BEN-solo factors partition active chromatin to ensure proper gene activation in Drosophila.
ABSTRACT: The Drosophila genome encodes three BEN-solo proteins including Insensitive (Insv), Elba1 and Elba2 that possess activities in transcriptional repression and chromatin insulation. A fourth protein-Elba3-bridges Elba1 and Elba2 to form an ELBA complex. Here, we report comprehensive investigation of these proteins in Drosophila embryos. We assess common and distinct binding sites for Insv and ELBA and their genetic interdependencies. While Elba1 and Elba2 binding generally requires the ELBA complex, Elba3 can associate with chromatin independently of Elba1 and Elba2. We further demonstrate that ELBA collaborates with other insulators to regulate developmental patterning. Finally, we find that adjacent gene pairs separated by an ELBA bound sequence become less differentially expressed in ELBA mutants. Transgenic reporters confirm the insulating activity of ELBA- and Insv-bound sites. These findings define ELBA and Insv as general insulator proteins in Drosophila and demonstrate the functional importance of insulators to partition transcription units.
Project description:Recently, the BEN (BANP, E5R, and NAC1) domain was recognized as a new class of conserved DNA-binding domain. The fly genome encodes three proteins that bear only a single BEN domain ("BEN-solo" factors); namely, Insensitive (Insv), Bsg25A (Elba1), and CG9883 (Elba2). Insv homodimers preferentially bind CCAATTGG palindromes throughout the genome to mediate transcriptional repression, whereas Bsg25A and Elba2 heterotrimerize with their obligate adaptor, Elba3 (i.e., the ELBA complex), to recognize a CCAATAAG motif in the Fab-7 insulator. While these data suggest distinct DNA-binding properties of BEN-solo proteins, we performed reporter assays that indicate that both Bsg25A and Elba2 can individually recognize Insv consensus sites efficiently. We confirmed this by solving the structure of Bsg25A complexed to the Insv site, which showed that key aspects of the BEN:DNA recognition strategy are similar between these proteins. We next show that both Insv and ELBA proteins are competent to mediate transcriptional repression via Insv consensus sequences but that the ELBA complex appears to be selective for the ELBA site. Reciprocally, genome-wide analysis reveals that Insv exhibits significant cobinding to class I insulator elements, indicating that it may also contribute to insulator function. Indeed, we observed abundant Insv binding within the Hox complexes with substantial overlaps with class I insulators, many of which bear Insv consensus sites. Moreover, Insv coimmunoprecipitates with the class I insulator factor CP190. Finally, we observed that Insv harbors exclusive activity among fly BEN-solo factors with respect to regulation of Notch-mediated cell fate choices in the peripheral nervous system. This in vivo activity is recapitulated by BEND6, a mammalian BEN-solo factor that conserves the Notch corepressor function of Insv but not its capacity to bind Insv consensus sites. Altogether, our data define an array of common and distinct biochemical and functional properties of this new family of transcription factors.
Project description:Boundaries (insulators) in the Drosophila bithorax complex (BX-C) delimit autonomous regulatory domains that orchestrate the parasegment (PS)-specific expression of the BX-C homeotic genes. The Fab-7 boundary separates the iab-6 and iab-7 regulatory domains, which control Abd-B expression in PS11 and PS12, respectively. This boundary is composed of multiple functionally redundant elements and has two key functions: it blocks cross talk between iab-6 and iab-7 and facilitates boundary bypass. Here, we show that two BEN domain protein complexes, Insensitive and Elba, bind to multiple sequences located in the Fab-7 nuclease hypersensitive regions. Two of these sequences are recognized by both Insv and Elba and correspond to a CCAATTGG palindrome. Elba also binds to a related CCAATAAG sequence, while Insv does not. However, the third Insv recognition sequences is ?100 bp in length and contains the CCAATAAG sequence at one end. Both Insv and Elba are assembled into large complexes (?420 and ?265-290 kDa, respectively) in nuclear extracts. Using a sensitized genetic background, we show that the Insv protein is required for Fab-7 boundary function and that PS11 identity is not properly established in insv mutants. This is the first demonstration that a BEN domain protein is important for the functioning of an endogenous fly boundary.
