Chromatin regulators and transcriptional control of Drosophila development
Sammanfattning: The development of a multicellular organism is programmed by complex patterns of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, genes are packaged by histone proteins into chromatin. Chromatin regulators often function as transcription co-factors. In this study, we have investigated the function of four co-factors, dAda2b, Reptin, Ebi and Brakeless during development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. dAda2b and Reptin belong to histone acetyl transferase (HAT) complexes, a SAGA-like complex and the Tip60 complex, respectively. We generated dAda2b mutants and found that lack of dAda2b strongly affects global histone acetylation and viability. We further propose that Ada2 may be involved in DNA repair. Our studies revealed new roles of Reptin and other Tip60 complex components in Polycomb Group mediated repression and heterochromatin formation, thereby promoting generation of silent chromatin.During embryogenesis, transcriptional repressors establish localized and tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. In this thesis, we identified two novel co-repressors in the early embryo, Ebi and Brakeless. Ebi genetically and physically interacts with the Snail repressor. The Ebi-interaction motif in the Snail protein is essential for Snail function in vivo and is evolutionarily conserved in insects. We further demonstrated that Ebi associates with histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) and that histone deacetylation is part of the mechanism by which Snail mediates transcriptional repression. We isolated Brakeless in a genetic screen for novel regulators of gene expression during embryogenesis. We found that mutation of brakeless impairs function of the Tailless repressor. Brakeless associates with Atrophin, another Tailless corepressor, and they function together in Tailless-mediated repression. In summary, transcription co-factors, including chromatin regulators, are selectively required in distinct processes during development.
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