Drosophila chorion genes: cracking the eggshell's secrets

Bioessays. 1991 Mar;13(3):97-105. doi: 10.1002/bies.950130302.


The chorion genes of Drosophila are amplified in response to developmental signals in the follicle cells of the ovary prior to their transcription. Their expression is regulated both temporally and spatially within this tissue. They thus serve as models both for the regulation of DNA replication and of developmental transcription. The regulatory elements for DNA amplification have been delineated. Their analysis reveals that amplification is mediated by several regulatory regions and initiates at defined origins within the chorion cluster. Proteins involved in amplification are being identified both by mutations affecting amplification and by DNA binding studies. Regulatory elements for temporal as well as spatial control of chorion gene expression have been characterized, and two candidate transcription factor genes have been cloned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Replication
  • Diptera / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Egg Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Egg Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Amplification
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Egg Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • chorion proteins