Project description:We recently reported that Drosophila Insensitive (Insv) promotes sensory organ development and has activity as a nuclear corepressor for the Notch transcription factor Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)]. Insv lacks domains of known biochemical function but contains a single BEN domain (i.e., a "BEN-solo" protein). Our chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing (ChIP-seq) analysis confirmed binding of Insensitive to Su(H) target genes in the Enhancer of split gene complex [E(spl)-C]; however, de novo motif analysis revealed a novel site strongly enriched in Insv peaks (TCYAATHRGAA). We validate binding of endogenous Insv to genomic regions bearing such sites, whose associated genes are enriched for neural functions and are functionally repressed by Insv. Unexpectedly, we found that the Insv BEN domain binds specifically to this sequence motif and that Insv directly regulates transcription via this motif. We determined the crystal structure of the BEN-DNA target complex, revealing homodimeric binding of the BEN domain and extensive nucleotide contacts via ? helices and a C-terminal loop. Point mutations in key DNA-contacting residues severely impair DNA binding in vitro and capacity for transcriptional regulation in vivo. We further demonstrate DNA-binding and repression activities by the mammalian neural BEN-solo protein BEND5. Altogether, we define novel DNA-binding activity in a conserved family of transcriptional repressors, opening a molecular window on this extensive gene family.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Boundaries in the Drosophila bithorax complex delimit autonomous regulatory domains that activate the parasegment (PS)-specific expression of homeotic genes. The Fab-7 boundary separates the iab-6 and iab-7 regulatory domains that control Abd-B expression in PS11 and PS12. This boundary is composed of multiple functionally redundant elements and has two key activities: it blocks crosstalk between iab-6 and iab-7 and facilitates boundary bypass. RESULTS:Here, we have used a structure-function approach to elucidate the biochemical properties and the in vivo activities of a conserved BEN domain protein, Insensitive, that is associated with Fab-7. Our biochemical studies indicate that in addition to the C-terminal BEN DNA-binding domain, Insv has two domains that mediate multimerization: one is a coiled-coil domain in the N-terminus, and the other is next to the BEN domain. These multimerization domains enable Insv to bind simultaneously to two canonical 8-bp recognition motifs, as well as to a?~?100-bp non-canonical recognition sequence. They also mediate the assembly of higher-order multimers in the presence of DNA. Transgenic proteins lacking the N-terminal coiled-coil domain are compromised for boundary function in vivo. We also show that Insv interacts directly with CP190, a protein previously implicated in the boundary functions of several DNA-binding proteins, including Su(Hw) and dCTCF. While CP190 interaction is required for Insv binding to a subset of sites on polytene chromosomes, it has only a minor role in the boundary activity of Insv in the context of Fab-7. CONCLUSIONS:The subdivision of eukaryotic chromosomes into discrete topological domains depends upon the pairing of boundary elements. In flies, pairing interactions are specific and typically orientation dependent. They occur in cis between neighboring heterologous boundaries, and in trans between homologous boundaries. One potential mechanism for ensuring pairing-interaction specificity is the use of sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that can bind simultaneously with two or more recognition sequences. Our studies indicate that Insv can assemble into a multivalent DNA-binding complex and that the N-terminal Insv multimerization domain is critical for boundary function.
Project description:The Notch intracellular domain functions as a co-activator for the DNA-binding protein Suppressor of Hairless (Su(H)) to mediate myriad cell fate decisions. Notch pathway activity is balanced by transcriptional repression, mediated by Su(H) in concert with its Drosophila corepressor Hairless. We demonstrate that the Drosophila neural BEN-solo protein Insensitive (Insv) is a nuclear factor that inhibits Notch signalling during multiple peripheral nervous system cell fate decisions. Endogenous Insv was particularly critical when repressor activity of Su(H) was compromised. Reciprocally, ectopic Insv generated several Notch loss-of-function phenotypes, repressed most Notch targets in the E(spl)-C, and opposed Notch-mediated activation of an E(spl)m3-luc reporter. A direct role for Insv in transcriptional repression was indicated by binding of Insv to Su(H), and by strong chromatin immunoprecipitation of endogenous Insv to most E(spl)-C loci. Strikingly, ectopic Insv fully rescued sensory organ precursors in Hairless null clones, indicating that Insv can antagonize Notch independently of Hairless. These data shed first light on the in vivo function for a BEN-solo protein as an Su(H) corepressor in the Notch pathway regulating neural development.
