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Gene Review

srp  -  serpent

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: A7.1, ABF, Abf, Box A-binding factor, CG3992, ...
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Disease relevance of srp

  • Given the similarities of Srp and Lz to mammalian GATA and AML1 proteins, observations in Drosophila are likely to have broad implications for understanding mammalian hematopoiesis and leukemias [1].

High impact information on srp

  • Genetic interactions between dominant pnr mutants bearing lesions situated in the amino-terminal zinc finger of the GATA domain and ush mutants have been described [2].
  • end-1 encodes an apparent GATA factor that specifies the endoderm precursor in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos [3].
  • We focus on the regulation of two mesodermal genes: bagpipe (bap), which defines the anlagen of the visceral musculature of the midgut, and serpent (srp), which marks the anlagen of the fat body [4].
  • Over the past year, vertebrate GATA factors have been found to participate directly in several signal-transduction pathways [5].
  • Here we show that srp encodes different isoforms, generated by alternative splicing, that contain either only a C-finger (SrpC) or both a C- and an N-finger (SrpNC) [6].

Biological context of srp


Anatomical context of srp

  • Both isoforms individually rescue blood cell formation that is lacking in an srp null mutation [6].
  • In contrast, whereas U-shaped and SrpNC together blocked crystal cell production, coexpression of U-shaped with noninteracting Srp proteins failed to prevent overproduction of this hemocyte population [7].
  • In Drosophila, the GATA factor gene serpent (srp) is critical for differentiation of the endoderm [11].
  • Our data suggest that Serpent is involved in the distinction between a systemic response in the yolk/fat body and a local immune response in epithelial cells [12].
  • The GATA, Friend of GATA, and Runt homology domain protein families function during hematopoiesis to promote progenitor cell development and regulate lineage commitment and differentiation [13].

Physical interactions of srp


Regulatory relationships of srp

  • Conversely, overexpression of dGATAe induced ectopic expression of endodermal markers even in the absence of srp activity [11].

Other interactions of srp

  • Our knowledge of endoderm development is limited; however, recent studies suggest that cooperation between the HNF3/Fork head and GATA transcription factors is crucial for endoderm specification [15].
  • These observations indicate that GATAe activates a major subset of genes in the midgut, and some other pathway(s) downstream of srp activates other genes [16].
  • We propose that Serpent plays a key role in tissue-specific expression of immunity genes, by priming them for inducible activation by Rel proteins in response to infection [17].
  • A nuclear DNA-binding activity interacts with the Cecropin A1 GATA motif with the same properties as the Drosophila GATA factor Serpent [17].
  • A UAS site substitution approach to the in vivo dissection of promoters: interplay between the GATAb activator and the AEF-1 repressor at a Drosophila ecdysone response unit [18].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of srp


  1. Specification of Drosophila hematopoietic lineage by conserved transcription factors. Lebestky, T., Chang, T., Hartenstein, V., Banerjee, U. Science (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. Transcriptional activity of pannier is regulated negatively by heterodimerization of the GATA DNA-binding domain with a cofactor encoded by the u-shaped gene of Drosophila. Haenlin, M., Cubadda, Y., Blondeau, F., Heitzler, P., Lutz, Y., Simpson, P., Ramain, P. Genes Dev. (1997) [Pubmed]
  3. end-1 encodes an apparent GATA factor that specifies the endoderm precursor in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Zhu, J., Hill, R.J., Heid, P.J., Fukuyama, M., Sugimoto, A., Priess, J.R., Rothman, J.H. Genes Dev. (1997) [Pubmed]
  4. Segmentation and specification of the Drosophila mesoderm. Azpiazu, N., Lawrence, P.A., Vincent, J.P., Frasch, M. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  5. The GATA family (vertebrates and invertebrates). Patient, R.K., McGhee, J.D. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  6. Two isoforms of Serpent containing either one or two GATA zinc fingers have different roles in Drosophila haematopoiesis. Waltzer, L., Bataillé, L., Peyrefitte, S., Haenlin, M. EMBO J. (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Combinatorial interactions of serpent, lozenge, and U-shaped regulate crystal cell lineage commitment during Drosophila hematopoiesis. Fossett, N., Hyman, K., Gajewski, K., Orkin, S.H., Schulz, R.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  8. Regulation of Drosophila Friend of GATA gene, u-shaped, during hematopoiesis: a direct role for Serpent and Lozenge. Muratoglu, S., Garratt, B., Hyman, K., Gajewski, K., Schulz, R.A., Fossett, N. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. A group of genes required for maintenance of the amnioserosa tissue in Drosophila. Frank, L.H., Rushlow, C. Development (1996) [Pubmed]
  10. Identification of fat-cell enhancer regions in Drosophila melanogaster. Miller, J.M., Oligino, T., Pazdera, M., López, A.J., Hoshizaki, D.K. Insect Mol. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  11. An endoderm-specific GATA factor gene, dGATAe, is required for the terminal differentiation of the Drosophila endoderm. Okumura, T., Matsumoto, A., Tanimura, T., Murakami, R. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  12. The GATA factor Serpent is required for the onset of the humoral immune response in Drosophila embryos. Tingvall, T.O., Roos, E., Engström, Y. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  13. Functional conservation of hematopoietic factors in Drosophila and vertebrates. Fossett, N., Schulz, R.A. Differentiation (2001) [Pubmed]
  14. A Drosophila GATA family member that binds to Adh regulatory sequences is expressed in the developing fat body. Abel, T., Michelson, A.M., Maniatis, T. Development (1993) [Pubmed]
  15. Functional specification in the Drosophila endoderm. Nakagoshi, H. Dev. Growth Differ. (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. GATAe-dependent and -independent expressions of genes in the differentiated endodermal midgut of Drosophila. Okumura, T., Tajiri, R., Kojima, T., Saigo, K., Murakami, R. Gene Expr. Patterns (2007) [Pubmed]
  17. Serpent regulates Drosophila immunity genes in the larval fat body through an essential GATA motif. Petersen, U.M., Kadalayil, L., Rehorn, K.P., Hoshizaki, D.K., Reuter, R., Engström, Y. EMBO J. (1999) [Pubmed]
  18. A UAS site substitution approach to the in vivo dissection of promoters: interplay between the GATAb activator and the AEF-1 repressor at a Drosophila ecdysone response unit. Brodu, V., Mugat, B., Fichelson, P., Lepesant, J.A., Antoniewski, C. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  19. The ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel-encoded dSUR gene is required for Drosophila heart function and is regulated by tinman. Akasaka, T., Klinedinst, S., Ocorr, K., Bustamante, E.L., Kim, S.K., Bodmer, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2006) [Pubmed]
  20. A transcriptional role for conserved footprinting sequences within the larval promoter of a Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase gene. Hu, J., Qazzaz, H., Brennan, M.D. J. Mol. Biol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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