Multiple Promoter Targeting Sequences Exist in Abdominal-B to Regulate Long-Range Gene Activation

Dev Biol. 2005 Oct 15;286(2):629-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.08.025. Epub 2005 Sep 27.


In complex genomes, insulators set up chromatin domain boundaries and protect promoters from inappropriate activation by enhancers from neighboring genes. The Drosophila Abdominal-B locus uses insulator elements to organize its large regulatory region into several body segment-specific chromatin domains. This organization leads to a problem in enhancer-promoter communication, that is, how do distal enhancers activate the Abd-B promoter when there are several insulators in between? This issue is partially resolved by the Promoter Targeting Sequence, which can overcome the enhancer blocking effect of an insulator. In this study, we describe a new Promoter Targeting Sequence, PTS-6, from the Abd-B 3' regulatory region. PTS-6, comprised of approximately 200 bp, was found to bypass both homologous Abdominal-B insulators, such as Fab-7 and Fab-8, and a heterologous insulator, suHw. Most importantly, it also overcomes a combination of two insulators such as Fab-7/Fab-8. Thus, PTS-6 could, in principle, target remote enhancers that are separated from the Abd-B promoter by multiple insulators. In addition, PTS-6 selectively targets the distal enhancer to only one transgenic promoter, and it strongly facilitates Abd-B enhancers. These results suggest that promoter targeting is necessary for long-range enhancer-promoter communication in Abd-B, and PTS elements could be a common occurrence in large, complex genetic loci.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genome, Insect
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Abd-B proteins, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins