CrebA increases secretory capacity through direct transcriptional regulation of the secretory machinery, a subset of secretory cargo, and other key regulators

Traffic. 2020 Sep;21(9):560-577. doi: 10.1111/tra.12753.


Specialization of many cells, including the acinar cells of the salivary glands and pancreas, milk-producing cells of mammary glands, mucus-secreting goblet cells, antibody-producing plasma cells, and cells that generate the dense extracellular matrices of bone and cartilage, requires scaling up both secretory machinery and cell-type specific secretory cargo. Using tissue-specific genome-scale analyses, we determine how increases in secretory capacity are coordinated with increases in secretory load in the Drosophila salivary gland (SG), an ideal model for gaining mechanistic insight into the functional specialization of secretory organs. Our findings show that CrebA, a bZIP transcription factor, directly binds genes encoding the core secretory machinery, including protein components of the signal recognition particle and receptor, ER cargo translocators, Cop I and Cop II vesicles, as well as the structural proteins and enzymes of these organelles. CrebA directly binds a subset of SG cargo genes and CrebA binds and boosts expression of Sage, a SG-specific transcription factor essential for cargo expression. To further enhance secretory output, CrebA binds and activates Xbp1 and Tudor-SN. Thus, CrebA directly upregulates the machinery of secretion and additional factors to increase overall secretory capacity in professional secretory cells; concomitant increases in cargo are achieved both directly and indirectly.

Keywords: ChIP-seq; CrebA; Drosophila; TSN; Xbp1; sage; salivary gland; secretory capacity; secretory cargo; transcription factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein A
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Salivary Glands
  • Transcription Factors


  • CrebA protein, Drosophila
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein A
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Transcription Factors