Ribbon regulates morphogenesis of the Drosophila embryonic salivary gland through transcriptional activation and repression

Rajprasad Loganathan, Joslynn S. Lee, Michael B. Wells, Elizabeth Grevengoed, Matthew Slattery, Deborah J. Andrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Transcription factors affect spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression often regulating multiple aspects of tissue morphogenesis, including cell-type specification, cell proliferation, cell death, cell polarity, cell shape, cell arrangement and cell migration. In this work, we describe a distinct role for Ribbon (Rib) in controlling cell shape/volume increases during elongation of the Drosophila salivary gland (SG). Notably, the morphogenetic changes in rib mutants occurred without effects on general SG cell attributes such as specification, proliferation and apoptosis. Moreover, the changes in cell shape/volume in rib mutants occurred without compromising epithelial-specific morphological attributes such as apicobasal polarity and junctional integrity. To identify the genes regulated by Rib, we performed ChIP-seq analysis in embryos driving expression of GFP-tagged Rib specifically in the SGs. To learn if the Rib binding sites identified in the ChIP-seq analysis were linked to changes in gene expression, we performed microarray analysis comparing RNA samples from age-matched wild-type and rib null embryos. From the superposed ChIP-seq and microarray gene expression data, we identified 60 genomic sites bound by Rib likely to regulate SG-specific gene expression. We confirmed several of the identified Rib targets by qRT-pCR and/or in situ hybridization. Our results indicate that Rib regulates cell growth and tissue shape in the Drosophila salivary gland via a diverse array of targets through both transcriptional activation and repression. Furthermore, our results suggest that autoregulation of rib expression may be a key component of the SG morphogenetic gene network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-250
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Drosophila
  • Morphogenesis
  • Ribbon
  • Salivary gland
  • Size control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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