Expression of the telomeric retrotransposon HeT-A in Drosophila melanogaster is correlated with cell proliferation
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Drosophila melanogaster extends its telomeres by transposition of two non-LTR retrotransposons, HeT-A and TART, to chromosome ends. We have determined the tissue-specific expression of these two elements by whole-mount in situ hybridization with digoxigenin-labeled RNA sense and antisense probes in the germ line and in a variety of larval tissues during normal development in the wild type and in tissues of mutants that cause overproliferation. Our results indicate that transcript levels, which are a key component in the process of telomere elongation in D. melanogaster, are correlated with cell proliferation in normal tissues and that RNA levels are elevated in growth-stimulated tissues.
KeywordsDrosophila Telomere HeT-A retrotransposon Cell proliferation RNA expression
We thank James M. Mason for his continuous input, helpful discussions and for critically reading the manuscript. The jockey DNA was kindly provided by Gary Karpen and the dlg1 and wts tumor suppressor mutants by Peter J. Bryant. We also thank Heidi Theise for advice with the in situ hybridization technique. This project was supported by the U.S. Public Health Service grant GM-56729 to H.B.
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