Transcriptional repression in the Drosophila embryo.

S. Gray, H. Cai, S. Barolo, M. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcriptional repression is essential for the conversion of crude maternal gradients into sharp territories of tissue differentiation in the Drosophila embryo. Evidence will be presented suggesting that some of the embryonic repressors function through a short-range 'quenching' mechanism, whereby a repressor works over short distances (ca. 50 b.p.) to block neighbouring activators within a target enhancer. This type of repression can explain how different enhancers work autonomously within complex modular promoters. However, at least one of the repressors operating in the early embryo works through a long-range, or silencing, mechanism. The binding of a silencer to a given enhancer leads to the inactivation of all enhancers within a complex promoter. The analysis of chromatin boundary elements suggest that silencers and enhancers might work through distinct mechanisms. We speculate that silencers constrain the evolution of complex promoters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Volume349
Issue number1329
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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