Novel functions of nanos in downregulating mitosis and transcription during the development of the Drosophila germline

Girish Deshpande, Gretchen Calhoun, Judith L. Yanowitz, Paul D. Schedl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has previously been shown that germ cells in embryos derived from nos mutant mothers do not migrate to the primitive gonad and prematurely express several germline-specific markers. In the studies reported here, we have traced these defects back to the syncytial blastoderm stage. We show that pole cells in nos- embryos fail to establish/maintain transcriptional quiescence; the sex determination gene Sex-lethal (Sxl) and the segmentation genes fushi tarazu and even-skipped are ectopically activated in nos- germ cells. We show that nos- germ cells are unable to attenuate the cell cycle and instead continue dividing. Unexpectedly, removal of the Sxl gene in the zygote mitigates both the migration and mitotic defects of nos- germ cells. Supporting the conclusion that Sxl is an important target for nos repression, ectopic, premature expression of Sxl protein in germ cells disrupts migration and stimulates mitotic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalCell
Volume99
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 29 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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