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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Decoding transcription and microRNA-mediated translation control in Drosophila development

Ulrike Gaul1

1Gene Center, University of Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Straße 25, D-81377 Munich, Germany

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 391, Issue 7, Pages 767–770, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/bc.2010.090, May 2010

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The spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression lies at the heart of animal development. In this article we present an overview of our recent work to apply systems biological approaches to the study of transcription and microRNA-mediated translation control in Drosophila development. We have identified many new cis-regulatory elements within the segmentation gene network, a transcriptional hierarchy governing pattern formation along the antero-posterior axis of the embryo, and developed a novel thermodynamic model to predict their expression. A similar thermodynamic approach that takes into account the secondary structure of the target mRNA significantly improves the prediction of microRNA binding sites.

Keywords: cis-regulatory element; Drosophila; gene regulation; microRNA; segmentation; systems biology; thermodynamic modeling

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