterone increases the levels of at least three of the four LSP transcripts in the fat bodies when ecdysterone-deficient larvae from the temperature-sensitive mutant ecd 1 are supplemented with the hormone. The regulatory characteristics of the P6 and P1 genes differ in several ways from those of the LSP genes. Expression of the P6 and P1 genes begins later than the LSP genes, and the levels of the transcripts remain high at the end of the third instar after the LSP transcripts have markedly decreased. Ecdysterone increases the level of the P1 transcript, but not of the P6 transcript, in ecdysterone-deficient ecd 1 larvae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular and Applied Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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