Drosophila myeloid leukemia factor acts with DREF to activate the JNK signaling pathway.
ABSTRACT: Drosophila myelodysplasia/myeloid leukemia factor (dMLF), a homolog of human MLF1, oncogene was first identified by yeast two-hybrid screen using the DNA replication-related element-binding factor (DREF) as bait. DREF is a transcription factor that regulates proliferation-related genes in Drosophila. It is known that overexpression of dMLF in the wing imaginal discs through the engrailed-GAL4 driver causes an atrophied wing phenotype associated with the induction of apoptosis. However, the precise mechanisms involved have yet to be clarified. Here, we found the atrophied phenotype to be suppressed by loss-of-function mutation of Drosophila Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), basket (bsk). Overexpression of dMLF induced ectopic JNK activation in the wing disc monitored with the puckered-lacZ reporter line, resulting in induction of apoptosis. The DREF-binding consensus DRE sequence could be shown to exist in the bsk promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays in S2 cells with anti-dMLF IgG and quantitative real-time PCR revealed that dMLF binds specifically to the bsk promoter region containing the DRE sequence. Furthermore, using a transient luciferase expression assay, we provide evidence that knockdown of dMLF reduced bsk gene promoter activity in S2 cells. Finally, we show that dMLF interacts with DREF in vivo. Altogether, these data indicate that dMLF acts with DREF to stimulate the bsk promoter and consequently activates the JNK pathway to promote apoptosis.
Project description:The DRE/DREF transcriptional regulatory system has been demonstrated to activate a wide variety of genes with various functions. In Drosophila, the Hippo pathway is known to suppress cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest through inactivation of Yorkie, a transcription co-activator. In the present study, we found that half dose reduction of the hippo (hpo) gene induces ectopic DNA synthesis in eye discs that is suppressed by overexpression of DREF. Half reduction of the hpo gene dose reduced apoptosis in DREF-overexpressing flies. Consistent with these observations, overexpression of DREF increased the levels of hpo and phosphorylated Yorkie in eye discs. Interestingly, the diap1-lacZ reporter was seen to be significantly decreased by overexpression of DREF. Luciferase reporter assays in cultured S2 cells revealed that one of two DREs identified in the hpo gene promoter region was responsible for promoter activity in S2 cells. Furthermore, endogenous hpo mRNA was reduced in DREF knockdown S2 cells, and chromatin immnunoprecipitation assays with anti-DREF antibodies proved that DREF binds specifically to the hpo gene promoter region containing DREs in vivo. Together, these results indicate that the DRE/DREF pathway is required for transcriptional activation of the hpo gene to positively control Hippo pathways.
Project description:DREF [DRE (DNA replication-related element)-binding factor] controls the transcription of numerous genes in Drosophila, many involved in nuclear DNA (nDNA) replication and cell proliferation, three in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication and two in mtDNA transcription termination. In this work, we have analysed the involvement of DREF in the expression of the known remaining genes engaged in the minimal mtDNA replication (d-mtDNA helicase) and transcription (the activator d-mtTFB2) machineries and of a gene involved in mitochondrial mRNA translation (d-mtTFB1). We have identified their transcriptional initiation sites and DRE sequences in their promoter regions. Gel-shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate that DREF interacts in vitro and in vivo with the d-mtDNA helicase and d-mtTFB2, but not with the d-mtTFB1 promoters. Transient transfection assays in Drosophila S2 cells with mutated DRE motifs and truncated promoter regions show that DREF controls the transcription of d-mtDNA helicase and d-mtTFB2, but not that of d-mtTFB1. RNA interference of DREF in S2 cells reinforces these results showing a decrease in the mRNA levels of d-mtDNA helicase and d-mtTFB2 and no changes in those of the d-mtTFB1. These results link the genetic regulation of nuclear DNA replication with the genetic control of mtDNA replication and transcriptional activation in Drosophila.
