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Accession IconGSE40358

Gene regulated by ectopic expression of Sage in the entire Drosophila embryo

Organism Icon Drosophila melanogaster
Sample Icon 5 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Drosophila Genome 2.0 Array (drosophila2)

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FoxA transcription factors play major roles in organ-specific gene expression. How FoxA proteins achieve specificity is unclear, given their broad expression patterns and requirements in multiple cell types. Here, we characterize Sage, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor expressed exclusively in the Drosophila salivary gland (SG). We identify Sage targets and show that not only are both Sage and the single Drosophila FoxA protein, Fork head (Fkh), required for expression of these genes, but coexpression of Sage and Fkh is sufficient to drive target gene expression in multiple other cell types. Sage and Fkh drive expression of the bZip transcription factor Senseless (Sens), which boosts expression of Sage/Fkh targets. Importantly, Sage, Fkh and Sens colocalize on salivary gland polytene chromosomes. Thus, Fkh drives cell-type specific gene expression as part of a tissue-specific transcription module that includes Sage and Sens, providing a new paradigm for how mammalian FoxA proteins acheive specificity.
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