Divergent transcriptional regulatory logic at the intersection of tissue growth and developmental patterning

PLoS Genet. 2013;9(9):e1003753. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003753. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Abstract

The Yorkie/Yap transcriptional coactivator is a well-known regulator of cellular proliferation in both invertebrates and mammals. As a coactivator, Yorkie (Yki) lacks a DNA binding domain and must partner with sequence-specific DNA binding proteins in the nucleus to regulate gene expression; in Drosophila, the developmental regulators Scalloped (Sd) and Homothorax (Hth) are two such partners. To determine the range of target genes regulated by these three transcription factors, we performed genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments for each factor in both the wing and eye-antenna imaginal discs. Strong, tissue-specific binding patterns are observed for Sd and Hth, while Yki binding is remarkably similar across both tissues. Binding events common to the eye and wing are also present for Sd and Hth; these are associated with genes regulating cell proliferation and "housekeeping" functions, and account for the majority of Yki binding. In contrast, tissue-specific binding events for Sd and Hth significantly overlap enhancers that are active in the given tissue, are enriched in Sd and Hth DNA binding sites, respectively, and are associated with genes that are consistent with each factor's previously established tissue-specific functions. Tissue-specific binding events are also significantly associated with Polycomb targeted chromatin domains. To provide mechanistic insights into tissue-specific regulation, we identify and characterize eye and wing enhancers of the Yki-targeted bantam microRNA gene and demonstrate that they are dependent on direct binding by Hth and Sd, respectively. Overall these results suggest that both Sd and Hth use distinct strategies - one shared between tissues and associated with Yki, the other tissue-specific, generally Yki-independent and associated with developmental patterning - to regulate distinct gene sets during development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Eye / growth & development
  • Eye / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Wings, Animal / growth & development
  • Wings, Animal / metabolism

Substances

  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Yki protein, Drosophila
  • hth protein, Drosophila
  • sd protein, Drosophila