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Computational models for neurogenic gene expression in the Drosophila embryo

Item Type:Article
Title:Computational models for neurogenic gene expression in the Drosophila embryo
Creators Name:Zinzen, R.P. and Senger, K. and Levine, M. and Papatsenko, D.
Abstract:The early Drosophila embryo is emerging as a premiere model system for the computational analysis of gene regulation in development because most of the genes, and many of the associated regulatory DNAs, that control segmentation and gastrulation are known. The comprehensive elucidation of Drosophila gene networks provides an unprecedented opportunity to apply quantitative models to metazoan enhancers that govern complex patterns of gene expression during development. Models based on the fractional occupancy of defined DNA binding sites have been used to describe the regulation of the lac operon in E. coli and the lysis/lysogeny switch of phage lambda. Here, we apply similar models to enhancers regulated by the Dorsal gradient in the ventral neurogenic ectoderm (vNE) of the early Drosophila embryo. Quantitative models based on the fractional occupancy of Dorsal, Twist, and Snail binding sites raise the possibility that cooperative interactions among these regulatory proteins mediate subtle differences in the vNE expression patterns. Variations in cooperativity may be attributed to differences in the detailed linkage of Dorsal, Twist, and Snail binding sites in vNE enhancers. We propose that binding site occupancy is the key rate-limiting step for establishing localized patterns of gene expression in the early Drosophila embryo.
Keywords:Base Sequence, Computer Simulation, Developmental Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental Genes, Drosophila Proteins, Genetic Enhancer Elements, Genetic Models, Homeodomain Proteins, Membrane Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Nervous System, Neuregulins, Nonmammalian Embryo, Nuclear Proteins, Phosphoproteins, Sequence Alignment, Transcription Factors, Twist Transcription Factor, Animals, Drosophila
Source:Current Biology
Publisher:Cell Press
Page Range:1358-1365
Date:11 July 2006
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2006.05.044
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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