Transcriptional regulation of Drosophila tracheal and neural development
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Drosophila melanogaster is an ideal system for investigating the functions of genes and is one of the predominant models for the study of branching morphogenesis in the tracheal system. Transcription factors are a unique class of proteins with the ability to bind DNA to recruit RNA polymerases to regulate gene expression directly. In Drosophila, a relatively small number of transcription factors are used during tracheogenesis and some of these are recycled and reused to direct regulation of different organ systems including the central nervous system (CNS). The purpose of investigating the re-usage of transcription factors is to reveal differential and similar mechanisms of gene regulation between organ systems. Some modes of regulation which could confer differences include chromatin remodelling and alternate splicing. In addition transcription factors often act in combination with other transcription factors at different time points for different functions. This study reveals the functions of sixteen transcription factors shared between the trachea and CNS through analyses of high-throughput experiments and current knowledge. The characteristics of these transcription factors were also investigated to determine whether differential or similar methods of regulating transcription factor activity are the driving force for organogenesis of the CNS and trachea.