The binding site of a steroid hormone receptor-like protein within the Drosophila Adh adult enhancer is required for high levels of tissue-specific alcohol dehydrogenase expression.

Mol Cell Biol 1992 Feb;12(2):661-73

Ayer S, Benyajati C

Department of Biology, University of Rochester, New York 14627.

Developmental and tissue-specific transcription from the Adh distal promoter is regulated in part by the Adh adult enhancer, located 450 to 600 bp upstream from the distal RNA start site. We have characterized four proteins (DEP1 to DEP4), present in Drosophila tissue culture cell nuclear extracts, which bind to this enhancer. DEP1 and DEP2 bind to a positive cis-acting element (-492 to -481) and share nucleotide contacts. A small linker replacement deletion mutation, which disrupts the overlapping DEP1- and DEP2-binding sites, reduces Adh distal transcription in an alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)-expressing cultured cell line, in the adult fat body (the major tissue of ADH expression), as well as in some but not all adult tissues where ADH is normally expressed. This enhancer element contains an imperfect palindromic sequence similar to steroid hormone receptor superfamily response elements. Binding-site screening of a lambda gt11 expression library has identified the steroid receptor superfamily member fushi tarazu factor 1 (FTZ-F1) as a protein that binds to this site. Anti-FTZ-F1 antibodies have identified DEP1 as FTZ-F1. DEP2 also binds to the FTZ-F1 site from the fushi tarazu zebra element, suggesting that DEP2 may also be a steroid receptor superfamily member. Our results raise the possibility that Adh regulation in certain adult tissues involves a hormone-mediated pathway. Because DEP1 (FTZ-F1) and DEP2 contact some of the same nucleotides within the positive cis element, it is unlikely that they can bind simultaneously. Such alternative binding may play a role in the tissue-specific and developmental transcription of Adh.

PMID: 1732738, UI: 92123191