May 9, 2021

Olfactory receptor-dependent receptor repression in Drosophila

<p>In olfactory systems across phyla, most sensory neurons transcribe a single olfactory receptor gene selected from a large genomic repertoire. We describe novel receptor gene-dependent mechanisms that ensure singular expression of receptors encoded by a tandem gene array in Drosophila. Transcription from upstream genes in the cluster runs through the coding region of downstream loci to inhibit their expression in cis, via transcriptional interference. Moreover, one receptor blocks expression of other receptor proteins in trans through a post-transcriptional mechanism. These repression mechanisms operate in endogenous neurons to ensure their unique expression. Our data provide evidence for inter-olfactory receptor regulation in invertebrates, and highlight unprecedented, but potentially widespread, mechanisms for ensuring exclusive expression of chemosensory receptors, and other protein families, encoded by tandemly-arranged genes.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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