The WG and DPP morphogens regulate gene expression by modulating the frequency of transcriptional bursts

Rachael Bakker, Madhav Mani*, Richard W. Carthew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Morphogen signaling contributes to the patterned spatiotemporal expression of genes during development. One mode of regulation of signaling-responsive genes is at the level of transcription. Single-cell quantitative studies of transcription have revealed that transcription occurs intermittently, in bursts. Although the effects of many gene regulatory mechanisms on transcriptional bursting have been studied, it remains unclear how morphogen gradients affect this dynamic property of downstream genes. Here we have adapted single molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) for use in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc in order to measure nascent and mature mRNA of genes downstream of the Wg and Dpp morphogen gradients. We compared our experimental results with predictions from stochastic models of transcription, which indicated that the transcription levels of these genes appear to share a common method of control via burst frequency modulation. Our data help further elucidate the link between developmental gene regulatory mechanisms and transcriptional bursting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56076
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournaleLife
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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