RRC ID 28849
Author Clemmons AW, Wasserman SA.
Title Combinatorial effects of transposable elements on gene expression and phenotypic robustness in Drosophila melanogaster development.
Journal G3 (Bethesda)
Abstract Embryonic patterning displays remarkable consistency from individual to individual despite frequent environmental perturbations and diverse genetic contexts. Stochastic influences on the cellular environment may cause transcription rates to fluctuate, but these fluctuations rarely lead to developmental defects or disease. Here we characterize a set of recessive alleles of the Toll pathway component tube that destabilize embryonic dorsoventral patterning in Drosophila melanogaster. Females bearing these tube alleles generate embryos of an unusually wide range of dorsalized phenotypes, with the distributions across this range being unique for each allele. We determine that the mutant lines have in common a retrotransposon insertion upstream of the tube transcription start site. Genetic and molecular approaches demonstrate that this insertion dramatically reduces maternal expression of tube, thereby uncovering the inherent variability in gene expression. We further find that additional transposable element insertions near the tube gene synergistically enhance the phenotype caused by the sensitizing upstream insertion. These studies document how phenotypic variability can arise from normally occurring fluctuations around reduced mean expression and illustrate the contribution of transposons, individually and combinatorially, to such a state.
Volume 3(9)
Pages 1531-8
Published 2013-9-4
DOI 10.1534/g3.113.006791
PII g3.113.006791
PMID 23833214
PMC PMC3755913
MeSH Alleles Animals Chromosomes / genetics Chromosomes / metabolism DNA Transposable Elements / genetics* Drosophila Proteins / deficiency Drosophila Proteins / genetics Drosophila Proteins / metabolism Drosophila melanogaster / genetics* Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development Female Gene Expression* Male Mutagenesis, Insertional Phenotype Retroelements Transcription Initiation Site
IF 2.742
Times Cited 1
Drosophila DGRC#123285 DGRC#200945 DGRC#205627