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  Cooperative DNA-binding by Bicoid provides a mechanism for threshold-dependent gene activation in the Drosophila embryo

Burz, D. S., Rivera-Pomar, R., Jaeckle, H., & Hanes, S. D. (1998). Cooperative DNA-binding by Bicoid provides a mechanism for threshold-dependent gene activation in the Drosophila embryo. EMBO Journal, 17, 5998-6009.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-FD7E-6 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-97D1-A
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Burz, D. S., Author
Rivera-Pomar, R.1, Author              
Jaeckle, H.2, Author              
Hanes, S. D., Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Cellular Biochemistry, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_578576              
2Department of Molecular Developmental Biology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_578590              

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Free keywords: Homeodomain recognition helix. Lambda ci-repressor. Transcriptional regulation. Protein. Gap. Expression. Morphogen. Domain. Stripe. Sites. Molecular biology & genetics.
 Abstract: The Bicoid morphogen directs pattern formation along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis of the Drosophila embryo. Bicoid is distributed in a concentration gradient that decreases exponentially from the anterior pole, however, it transcribes target genes such as hunchback in a step-function-like pattern; the expression domain is uniform and has a sharply defined posterior boundary. A 'gradient-affinity' model proposed to explain Bicoid action states that (i) cooperative gene activation by Bicoid generates the sharp on/off switch for target gene transcription and (ii) target genes with different affinities for Bicoid are expressed at different positions along the A-P axis. Using an in vivo yeast assay and in vitro methods, we show that Bicoid binds DNA with pairwise cooperativity; Bicoid bound to a strong site helps Bicoid bind to a weak site. These results support the first aspect of the model, providing a mechanism by which Bicoid generates sharp boundaries of gene expression. However, contrary to the second aspect of the model, we find no significant difference between the affinity of Bicoid for the anterior gene hunchback and the posterior gene knirps, We propose, instead, that the arrangement of Bicoids bound to the target gene presents a unique signature to the transcription machinery that, in combination with overall affinity, regulates the extent of gene transcription along the A-P axis.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2005-07-061998
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: eDoc: 230797
Other: 573
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Title: EMBO Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 17 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 5998 - 6009 Identifier: -