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Casas-Tintó, S., Ferrús, A. (2021). The haplolethality paradox of the wupA gene in Drosophila.  PLoS Genet. 17(3): e1009108.
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Research paper

Haplolethals (HL) are regions of diploid genomes that in one dose are fatal for the organism. Their biological meaning is obscure because heterozygous loss-of-function mutations result in dominant lethality (DL) and, consequently, should be under strong negative selection. We report an in depth study of the HL associated to the gene wings up A (wupA). It encodes 13 transcripts (A-M) that yield 11 protein isoforms (A-K) of Troponin I (TnI). They are functionally diverse in their control of muscle contraction, cell polarity and cell proliferation. Isoform K transfers to the nucleus where it increases transcription of the cell proliferation related genes CDK2, CDK4, Rap and Rab5. The nuclear translocation of isoform K is prevented by the co-expression of A or B isoforms, which illustrates isoform interactions. The corresponding DL mutations are, either DNA rearrangements clustered towards the gene 3' end, thus affecting the genomic organization of all transcripts, or CRISPR-induced mutations in one of the two ATG sites which eliminate a subset of wupA products. The joint elimination of isoforms C, F, G and H, however, do not cause DL phenotypes. Genetically driven expression of single isoforms rescue neither DL nor any of the mutants known in the gene, suggesting that normal function requires properly regulated expression of specific combinations, rather than single, TnI isoforms. We conclude that the wupA associated HL results from the combined haploinsufficiency of a large set of TnI isoforms. The qualitative and quantitative normal expression of which, requires the chromosomal integrity of the wupA genomic region. Since all fly TnI isoforms are encoded in the same gene, its HL condition becomes unavoidable. These wupA features are comparable to those of dpp, the only other HL studied to some extent, and reveal a scenario of strict dosage dependence with implications for gene expression regulation and splitting.

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PubMed Central ID
PMC8011728 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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Personal communication to FlyBase

M{CH322-4P16}ZH-68E insertion.
Casas-Tinto, 2021.6.24, M{CH322-4P16}ZH-68E insertion. [FBrf0249470]

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    Publication Type
    PLoS Genet.
    PLoS Genetics
    Publication Year
    1553-7404 1553-7390
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