Establishment of cell fate during early Drosophila embryogenesis requires transcriptional Mediator subunit dMED31

Floris Bosveld, Sjoerd van Hoek, Ody C. M. Sibon*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    During early Drosophila embryogenesis, formation of the anterior-posterior (A/P) axis depends on spatial gradients of maternal morphogens. It is well recognized that positional information is transmitted from these morphogens to the gap genes. However, how this information is being transmitted is largely unknown. The transcriptional Mediator complex is involved in the fine tuning of the signaling between chromatin status, transcription factors and the RNA polymerase II transcription machinery. We found that a mutation in the conserved subunit of the Mediator complex, dMED31, hampers embryogenesis prior to gastrulation and leads to aberrant expression of the gap genes knirps and Kruppel and the pair-rule genes fusi tarazu and even-skipped along the A/P axis. Expression of the maternal morphogens dorsal and hunchback was not affected in dMED31 mutants. mRNA expression of dMED31 exactly peaks between the highest expression levels of the maternal genes and the gap genes. Together, our results point to a role for dMED31 in guiding maternal morphogen directed zygotic gap gene expression and provide the first in vivo evidence for a role of the Mediator complex in the establishment of cell fate during the cellular blastoderm stage of Drosophila melanogaster. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)802-813
    Number of pages12
    JournalDevelopmental Biology
    Volume313
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15-Jan-2008

    Keywords

    • A/P polarity
    • Mediator complex
    • cell fate
    • dMED31
    • RNA-POLYMERASE-II
    • PAIR-RULE GENE
    • SACCHAROMYCES-CEREVISIAE
    • GAP GENES
    • BITHORAX COMPLEX
    • C-ELEGANS
    • EXPRESSION
    • EMBRYO
    • SEGMENTATION
    • PROTEIN

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