Zelda potentiates morphogen activity by increasing chromatin accessibility

Sun Melody Foo, Yujia Sun, Bomyi Lim, Ruta Ziukaite, Kevin O'Brien, Chung Yi Nien, Nikolai Kirov, Stanislav Y. Shvartsman, Christine A. Rushlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) is a major genome programming event whereby the cells of the embryo begin to adopt specified fates. Experiments in Drosophila and zebrafish have revealed that ZGA depends on transcription factors that provide large-scale control of gene expression by direct and specific binding to gene regulatory sequences [1-5]. Zelda (Zld) plays such a role in the Drosophila embryo, where it has been shown to control the action of patterning signals [1, 2]; however, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain largely unclear. A recent model proposed that Zld binding sites act as quantitative regulators of the spatiotemporal expression of genes activated by Dorsal (Dl), the morphogen that patterns the dorsoventral axis [6]. Here we tested this model experimentally, using enhancers of brinker (brk) and short gastrulation (sog), both of which are directly activated by Dl, but at different concentration thresholds [7-9]. In agreement with the model, we show that there is a clear positive correlation between the number of Zld binding sites and the spatial domain of enhancer activity. Likewise, the timing of expression could be advanced or delayed. We present evidence that Zld facilitates binding of Dl to regulatory DNA, and that this is associated with increased chromatin accessibility. Importantly, the change in chromatin accessibility is strongly correlated with the change in Zld binding, but not Dl. We propose that the ability of genome activators to facilitate readout of transcriptional input is key to widespread transcriptional induction during ZGA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1346
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 2014

Fingerprint

Chromatin
chromatin
Genes
Genome
genome
Drosophila
binding sites
embryo (animal)
Chemical activation
Embryonic Structures
Binding Sites
Gene Expression
gene expression
Gastrulation
regulatory sequences
Zebrafish
Regulator Genes
Danio rerio
Transcription Factors
transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Foo, S. M., Sun, Y., Lim, B., Ziukaite, R., O'Brien, K., Nien, C. Y., ... Rushlow, C. A. (2014). Zelda potentiates morphogen activity by increasing chromatin accessibility. Current Biology, 24(12), 1341-1346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.032

Zelda potentiates morphogen activity by increasing chromatin accessibility. / Foo, Sun Melody; Sun, Yujia; Lim, Bomyi; Ziukaite, Ruta; O'Brien, Kevin; Nien, Chung Yi; Kirov, Nikolai; Shvartsman, Stanislav Y.; Rushlow, Christine A.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 24, No. 12, 16.06.2014, p. 1341-1346.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Foo, SM, Sun, Y, Lim, B, Ziukaite, R, O'Brien, K, Nien, CY, Kirov, N, Shvartsman, SY & Rushlow, CA 2014, 'Zelda potentiates morphogen activity by increasing chromatin accessibility', Current Biology, vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 1341-1346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.032
Foo SM, Sun Y, Lim B, Ziukaite R, O'Brien K, Nien CY et al. Zelda potentiates morphogen activity by increasing chromatin accessibility. Current Biology. 2014 Jun 16;24(12):1341-1346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.032
Foo, Sun Melody ; Sun, Yujia ; Lim, Bomyi ; Ziukaite, Ruta ; O'Brien, Kevin ; Nien, Chung Yi ; Kirov, Nikolai ; Shvartsman, Stanislav Y. ; Rushlow, Christine A. / Zelda potentiates morphogen activity by increasing chromatin accessibility. In: Current Biology. 2014 ; Vol. 24, No. 12. pp. 1341-1346.
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