The BhC4-1 gene of the sciarid Bradysia hygida is located at DNA puff C4 and is amplified and actively transcribed in the salivary gland at the end of the last larval instar. We show here that a 3.6 kb fragment from the upstream region of the BhC4-1 gene is able to drive transcription in transgenic Drosophila specifically in prepupal salivary gland in a temporally regulated manner. The mRNA is present in maximal amounts in prepupae +3 h; in prepupae +9 h the levels of BhC4-1 mRNA decline, and it is no longer detected in pupae +24 h. Taken together these results suggest that most, if not all, of the key promoter regulatory elements were included in the DNA fragments employed to transform Drosophila. Moreover, strong expression of the transgenes implies conservation of the regulatory elements involved, since Drosophila transcription factors appear to recognize B. hygida regulatory DNA sequences. Quantitative Southern blot hybridization indicates that the sequences from DNA puff C4 are not amplified at detectable levels in salivary glands of transgenic prepupae when the BhC4-1 gene is transcribed. Transcription of a DNA puff in the absence of amplification indicates that the induction of these processes involves distinct mechanisms.
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