Project description:The DNA replication-related element-binding factor (DREF) regulates cell proliferation-related gene expression in Drosophila. By genetic screening, taking advantage of the rough eye phenotype of transgenic flies that express DREF in the eye discs, we identified 24 genes that suppressed and 12 genes that enhanced the rough eye phenotype when heterozygous for mutations. Five genes, HP6, pigeon, lace, X box binding protein 1 and guftagu were found to carry replication-related element (DRE) sequences in their 5'-flanking regions. Of these, the HP6 gene carries two sequences that match seven out of eight nucleotides of DRE and two additional sequences that match six out of eight nucleotides of DRE in the 5'-flanking region. Band mobility shift assays using Drosophila Kc cell nuclear extracts demonstrated DREF binding to two of these sites and chromatin immunoprecipitation using anti-DREF antibodies confirmed that this occurs in vivo. Knockdown of DREF in Drosophila S2 cells decreased the HP6 mRNA level. The results, taken together, indicate that DREF directly regulates expression of the HP6 gene. HP6 mRNA was detected throughout development by RT-PCR with highest levels in adult males. In addition, immunostaining analyses revealed colocalization of HP6 and DREF in nuclei at the apical tips in the testes.
Project description:The caudal-related homeobox transcription factors are required for the normal development and differentiation of intestinal cells. Recent reports indicate that misregulation of homeotic gene expression is associated with gastrointestinal cancer in mammals. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate expression of the caudal-related homeobox genes are poorly understood. In this study, we have identified a DNA replication-related element (DRE) in the 5' flanking region of the Drosophila caudal gene. Gel-mobility shift analysis reveals that three of the four DRE-related sequences in the caudal 5'-flanking region are recognized by the DRE-binding factor (DREF). Deletion and site-directed mutagenesis of these DRE sites results in a considerable reduction in caudal gene promoter activity. Analyses with transgenic flies carrying a caudal-lacZ fusion gene bearing wild-type or mutant DRE sites indicate that the DRE sites are required for caudal expression in vivo. These findings indicate that DRE/DREF is a key regulator of Drosophila caudal homeobox gene expression and suggest that DREs and DREF contribute to intestinal development by regulating caudal gene expression.
Project description:Phosphine (PH3) is a toxin commonly used for pest control. Its toxicity is attributed primarily to its ability to induce oxidative damage. Our previous work showed that phosphine could disrupt the cell antioxidant defence system by inhibiting expression of the catalase gene in Drosophila melanogaster (DmCAT). However, the exact mechanism of this inhibition remains unclear. Here, we implemented a luciferase reporter assay driven by the DmCAT promoter in D. melanogaster S2 cells and showed that this reporter could be inhibited by phosphine treatment. A minimal fragment of the promoter (-94 to 0?bp), which contained a DNA replication-related element (DRE) consensus motif (-78 to -85 bp), was sufficient for phosphine-mediated reporter inhibition, suggesting the involvement of the transcription factor DREF. Furthermore, phosphine treatment led to a reduction in DREF expression and consequent repression of DmCAT transcription. Our results provide new insights on the molecular mechanism of phosphine-mediated catalase inhibition. Phosphine treatment leads to reduced levels of the transcription factor DREF, a positive regulator of the DmCAT gene, thereby resulting in the repression of DmCAT at transcriptional level.
Project description:The Drosophila gene putzig (pzg) encodes a nuclear protein that is an integral component of the Trf2/Dref complex involved in the transcription of proliferation-related genes. Moreover, Pzg is found in a complex together with the nucleosome remodeling factor NURF, where it promotes Notch target gene activation. Here we show that downregulation of pzg activity in the developing wing imaginal discs induces an apoptotic response, accompanied by the induction of the pro-apoptotic gene reaper, repression of Drosophila inhibitor of apoptosis protein accumulation and the activation of the caspases Drice, Caspase3 and Dcp1. As a further consequence 'Apoptosis induced Proliferation' (AiP) and 'Apoptosis induced Apoptosis' (AiA) are triggered. As expected, the activity of the stress kinase Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), proposed to mediate both processes, is ectopically induced in response to pzg loss. In addition, the expression of the mitogen wingless (wg) but not of decapentaplegic (dpp) is observed. We present evidence that downregulation of Notch activates Dcp1 caspase and JNK signaling, however, neither induces ectopic wg nor dpp expression. In contrast, the consequences of Dref-RNAi were largely indistinguishable from pzg-RNAi with regard to apoptosis induction. Moreover, overexpression of Dref ameliorated the downregulation of pzg compatible with the notion that the two are required together to maintain cell and tissue homeostasis in Drosophila.
