Drosophila E2f2 promotes the conversion from genomic DNA replication to gene amplification in ovarian follicle cells.
Drosophila contains two members of the E2F transcription factor family (E2f and E2f2), which controls the expression of genes that regulate the G1-S transition of the cell cycle. Previous genetic analyses have indicated that E2f is an essential gene that stimulates DNA replication. We show that loss of E2f2 is viable, but causes partial female sterility associated with changes in the mode of DNA replication in the follicle cells that surround the developing oocyte. Late in wild-type oogenesis, polyploid follicle cells terminate a program of asynchronous endocycles in which the euchromatin is entirely replicated, and then confine DNA synthesis to the synchronous amplification of specific loci, including two clusters of chorion genes that encode eggshell proteins. E2f2 mutant follicle cells terminate endocycles on schedule, but then fail to confine DNA synthesis to sites of gene amplification and inappropriately begin genomic DNA replication. This ectopic DNA synthesis does not represent a continuation of the endocycle program, as the cells do not complete an entire additional S phase. E2f2 mutant females display a 50% reduction in chorion gene amplification, and lay poorly viable eggs with a defective chorion. The replication proteins ORC2, CDC45L and ORC5, which in wild-type follicle cell nuclei localize to sites of gene amplification, are distributed throughout the entire follicle cell nucleus in E2f2 mutants, consistent with their use at many genomic replication origins rather than only at sites of gene amplification. RT-PCR analyses of RNA purified from E2f2 mutant follicle cells indicate an increase in the level of Orc5 mRNA relative to wild type. These data indicate that E2f2 functions to inhibit widespread genomic DNA synthesis in late stage follicle cells, and may do so by repressing the expression of specific components of the replication machinery.
Cayirlioglu, P; Bonnette, PC; Dickson, MR; Duronio, RJ
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