Expression of the core promoter factors TBP and TRF2 in Drosophila germ cells and their distinct functions in germline development
Development, Growth & Differentiation
In Drosophila, the expression of germline genes is initiated in primordial germ cells (PGCs) and is known to be associated with germline establishment. However, the transcriptional regulation of germline genes remains elusive. Previously, we found that the BTB/POZ-Zn-finger protein, Mamo, is necessary for the expression of the germline gene, vasa, in PGCs. Moreover, truncated Mamo lacking the BTB/POZ do- main (MamoAF) is a potent vasa activator. In this study, we investigated the genetic interaction between MamoAF and specific transcriptional regulators to gain insight into the transcriptional regulation of germline development. We identified a general transcription factor, TATA box binding protein (TBP)-associated factor 3 (TAF3/BIP2), and a member of the TBP-like proteins, TBP-related factor 2 (TRF2), as new genetic modifiers of MamoAF. In contrast to TRF2, TBP was found to show no genetic inter- action with MamoAF, suggesting that Trf2 has a selective function. Therefore, we focused on Trf2 expression and investigated its function in germ cells. We found that Trf2 mRNA, rather than Tbp mRNA, was preferentially expressed in PGCs during embryogenesis. Depletion of TRF2 in PGCs resulted in decreased mRNA expression of vasa. RNA interference-mediated knockdown showed that, while Trf2 is required for maintenance of germ cells, Tbp is needed for their differentiation during oogen- esis. Therefore, these results suggest that Trf2 and Tbp expression is differentially regulated in germ cells and that these factors have distinct functions in Drosophila germline development.
- ISSN : 1440-169X