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Silicheva, M., Golovnin, A., Pomerantseva, E., Parshikov, A., Georgiev, P., Maksimenko, O. (2010). Drosophila mini-white model system: new insights into positive position effects and the role of transcriptional terminators and gypsy insulator in transgene shielding.  Nucleic Acids Res. 38(1): 39--47.
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Research paper

The white gene, which is responsible for eye pigmentation, is widely used to study position effects in Drosophila. As a result of insertion of P-element vectors containing mini-white without enhancers into random chromosomal sites, flies with different eye color phenotypes appear, which is usually explained by the influence of positive/negative regulatory elements located around the insertion site. We found that, in more than 70% of cases when mini-white expression was subject to positive position effects, deletion of the white promoter had no effect on eye pigmentation; in these cases, the transposon was inserted into the transcribed regions of genes. Therefore, transcription through the mini-white gene could be responsible for high levels of its expression in most of chromosomal sites. Consistently with this conclusion, transcriptional terminators proved to be efficient in protecting mini-white expression from positive position effects. On the other hand, the best characterized Drosophila gypsy insulator was poorly effective in terminating transcription and, as a consequence, only partially protected mini-white expression from these effects. Thus, to ensure maximum protection of a transgene from position effects, a perfect boundary/insulator element should combine three activities: to block enhancers, to provide a barrier between active and repressed chromatin, and to terminate transcription.

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PMC2800232 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Nucleic Acids Res.
    Nucleic Acids Research
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    Alleles (33)
    Genes (40)
    Natural transposons (4)
    Insertions (35)
    Experimental Tools (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (19)