polyketide synthase, cis-regulation, sea urchin, glial cells missing, GATA E
The analysis of Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs) is essential to understanding the complete process of embryo development. Elucidating every gene regulatory circuit from maternal regulatory inputs all the way to the activation of differentiation gene batteries is an important step in increasing our understanding of developmental biology. In this work I study the cis-regulatory architecture of a pigment cell differentiation gene, polyketide synthase (SpPks) in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. SpPks encodes an enzyme that is responsible for the biosynthesis of the sea urchin pigment echinochrome in larval pigment cells. The analysis of the promoter of a differentiation gene will lead to identifying the direct upstream regulators and ultimately to elucidating the structure of the upstream gene regulatory network, which is mostly uncharacterized. From previous studies the transcription factors SpGcm and SpGatae are predicted to be positive regulators of SpPks. Here, I identify a minimal 1kb promoter region containing putative DNA-binding sites for both GCM and GATAE that is able to recapitulate the expression of SpPks. I further show by mutagenesis that a putative DNA-binding site for GCM located 1,179 base pairs upstream of the start of transcription is a direct target for the positive cis-regulation of SpPks. Quantitative analysis of the transcriptional regulatory function of the GCM-mutagenized construct suggests that GCM is not necessary for the start of SpPks transcription but is required for its maintenance. Several GATA E binding sites have been identified within the minimal promoter for SpPks by means of consensus sequence. My analysis suggests that GATA E may be a direct positive regulator and could potentially be required for the onset of transcription of SpPks, though further experimentation will be necessary to characterize the exact regulatory function of GATA E.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Rogers, David, "Cis-regulatory Analysis Of The Pigment Cell Differentiation Gene Polyketide Synthase" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3453.