Evolutionary change in the structure of the regulatory region that drives tissue and temporally regulated expression of alcohol dehydrogenase gene in Drosophila funebris

Insect Mol Biol. 2001 Jun;10(3):237-47. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2583.2001.00262.x.


The Adh locus of Drosophilidae is organized as a single gene transcribed from two spatially and temporally regulated promoters except in species of the repleta group, which have two single promoter genes. Here we show that in Drosophila funebris the Adh gene is transcribed from a single promoter, in both larva and adult, with qualitative and quantitative species specific-differences in tissue distribution. The gene is expressed in larval fat body but in other tissues such as gastric caeca, midgut and Malpighian tubules its expression is reduced compared to most Drosophilidae species, and in adults it is almost limited to the fat body. The comparative analysis of gene expression of two strains, which differ by a duplication, indicates that the cis elements necessary for this pattern of expression in larvae are included in the region of 1.55 kb upstream of the transcription initiation site. This new organization reveals the evolution of a different regulatory strategy to express the Adh gene in the subgenus Drosophila.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila / enzymology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • ADH protein, Drosophila
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase