Transcriptional enhancers in Drosophila

Stephen Small, David N. Arnosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Key discoveries in Drosophila have shaped our understanding of cellular “enhancers.” With a special focus on the fly, this chapter surveys properties of these adaptable cis-regulatory elements, whose actions are critical for the complex spatial/temporal transcriptional regulation of gene expression in metazoa. The powerful combination of genetics, molecular biology, and genomics available in Drosophila has provided an arena in which the developmental role of enhancers can be explored. Enhancers are characterized by diverse low- or high-throughput assays, which are challenging to interpret, as not all of these methods of identifying enhancers produce concordant results. As a model metazoan, the fly offers important advantages to comprehensive analysis of the central functions that enhancers play in gene expression, and their critical role in mediating the production of phenotypes from genotype and environmental inputs. A major challenge moving forward will be obtaining a quantitative understanding of how these cis-regulatory elements operate in development and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Embryo patterning
  • Enhancer
  • FlyBook
  • Gene regulation
  • Transcription
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptional enhancers in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this