An evolutionarily conserved palindrome in the Drosophila Gld promoter directs tissue-specific expression

Prabha Gunaratne, Jennifer L. Ross, Qiong Zhang, Edward L. Organ, Douglas R. Cavener

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3 Scopus citations


A conserved palindromic sequence (Gpal) in the promoter region of the Drosophila Gld directs expression of a heterologous reporter gene in transgenic flies to the anterior spiracular glands of third instar larvae and to the ejaculatory bulb of adult males. The Gld gene is normally expressed at high levels in the anterior spiracular glands but is not expressed in the ejaculatory bulb of Drosophila melanogaster. However, Gld promoters from other Drosophila species contain the Gpal element and express glucose dehydrogenase (GLD) in the adult male ejaculatory bulb. A gene fusion composed of the D. melanogaster Gld promoter and the lacZ gene is expressed in the anterior spiracular glands of transgenic larvae. Mutations of the Gpal sequence element in this gene fusion block expression of β-galactosidase in the anterior spiracular gland. Together these experiments demonstrate that Gpal is necessary and sufficient for tissue-specific expression in the anterior spiracular glands. Based upon the tissue distribution and function of GLD, it is speculated that expression of GLD in the anterior spiracular glands represents the ancestral state and that GLD expression in other tissues arose as a fortuitous consequence of a shared combinatorial regulatory network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2738-2742
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 29 1994


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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