Drosophila ELYS regulates Dorsal dynamics during development

J Biol Chem. 2020 Feb 21;295(8):2421-2437. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.009451. Epub 2020 Jan 15.


Embryonic large molecule derived from yolk sac (ELYS) is a constituent protein of nuclear pores. It initiates assembly of nuclear pore complexes into functional nuclear pores toward the end of mitosis. Using cellular, molecular, and genetic tools, including fluorescence and Electron microscopy, quantitative PCR, and RNAi-mediated depletion, we report here that the ELYS ortholog (dElys) plays critical roles during Drosophila development. dElys localized to the nuclear rim in interphase cells, but during mitosis it was absent from kinetochores and enveloped chromatin. We observed that RNAi-mediated dElys depletion leads to aberrant development and, at the cellular level, to defects in the nuclear pore and nuclear lamina assembly. Further genetic analyses indicated that dElys depletion re-activates the Dorsal (NF-κB) pathway during late larval stages. Re-activated Dorsal caused untimely expression of the Dorsal target genes in the post-embryonic stages. We also demonstrate that activated Dorsal triggers apoptosis during later developmental stages by up-regulating the pro-apoptotic genes reaper and hid The apoptosis induced by Reaper and Hid was probably the underlying cause for developmental abnormalities observed upon dElys depletion. Moreover, we noted that dElys has conserved structural features, but contains a noncanonical AT-hook-like motif through which it strongly binds to DNA. Together, our results uncover a novel epistatic interaction that regulates Dorsal dynamics by dElys during development.

Keywords: Drosophila; Drosophila genetics; NF-κB transcription factor; development; nuclear envelope; nuclear organization; nuclear pore; nuclear structure; nuclear translocation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Nuclear Envelope / metabolism
  • Nuclear Pore / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Elys protein, Drosophila
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • dl protein, Drosophila