Project description:The ATRX gene encodes a chromatin remodeling protein that has two important domains, a helicase/ATPase domain and a domain composed of two zinc fingers called the ADD domain. The ADD domain binds to histone tails and has been proposed to mediate their binding to chromatin. The putative ATRX homolog in Drosophila (XNP/dATRX) has a conserved helicase/ATPase domain but lacks the ADD domain. In this study, we propose that XNP/dATRX interacts with other proteins with chromatin-binding domains to recognize specific regions of chromatin to regulate gene expression. We report a novel functional interaction between XNP/dATRX and the cell proliferation factor DREF in the expression of pannier (pnr). DREF binds to DNA-replication elements (DRE) at the pnr promoter to modulate pnr expression. XNP/dATRX interacts with DREF, and the contact between the two factors occurs at the DRE sites, resulting in transcriptional repression of pnr. The occupancy of XNP/dATRX at the DRE, depends on DNA binding of DREF at this site. Interestingly, XNP/dATRX regulates some, but not all of the genes modulated by DREF, suggesting a promoter-specific role of XNP/dATRX in gene regulation. This work establishes that XNP/dATRX directly contacts the transcriptional activator DREF in the chromatin to regulate gene expression.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Cell migration has a key role in cancer metastasis, which contributes to drug resistance and tumour recurrence. Better understanding of the mechanisms involved in this process will potentially reveal new drug targets for cancer therapy. Fer is a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase aberrantly expressed in various human cancers, whereas its role in tumour progression remains elusive. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Transgenic flies and epigenetic analysis were employed to investigate the role of Drosophila Fer (FER) in cell migration and underlying mechanisms. Co-immunoprecipitation assay was used to monitor the interaction between FER and Drosophila JNK (Bsk). The conservation of Fer in regulating JNK signalling was explored in mammalian cancer and non-cancer cells. RESULTS:Overexpression of FER triggered cell migration and activated JNK signalling in the Drosophila wing disc. Upregulation and downregulation in the basal activity of Bsk exacerbated and eliminated FER-mediated migration, respectively. In addition, loss of FER blocked signal transduction of the JNK pathway. Specifically, FER interacted with and promoted the activity of Bsk, which required both the kinase domain and the C-terminal of Bsk. Lastly, Fer regulated JNK activities in mammalian cells. CONCLUSIONS:Our study reveals FER as a positive regulator of JNK-mediated cell migration and suggests its potential role as a therapeutic target for cancer metastasis.
Project description:The Drosophila gene for cyclin A is expressed in dividing cells throughout development. This expression pattern is similar to those of genes related to DNA replication, suggesting involvement of some common control mechanism(s). In the upstream region (-71 to -64 with respect to the transcription initiation site) of the CycA gene, we found a sequence identical to the DNA replication-related element (DRE; 5'-TATCGATA), which is important for high level expression of replication-related genes such as those encoding DNA polymerase alpha and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Transient expression assays with chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) were carried out to examine the function of the DRE sequence of the CycA gene. Deletion or base substitution mutations resulted in an extensive reduction in CAT expression. Furthermore, monoclonal antibodies against DRE binding factor (DREF) diminished or supershifted the complex of the DREF and DRE-containing fragment. The results indicate that the Drosophila CycA gene is under the control of a DRE/DREF system, as are DNA replication-related genes.
Project description:Bcl-2 family proteins play a central role in regulating apoptosis. We previously reported that human Bcl-rambo, also termed BCL2L13, localized to mitochondria and induced apoptosis when overexpressed in human embryonic kidney 293T cells. However, the physiological function of Bcl-rambo currently remains unclear. In the present study, human Bcl-rambo was ectopically expressed in Drosophila melanogaster. Bcl-rambo mainly localized to the mitochondria of Drosophila Schneider 2 (S2) cells. The overexpression of Bcl-rambo, but not Bcl-rambo lacking a C-terminal transmembrane domain, induced apoptosis in S2 cells. Moreover, the ectopic expression of Bcl-rambo by a GAL4-UAS system induced aberrant morphological changes characterized by atrophied wing, split thorax, and rough eye phenotypes. Bcl-rambo induced the activation of effector caspases in eye imaginal discs. The rough eye phenotype induced by Bcl-rambo was partly rescued by the co-expression of p35, Diap1, and Diap2. By using this Drosophila model, we showed that human Bcl-rambo interacted genetically with Drosophila homologues of adenine nucleotide translocators and the autophagy-related 8 protein. The results of the present study demonstrated that human Bcl-rambo localized to mitochondria and at least regulated an apoptosis signaling pathway in Drosophila.