Distinct promoter regions regulate spatial and temporal expression of the Drosophila caspase dronc

T. J. Daish, D. Cakouros, Sharad Kumar

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31 Citations (Scopus)


DRONC is an apical Drosophila caspase essential for programmed cell death during fly development. During metamorphosis, dronc gene expression is regulated by the steroid hormone ecdysone, which also regulates the levels of a number of other critical cell death proteins. As DRONC protein levels are important in determining caspase activation and initiation of cell death, we have analyzed the regulation of the dronc promoter using transgenic files expressing a LacZ reporter gene under the control of the dronc promoter. Our results indicate that dronc expression is highly dynamic during Drosophila development, and is controlled both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that while a 2.3 kb dronc promoter region contains most of the information required for correct gene expression, a 1.1 kb promoter region is expressed in some tissues and not others. We further demonstrate that during larval-pupal metamorphosis, two ecdysone-induced transcription factors, Broad-Complex and E93, are required for correct dronc expression. Our data suggest that the dronc promoter is regulated in a highly complex manner, and provides an ideal system to explore the temporal and spatial regulation of gene expression driven by nuclear hormone receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1356
Number of pages9
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Caspase expression
  • Ecdysone
  • Salivary glands
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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