A Novel Double-stranded RNA-binding Protein, Disco Interacting Protein 1 (DIP1), Contributes to Cell Fate Decisions duringDrosophilaDevelopment
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We report the identification of the Disco Interacting Protein 1 (DIP1) gene isolated in a yeast interaction trap screen using the zinc finger protein disconnected (disco) as a bait. DIP1 encodes a protein containing two double-stranded RNA binding domains (dsRBD). Consistent with the presence of dsRBD, DIP1 binds dsRNA or structured RNAs in Northwestern assays. DIP1 is found in nuclear subdomains resembling speckles known to accumulate transcription and splicing factors. In early embryos, nuclear localization of DIP1 protein coincides with the onset of zygotic gene expression. Later in development DIP1 expression is decreased in dividing cells in different tissues. Overexpression of DIP1 in the eye-antennal imaginal disc, early in embryonic and larval development, causes the formation of supernumerary structures in the head capsule. A role for DIP1 in epigenetic mechanisms that lead to the establishment and/or maintenance of cell fate specification is discussed.
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