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Gene Review

Sry-delta  -  Serendipity delta

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG17958, Dmel\CG17958, EH8, Serendipity locus protein delta, Sry delta, ...
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High impact information on Sry-delta

  • The specific requirement of sry delta for bcd transcription in the female germ line constitutes an unexpected link between a zygotic gene with pleiotropic functions and the establishment of coordinates of the Drosophila egg [1].
  • We show here that bcd transcription is controlled by serendipity delta (sry delta), a zygotic-lethal zinc finger protein gene [1].
  • Two overlapping sites binding the Sry delta protein were identified in the bcd promoter region, a few base pairs upstream of the putative TATA box [1].
  • This sry delta germ-line function was revealed by transgenic expression of a modified Sry delta protein, Sry DB56, carrying a two-finger swap [1].
  • The consensus recognition sites sry beta 5'-YCAGAGATGCGCA-3' and sry delta 5'-YTAGAGATGGRAA-3' thus differ by nucleotides at four out of 13 positions [2].

Biological context of Sry-delta

  • Transcriptional control of Drosophila bicoid by Serendipity delta: cooperative binding sites, promoter context, and co-evolution [3].
  • Zygotic synthesis of the sry beta protein starts during nuclear division cycles 12-13, prior to cellularisation of the blastoderm, while the zygotic sry delta protein is not detectable before germ band extension (stage 10 embryos) [4].
  • At least five mRNAs are transcribed from one of these genes ( EH8 ); three are zygotic transcripts, of which two are blastoderm stage-specific, whereas two others accumulate during oogenesis and are therefore matenal mRNAs [5].
  • In addition, sry delta mutants display various zygotic phenotypes, ranging from abnormal embryogenesis to sex-biased adult lethality [6].
  • While each of three point mutations located in the third zinc finger of sry delta drastically reduces its DNA binding affinity, a fourth mutation, located in the N-terminal region of the protein, specifically affects the cooperativity of DNA binding [6].

Anatomical context of Sry-delta

  • During oogenesis, while sry delta mRNAs transcribed by nurse cells are transferred to the oocyte starting in stage 10, translation into protein occurs in the ooplasm starting in stage 12 [7].

Associations of Sry-delta with chemical compounds

  • An NH2-terminal domain of the sry delta protein is essential to its specificity of in vivo interaction with chromatin [8].
  • Further, several lines of evidence strongly suggest that sry delta binds to DNA as a dimer [6].

Other interactions of Sry-delta

  • We compared the pattern of in vivo chromosomal binding of deleted forms of the sry delta protein fused to beta-galactosidase and expressed in Drosophila transgenic lines [8].
  • Phenotypic analysis of sry delta hemizygote escaper males further suggests that sry delta may be involved in regulation of two different sets of genes: genes required for viability and genes involved in gonadal development [9].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Sry-delta


  1. Direct control of transcription of the Drosophila morphogen bicoid by the serendipity delta zinc finger protein, as revealed by in vivo analysis of a finger swap. Payre, F., Crozatier, M., Vincent, A. Genes Dev. (1994) [Pubmed]
  2. Genomic targets of the serendipity beta and delta zinc finger proteins and their respective DNA recognition sites. Payre, F., Vincent, A. EMBO J. (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Transcriptional control of Drosophila bicoid by Serendipity delta: cooperative binding sites, promoter context, and co-evolution. Ruez, C., Payre, F., Vincent, A. Mech. Dev. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. The closely related Drosophila sry beta and sry delta zinc finger proteins show differential embryonic expression and distinct patterns of binding sites on polytene chromosomes. Payre, F., Noselli, S., Lefrère, V., Vincent, A. Development (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Drosophila maternal and embryo mRNAs transcribed from a single transcription unit use alternate combinations of exons. Vincent, A., O'Connell, P., Gray, M.R., Rosbash, M. EMBO J. (1984) [Pubmed]
  6. Two types of zinc fingers are required for dimerization of the serendipity delta transcriptional activator. Payre, F., Buono, P., Vanzo, N., Vincent, A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  7. Serendipity delta, a Drosophila zinc finger protein present in embryonic nuclei at the onset of zygotic gene transcription. Payre, F., Yanicostas, C., Vincent, A. Dev. Biol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  8. Zinc fingers and other domains cooperate in binding of Drosophila sry beta and delta proteins at specific chromosomal sites. Noselli, S., Payre, F., Vincent, A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  9. Single amino acid exchanges in separate domains of the Drosophila serendipity delta zinc finger protein cause embryonic and sex biased lethality. Crozatier, M., Kongsuwan, K., Ferrer, P., Merriam, J.R., Lengyel, J.A., Vincent, A. Genetics (1992) [Pubmed]
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