Midline enhancer activity of the short gastrulation shadow enhancer is characterized by three unusual features for cis-regulatory DNA

  • Shin, Dong-Hyeon ;
  • Hong, Joung-Woo
  • Received : 2015.07.22
  • Accepted : 2015.08.06
  • Published : 2015.10.31


The shadow enhancer of the short gastrulation (sog) gene directs its sequential expression in the neurogenic ectoderm and the ventral midline of the developing Drosophila embryo. Here, we characterize three unusual features of the shadow enhancer midline activity. First, the minimal regions for the two different enhancer activities exhibit high overlap within the shadow enhancer, meaning that one developmental enhancer possesses dual enhancer activities. Second, the midline enhancer activity relies on five Single-minded (Sim)-binding sites, two of which have not been found in any Sim target enhancers. Finally, two linked Dorsal (Dl)- and Zelda (Zld)-binding sites, critical for the neurogenic ectoderm enhancer activity, are also required for the midline enhancer activity. These results suggest that early activation by Dl and Zld may facilitate late activation via the noncanonical sites occupied by Sim. We discuss a model for Zld as a pioneer factor and speculate its role in midline enhancer activity.


Drosophila;Embryo;Pioneer factor;Shadow enhancer;Short gastrulation;Zelda


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