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Fromental-Ramain, C., Vanolst, L., Delaporte, C., Ramain, P. (2008). pannier encodes two structurally related isoforms that are differentially expressed during Drosophila development and display distinct functions during thorax patterning.  Mech. Dev. 125(1-2): 43--57.
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Previous studies have shown that the pannier (pnr) gene of Drosophila encodes a GATA transcription factor which is involved in various biological processes, including heart development, dorsal closure during embryogenesis as well as neurogenesis and regulation of wingless (wg) expression during imaginal development. We demonstrate here that pnr encodes two highly related isoforms that share functional domains but are differentially expressed during development. Moreover, we describe two genomic regions of the pnr locus that drive expression of a reporter in transgenic flies in patterns that recapitulate essential features of the expression of the isoforms, suggesting that these regions encompass crucial regulatory elements. These elements contain, in particular, sequences mediating regulation of expression by Decapentaplegic (Dpp) signaling, during both embryogenesis and imaginal development. Analysis of pnr alleles reveals that the isoforms differentially regulate expression of both wg and proneural achaete/scute (as/sc) targets during imaginal development. Pnr function has been demonstrated to be necessary both for activation of wg and, together with U-shaped (Ush), for its repression in the dorsal-most region of the presumptive notum. Expression of the isoforms define distinct longitudinal domains and, in this regard, we importantly show that the dual function of pnr during regulation of wg is achieved by one isoform repressing expression of the morphogen in the dorsal-most region of the disc while the other laterally promotes activation of the notal wg expression. Our study provides novel insights into pnr function during Drosophila development and extends our knowledge of the roles of prepattern factors during thorax patterning.

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    Mechanisms of Development
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