Role of regulatory elements in the 3'UTR of the pair-rule gene eve in the robustness of patterning. Valerie Hilgers, Michael Levine. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Division of Genetics, Genomics, and Development, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

   In the Drosophila embryo, segmentation genes are expressed with remarkable spatial and temporal precision to ensure proper developmental patterning. The reliability of these expression patterns and their robustness against environmental perturbation or intrinsic variability depends on transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that are not well understood. The 3 untranslated region (UTR) of the pair-rule gene even skipped (eve) is thought to play a role in fine-tuning the transcripts spatial expression, half-life and translatability. However, the 3UTR is not required for the establishment of the eve pattern. We propose that post-transcriptional regulation of the eve mRNA suppresses developmental plasticity. We will investigate the role of cytoplasmic localization signals, microRNA binding sites and RNA-binding protein recognition elements located in the eve 3UTR. We will test whether these sequences contribute to ensuring accurate eve expression in contexts of environmental fluctuation, or when other components of the patterning system fail.