The TET (Ten-eleven translocation) 1, 2 and 3 proteins have been shown to function as DNA hydroxymethylases in vertebrates and their requirements have been documented extensively. Recently, the Tet proteins have been shown to also hydroxylate 5-methylcyto-sine in RNA. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmrC) is enriched in messenger RNA but the function of this modification has yet to be elucidated. Because Cytosine methylation in DNA is barely detectable in Drosophila, it serves as an ideal model to study the biological function of 5hmrC. Here, we characterized the temporal and spatial expression and requirement of Tet throughout Drosophila development. We show that Tet is essential for viability as Tet complete loss-of-function animals die at the late pupal stage. Tet is highly expressed in neuronal tissues and at more moderate levels in somatic muscle precursors in embryos and larvae. Depletion of Tet in muscle precursors at early embryonic stages leads to defects in larval locomotion and late pupal lethality. Although Tet knock-down in neuronal tissue does not cause lethality, it is essential for neuronal function during development through its affects upon locomotion in larvae and the circadian rhythm of adult flies. Further, we report the function of Tet in ovarian morphogenesis. Together, our findings provide basic insights into the biological function of Tet in Drosophila, and may illuminate observed neuronal and muscle phenotypes observed in vertebrates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)