Using a model system in which the expression of the reporter gene lacZ is under the control of five deleted variants of the copia retrotransposon regulatory region, which includes the 5′-long terminal repeat (LTR) and the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR), their contribution to the control of retrotransposon activity in different organs of males and females of Drosophila melanogaster was analyzed. The whole regulatory region provides expression of the reporter gene at the embryonic stage, and in larvae and adult flies only in generative organs. The 5′-end of LTR harbors a positive regulator that determines expression of the retrotransposon in organs of all types. The 3′-end of LTR harbors a negative regulator, which is sex- and time-specific: it represses copia expression in generative organs of males at all stages of development, and only at the imaginal stage in somatic tissues, without any effect on the expression of the retrotransposon in females. 5′-UTR contains a negative regulator of copia expression: it decreases the expression in embryos and generative organs and blocks it in somatic tissues. It may be suggested that a complex set of regulatory elements was formed in the course of the evolution of the retrotransposon, which made it possible to maintain a certain level of its expression in different types of cells and tissues and at different stages of development and, thus, to limit the harm caused to the host and provide the possibility for the retrotransposon to exist in the host genome over many generations.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 26, 2009
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