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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A steroid-triggered switch in E74 transcription factor isoforms regulates the timing of secondary-response gene expression.

The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (referred to here as ecdysone) directs Drosophila metamorphosis by activating a series of genetic regulatory hierarchies. ETS domain transcription factors encoded by the ecdysone-inducible E74 early gene, E74A and E74B, act at the top of these hierarchies to coordinate the induction of target genes. We have ectopically expressed these E74 isoforms to understand their regulatory functions during the onset of metamorphosis. We show that E74 can regulate its own transcription, most likely through binding sites within its gene. Ectopic expression of E74B can partially repress the E78B and DHR3 orphan receptor genes, suggesting a role for E74 in the appropriate timing of early-late gene expression. Furthermore, E74A is both necessary and sufficient for E78B induction, implicating E74A as a key regulator of E78B expression. We also show, consistent with our studies of E74 loss-of-function mutations, that E74B is a potent repressor of late gene transcription and E74A is sufficient to prematurely induce the L71-1 late gene. However, ectopic expression of both Broad-Complex and E74A activators in an E74B mutant background is not sufficient to prematurely induce all late genes, indicating that other factors contribute to this regulatory circuit. These observations demonstrate that the steroid-triggered switch in E74 transcription factor isoforms plays a central role in the proper timing of secondary-response gene expression.[1]


  1. A steroid-triggered switch in E74 transcription factor isoforms regulates the timing of secondary-response gene expression. Fletcher, J.C., D'Avino, P.P., Thummel, C.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1997) [Pubmed]
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