Dorsal protein gradient in Drosophila embryo
A high-resolution image of a Drosophila embryo
showing the Dorsal protein gradient (green) and
expression of a reporter gene driven by a shadow
enhancer (magenta).
Image: Peter Whitney and Christine Rushlow, NYU

New research from Assistant Professor of MCB & Physics Hernan Garcia and scientists at New York University characterizes how the pioneer factor Zelda affects a gene's transcriptional output by enriching Dorsal protein activity at enhancer regions of Drosophila DNA during gene activation.

This finding "uncovers the physical parameters that affect gene activation, thus pushing forward our understanding of how genes are regulated in time and space,” according to NYU Biology Professor Christine Rushlow.