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Title: Control of ovarian and fat body expression of the Drosophila yolk protein 3 gene
Author: Hutson, Simone Frances
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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In Drosophila the three yolk protein (yp) genes are expressed in the adult female fat body and ovary. The yolk proteins (YPs) are stored in the oocyte for utilisation during embryogenesis. Within the intergenic region of yp2 and yp2, a fat body enhancer (FBE) and two ovarian enhancers have been found to direct YP1 and YP2 tissue- and sex-specific expression. The male and female forms of Doublesex protein (DSXM and DSXF respectively) have been found to bind to the FBE and are thought to confer the sex-specificity of yp expression to the fat body of females only. The dsx gene is at the end of the sex determination pathway, other genes that operate from this branch of the pathway include hermaphrodite (her) and intersex (ix), and it is possible that HER and IX proteins could also regulate yp gene expression. Upstream of yp3 are sequences that direct female-, fat body-specific yp3 expression (FBE3) and ovarian-specific yp3 expression (OE3). This project involved analysis of FBE3 and OE3 to gain further understanding of the regulation of yp3 expression. The role of DSX in the regulation of yp3 has been investigated; the FBE3 was divided into smaller subfragments and it was determined that one of these fragments can bind DSX in vitro. These subfragments were cloned into reporter gene constructs to test their capabilities in directing correct lacZ expression pattern in vivo, using P-element mediated transformation. This revealed that the fragment capable of binding DSX in vitro, could direct lacZ expression in fat body cells, but this expression was not sex-specific, both male and female fat bodies showed reporter gene expression. C/EBP was reported to bind to the FBE in vitro and considered to be a potential activator of yp gene expression. From C/EBP mutant analysis, there was no observed difference from wild type in the level of YP expression in vivo; thus it is unlikely that C/EBP has a regulatory role in yp gene expression in the fat body.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available