Localization of the Drosophila pioneer factor GAF to subnuclear foci is driven by DNA binding and required to silence satellite repeat expression

Marissa M. Gaskill, Isabella V. Soluri, Annemarie E. Branks, Alan P. Boka, Michael R. Stadler, Katherine Vietor, Hao Yu S. Huang, Tyler J. Gibson, Apratim Mukherjee, Mustafa Mir, Shelby A. Blythe, Melissa M. Harrison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The eukaryotic genome is organized to enable the precise regulation of gene expression. This organization is established as the embryo transitions from a fertilized gamete to a totipotent zygote. To understand the factors and processes that drive genomic organization, we focused on the pioneer factor GAGA factor (GAF) that is required for early development in Drosophila. GAF transcriptionally activates the zygotic genome and is localized to subnuclear foci. This non-uniform distribution is driven by binding to highly abundant GA repeats. At GA repeats, GAF is necessary to form heterochromatin and silence transcription. Thus, GAF is required to establish both active and silent regions. We propose that foci formation enables GAF to have opposing transcriptional roles within a single nucleus. Our data support a model in which the subnuclear concentration of transcription factors acts to organize the nucleus into functionally distinct domains essential for the robust regulation of gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1610-1624.e8
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Volume58
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 2023

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • MZT
  • ZGA
  • gene expression
  • heterochromatin
  • maternal-to-zygotic transition
  • subnuclear domains
  • zygotic genome acivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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