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Vardanyan, A., Atanesyan, L., Egli, D., Raja, S.J., Steinmann-Zwicky, M., Renkawitz-Pohl, R., Georgiev, O., Schaffner, W. (2008). Dumpy-30 family members as determinants of male fertility and interaction partners of metal-responsive transcription factor 1 (MTF-1) in Drosophila.  BMC Dev. Biol. 8(): 68.
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Research paper

Metal-responsive transcription factor 1 (MTF-1), which binds to metal response elements (MREs), plays a central role in transition metal detoxification and homeostasis. A Drosophila interactome analysis revealed two candidate dMTF-1 interactors, both of which are related to the small regulatory protein Dumpy-30 (Dpy-30) of the worm C. elegans. Dpy-30 is the founding member of a protein family involved in chromatin modifications, notably histone methylation. Mutants affect mating type in yeast and male mating in C. elegans.Constitutive expression of the stronger interactor, Dpy-30L1 (CG6444), in transgenic flies inhibits MTF-1 activity and results in elevated sensitivity to Cd(II) and Zn(II), an effect that could be rescued by co-overexpression of dMTF-1. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) suggest that Dpy-30L1 interferes with the binding of MTF-1 to its cognate MRE binding site. Dpy-30L1 is expressed in the larval brain, gonads, imaginal discs, salivary glands and in the brain, testes, ovaries and salivary glands of adult flies. Expression of the second interactor, Dpy-30L2 (CG11591), is restricted to larval male gonads, and to the testes of adult males. Consistent with these findings, dpy-30-like transcripts are also prominently expressed in mouse testes. Targeted gene disruption by homologous recombination revealed that dpy-30L1 knockout flies are viable and show no overt disruption of metal homeostasis. In contrast, the knockout of the male-specific dpy-30L2 gene results in male sterility, as does the double knockout of dpy-30L1 and dpy-30L2. A closer inspection showed that Dpy-30L2 is expressed in elongated spermatids but not in early or mature sperm. Mutant sperm had impaired motility and failed to accumulate in sperm storage organs of females.Our studies help to elucidate the physiological roles of the Dumpy-30 proteins, which are conserved from yeast to humans and typically act in concert with other nuclear proteins to modify chromatin structure and gene expression. The results from these studies reveal an inhibitory effect of Dpy-30L1 on MTF-1 and an essential role for Dpy-30L2 in male fertility.

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PMC2478662 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    BMC Dev. Biol.
    BMC Developmental Biology
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