Project description:We generated ChIP-seq datasets for four transcriptional regulators, Elba1, Elba2, Elba3 and Insv from wild-type, cognate mutants and non-cognate mutants. We generated ChIP-nexus data for these four factors. We produced RNA-seq and PRO-seq data from wild-type and mutant embryos. Overall design: The ChIP-seq datasets for four transcriptional regulators, Elba1, Elba2, Elba3 and Insv from wild-type, cognate mutants and non-cognate mutants allow identification of factor binding in these five genetic conditions. The ChIP-nexus data is used to increase the resolution of TF binding sites and determine symmetric versus asymmetric binding patterns. The RNA-seq data was used to determine gene expression changes upon factor deletion. The PRO-seq data was used to determine real-time transscription changes in mutant embryos for each factor.
Project description:We report a previously uncharacterized alpha-helical module, the BEN domain, in diverse animal proteins such as BANP/SMAR1, NAC1 and the Drosophila mod(mdg4) isoform C, in the chordopoxvirus virosomal protein E5R and in several proteins of polydnaviruses. Contextual analysis suggests that the BEN domain mediates protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions during chromatin organization and transcription. The presence of BEN domains in a poxviral early virosomal protein and in polydnaviral proteins also suggests a possible role for them in organization of viral DNA during replication or transcription.
Project description:Genetic screens for Drosophila mutants defective in pavlovian olfactory memory have provided unique insight into the molecular basis of memory storage. Occasionally, these singular genetic lesions have been assembled into meaningful molecular pathways and neural circuitries. For the most part, however, these genes and their expression patterns in the CNS remain fragmented, demanding new clues from continued mutant screens. From a behavioral screen for long-term memory (LTM) mutants, we have identified ben (CG32594), which encodes a novel protein. Mutations of ben specifically disrupt LTM, leaving earlier memory phases intact. The role of ben appears physiological rather than developmental, because acutely induced expression of a ben(+) transgene in adults rescues the mutant's LTM defect. More interestingly, induced expression of ben(+) specifically in mushroom bodies (MBs), but not in the ellipsoid body of the central complex, is sufficient to rescue the mutant LTM defect. This suggests a role for ben in the MB during olfactory memory formation. We also provide evidence that BEN interacts genetically in both synaptic transmission and LTM formation with SCAMP, a synaptic protein known to be involved in vesicle recycling.
Project description:Loss of the cell polarity gene could cooperate with oncogenic Ras to drive tumor growth and invasion, which critically depends on the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling pathway in Drosophila. By performing a genetic screen, we have identified Src42A, the ortholog of mammalian Src, as a key modulator of both Ras(V12)/lgl(-/-) triggered tumor invasion and loss of cell polarity gene-induced cell migration. Our genetic study further demonstrated that the Bendless (Ben)/dUev1a ubiquitin E2 complex is an essential regulator of Src42A-induced, JNK-mediated cell migration. Furthermore, we showed that ectopic Ben/dUev1a expression induced invasive cell migration along with increased MMP1 production in wing disc epithelia. Moreover, Ben/dUev1a could cooperate with Ras(V12) to promote tumor overgrowth and invasion. In addition, we found that the Ben/dUev1a complex is required for ectopic Src42A-triggered cell death and endogenous Src42A-dependent thorax closure. Our data not only provide a mechanistic insight into the role of Src in development and disease but also propose a potential oncogenic function for Ubc13 and Uev1a, the mammalian homologs of Ben and dUev1a.