, Volume 248, Issue 1, pp 25-32

Nutritional response in aDrosophila yolk protein gene promoter

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The yolk protein genes(yps) of Drosophila melanogaster are only expressed in the ovary and fat body of female flies if they are supplied with proteinaceous food. This nutritional response is specific to theyp genes. We have used transgenic flies transformed with a series of constructs bearing deletions in the upstream region of theyp1 andyp2 genes attached to a reporter gene to search for DNA sequences responsible for the nutritional induction specific foryp1 andyp2 genes. Several regions were shown independently of each other to confer nutritional regulation on the expression of theyp1 andyp2 genes. This regulation can be induced both on theyp promoter and the heterologousDrosophila heat-shock 70 (hsp70) promoter. The redundancy of sequences conferring a nutritional response on theyp genes is similar to that observed for the female specificity of these genes and suggests that several DNA binding proteins interact to provide the correct regulation of these genes. These results suggest that nutrition acts to modify the level of atrans-acting factor in the fat body. Northern blot analysis showed that the transcript levels from thedsx gene are not affected by nutrition, indicating that the response is not mediated via thedsx gene.

Communicated by K. Illmensee