Damage-responsive, maturity-silenced enhancers regulate multiple genes that direct regeneration in drosophila

Robin E. Harris, Michael J. Stinchfield, Spencer L. Nystrom, Daniel J. McKay, Iswar K. Hariharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Like tissues of many organisms, Drosophila imaginal discs lose the ability to regenerate as they mature. This loss of regenerative capacity coincides with reduced damage-responsive expression of multiple genes needed for regeneration. We previously showed that two such genes, wg and Wnt6, are regulated by a single damage-responsive enhancer that becomes progressively inactivated via Polycomb-mediated silencing as discs mature (Harris et al., 2016). Here we explore the generality of this mechanism and identify additional damage-responsive, maturity-silenced (DRMS) enhancers, some near genes known to be required for regeneration such as Mmp1, and others near genes that we now show function in regeneration. Using a novel GAL4-independent ablation system we characterize two DRMS-associated genes, apontic (apt), which curtails regeneration and CG9752/asperous (aspr), which promotes it. This mechanism of suppressing regeneration by silencing damage-responsive enhancers at multiple loci can be partially overcome by reducing activity of the chromatin regulator extra sex combs (esc).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere58305
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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