[Back to Issue 4 ToC] [Back to Journal Contents] [Back to Biochemistry (Moscow) Home page]
[View Full Article] [Download Reprint (PDF)]

High Level of Gene Transcription at the Embryonic Stage Leads to the Suppression of Heterochromatic Trans-Inactivation in Drosophila melanogaster Adults

A. A. Solodovnikov1, V. A. Gvozdev1, and S. A. Lavrov1,a*

1Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 123182 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received December 30, 2019; Revised February 24, 2020; Accepted February 24, 2020
In some cases, gene transfer from euchromatin to constitutive heterochromatin as a result of chromosomal rearrangement is accompanied by epigenetic inactivation of this gene (cis-inactivation). In the case of trans-inactivation, transgenes in the normal chromosome are repressed by the cis-inactivation-causing rearranged homologous chromosome. Trans-inactivation is a result of the somatic pairing of homologs and the transfer of the normal chromosomal segment to the heterochromatic compartment of the nucleus. Previously, we have shown that the degree of trans-inactivation of the UAS-eGFP reporter gene in adult flies depends on its transcription level that can be regulated by temperature using the GAL4 transcription activator and its temperature-sensitive inhibitor GAL80ts. In this paper, we investigated the epigenetic inheritance of the active/repressed state of the trans-inactivated reporter gene at different expression levels by measuring eGFP fluorescence in the individual cells of Malpighian tubules in adult flies. High expression levels at the embryonic stage protected the eGFP gene from trans-inactivation in adult flies. The activated state was inherited over the entire period of development and differentiation, while the activating effect of GAL4 was turned off.
KEY WORDS: heterochromatin, Drosophila, position effect variegation, trans-inactivation, expression, GAL4, GAL80ts

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297920040070