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Genes Dev 1988 Sep 01;29:1074-88. doi: 10.1101/gad.2.9.1074.
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Developmental appearance of factors that bind specifically to cis-regulatory sequences of a gene expressed in the sea urchin embryo.

Calzone FJ , Thézé N , Thiebaud P , Hill RL , Britten RJ , Davidson EH .

Previous gene-transfer experiments have identified a 2500-nucleotide 5'' domain of the CyIIIa cytoskeletal actin gene, which contains cis-regulatory sequences that are necessary and sufficient for spatial and temporal control of CyIIIa gene expression during embryogenesis. This gene is activated in late cleavage, exclusively in aboral ectoderm cell lineages. In this study, we focus on interactions demonstrated in vitro between sequences of the regulatory domain and proteins present in crude extracts derived from sea urchin embryo nuclei and from unfertilized eggs. Quantitative gel-shift measurements are utilized to estimate minimum numbers of factor molecules per embryo at 24 hr postfertilization, when the CyIIIa gene is active, at 7 hr, when it is still silent, and in the unfertilized egg. We also estimate the binding affinity preferences (Kr) of the various factors for their respective sites, relative to their affinity for synthetic DNA competitors. At least 14 different specific interactions occur within the regulatory regions, some of which produce multiple DNA-protein complexes. Values of Kr range from approximately 2 x 10(4) to approximately 2 x 10(6) for these factors under the conditions applied. With one exception, the minimum factor prevalences that we measured in the 400-cell 24-hr embryo nuclear extracts fell within the range of 2 x 10(5) to 2 x 10(6) molecules per embryo, i.e., a few hundred to a few thousand molecules per nucleus. Three developmental patterns were observed with respect to factor prevalence: Factors reacting at one site were found in unfertilized egg cytoplasm at about the same level per egg or embryo as in 24-hr embryo nuclei; factors reacting with five other regions of the regulatory domain are not detectable in egg cytoplasm but in 7-hr mid-cleavage-stage embryo, nuclei are already at or close to their concentrations in the 24-hr embryo nuclei; and factors reacting with five additional regions are not detectable in egg cytoplasm and are low in 7-hr embryo nuclei, i.e., less than or equal to 10% per embryo of the level they attain in 24-hr embryo nuclei. The rise in concentration of factors of the latter class could provide the proximal cause for the temporal activation of the CyIIIa gene at the early blastula stage.

PubMed ID: 3192074
Article link: Genes Dev
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: CyIIIa LOC100887844 LOC115919910 LOC590297