Drosophila chorion genes are organized into two clusters that are selectively amplified in the ovarian follicle cells. During oogenesis the transcription of individual genes is temporally regulated, resulting in distinct, stage-specific profiles of chorion mRNA accumulation. P element-mediated gene transfer was used to study the regulation of genes encoding the major chorion proteins s15-1 and s38-1. Transformed chorion genes integrated at diverse chromosomal locations exhibited proper tissue-specific and stage-specific expression, despite separation from the gene clusters. Qualitatively normal expression was not dependent on the ability of the inserted DNA to undergo amplification. However, chromosome position quantitatively influenced the RNA produced by the transformed genes. The level of RNA per gene copy produced by individual transformed genes varied approximately tenfold, after correction for differences in gene dosage due to the amplification of some inserted sequences. Transformation experiments with an s38-1-lacZ fusion gene demonstrated that cis-regulatory sequences sufficient for the stage-specific program of s38-1 expression were confined to a 1.3 × 103 base-pair segment between -748 and +573 relative to the s38-1 initiation site. Finally, egg chamber-specific amplification was induced at the site of two s38-1 insertions, suggesting that an amplification control element resides near this gene.
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