Gradients of cell signaling molecules and regulatoryfactorsare pervasivelyused in a variety of patterning process in metazoan development. Examples include the Sonic Hedgehog gradient that specifies different neuronal cell types in the neural tube of vertebrateembryos,and the Dpp gradient that patterns the developing wing imaginal disk in Drosophila larvae. The Toll-Dorsal signaling pathway represents one of the most thoroughly characterized gradient systemsin animal development. The proposed study represents a continuationof our efforts to determine how the Dorsal regulatorygradient produces multiple thresholds of gene expression and tissue differentiation in the early Drosophila embryo. The research plan includes 3 specific aims, First, we will examine the activitiesof Dorsal target genes that were identified in recent whole-genome microarray assays. Among the newly identified genes that will be tested is Eiger, the major TNF homolog in the Drosophila genome, and Mes4, which encodes a tissue-specific subunit of the CACAAT-box binding protein complex, NF-Y. Second, we will use a combination of bioinformatics methods and transgenic assays to determine how the Dorsal gradient regulates the expression of different target genes in a concentration-dependent manner. Particular efforts will focus on defining a""""""""cis- regulatory code"""""""", whereby coordinately regulated target enhancers share a characteristic combination of factor binding sites, including binding sites for Dorsal and additional,mainlyunknown regulatory factors. Third, we will determine whether immunity genes that are induced upon infection or injury share a similar organization of cis-regulatory elements. Particular efforts will focus on genes that are activated by the Dorsal-related immunity genes, Dif and Relish, and the GATA transcriptionfactor, Serpent.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
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Haynes, Susan R
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University of California Berkeley
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Lim, Bomyi; Levine, Michael; Yamazaki, Yuji (2017) Transcriptional Pre-patterning of Drosophila Gastrulation. Curr Biol 27:286-290
Esposito, Emilia; Lim, Bomyi; Guessous, Ghita et al. (2016) Mitosis-associated repression in development. Genes Dev 30:1503-8
Fukaya, Takashi; Lim, Bomyi; Levine, Michael (2016) Enhancer Control of Transcriptional Bursting. Cell 166:358-368
Farley, Emma K; Olson, Katrina M; Zhang, Wei et al. (2015) Suboptimization of developmental enhancers. Science 350:325-8
Farley, Emma K; Olson, Katrina M; Levine, Michael S (2015) Regulatory Principles Governing Tissue Specificity of Developmental Enhancers. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 80:27-32
Levine, Michael; Cattoglio, Claudia; Tjian, Robert (2014) Looping back to leap forward: transcription enters a new era. Cell 157:13-25
Levine, Michael (2014) The contraction of time and space in remote chromosomal interactions. Cell 158:243-244
Boettiger, Alistair Nicol; Levine, Michael (2013) Rapid transcription fosters coordinate snail expression in the Drosophila embryo. Cell Rep 3:8-15
Lagha, Mounia; Bothma, Jacques P; Esposito, Emilia et al. (2013) Paused Pol II coordinates tissue morphogenesis in the Drosophila embryo. Cell 153:976-87
Chopra, Vivek S; Kong, Nikki; Levine, Michael (2012) Transcriptional repression via antilooping in the Drosophila embryo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:9460-4

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