Characterization of the Autophagy related gene-8a (Atg8a) promoter in Drosophila melanogaster
Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 8 November 2017
Arundhati Bali and Bhupendra V. Shravage*
Developmental Biology Group, MACS-Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process which is upregulated under various stress conditions, including nutrient stress and oxidative stress. Amongst autophagy related genes (Atgs), Atg8a (LC3 in mammals) is induced several-fold during nutrient limitation in Drosophila. The minimal Atg8a cis-regulatory module (CRM) which mediates transcriptional upregulation under various stress conditions is not known. Here, we describe the generation and analyses of a series of Atg8a promoter deletions which drive the expression of an mCherry-Atg8a fusion cassette. Expression studies revealed that a 200 bp region of Atg8a is sufficient to drive expression of Atg8a in nutrient rich conditions in fat body and ovaries, as well as under nutrient deficient conditions in the fat body. Furthermore, this 200 bp region can mediate Atg8a upregulation during developmental histolysis of the larval fat body and under oxidative stress conditions induced by H2O2. Finally, the expression levels of Atg8a from this promoter are sufficient to rescue the lethality of the Atg8a mutant. The 200 bp promoter-fusion reporter provides a valuable tool which can be used in genetic screens to identify transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators of Atg8a.