• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. Jun 1995; 140(2): 573–586.
PMCID: PMC1206636

Identification of Homeotic Target Genes in Drosophila Melanogaster Including Nervy, a Proto-Oncogene Homologue

Abstract

In Drosophila, the specific morphological characteristics of each segment are determined by the homeotic genes that regulate the expression of downstream target genes. We used a subtractive hybridization procedure to isolate activated target genes of the homeotic gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx). In addition, we constructed a set of mutant genotypes that measures the regulatory contribution of individual homeotic genes to a complex target gene expression pattern. Using these mutants, we demonstrate that homeotic genes can regulate target gene expression at the start of gastrulation, suggesting a previously unknown role for the homeotic genes at this early stage. We also show that, in abdominal segments, the levels of expression for two target genes increase in response to high levels of Ubx, demonstrating that the normal down-regulation of Ubx in these segments is functional. Finally, the DNA sequence of cDNAs for one of these genes predicts a protein that is similar to a human proto-oncogene involved in acute myeloid leukemias. These results illustrate potentially general rules about the homeotic control of target gene expression and suggest that subtractive hybridization can be used to isolate interesting homeotic target genes.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (8.2M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Akam ME, Martinez-Arias A. The distribution of Ultrabithorax transcripts in Drosophila embryos. EMBO J. 1985 Jul;4(7):1689–1700. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Andrew DJ, Scott MP. Downstream of the homeotic genes. New Biol. 1992 Jan;4(1):5–15. [PubMed]
  • Beachy PA, Helfand SL, Hogness DS. Segmental distribution of bithorax complex proteins during Drosophila development. Nature. 1985 Feb 14;313(6003):545–551. [PubMed]
  • Botas J. Control of morphogenesis and differentiation by HOM/Hox genes. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1993 Dec;5(6):1015–1022. [PubMed]
  • Brookman JJ, Toosy AT, Shashidhara LS, White RA. The 412 retrotransposon and the development of gonadal mesoderm in Drosophila. Development. 1992 Dec;116(4):1185–1192. [PubMed]
  • Carroll SB, Laymon RA, McCutcheon MA, Riley PD, Scott MP. The localization and regulation of Antennapedia protein expression in Drosophila embryos. Cell. 1986 Oct 10;47(1):113–122. [PubMed]
  • Carroll SB, DiNardo S, O'Farrell PH, White RA, Scott MP. Temporal and spatial relationships between segmentation and homeotic gene expression in Drosophila embryos: distributions of the fushi tarazu, engrailed, Sex combs reduced, Antennapedia, and Ultrabithorax proteins. Genes Dev. 1988 Mar;2(3):350–360. [PubMed]
  • Casanova J, Sánchez-Herrero E, Busturia A, Morata G. Double and triple mutant combinations of bithorax complex of Drosophila. EMBO J. 1987 Oct;6(10):3103–3109. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Celniker SE, Keelan DJ, Lewis EB. The molecular genetics of the bithorax complex of Drosophila: characterization of the products of the Abdominal-B domain. Genes Dev. 1989 Sep;3(9):1424–1436. [PubMed]
  • Chan SK, Mann RS. The segment identity functions of Ultrabithorax are contained within its homeo domain and carboxy-terminal sequences. Genes Dev. 1993 May;7(5):796–811. [PubMed]
  • Daga A, Tighe JE, Calabi F. Leukaemia/Drosophila homology. Nature. 1992 Apr 9;356(6369):484–484. [PubMed]
  • Doe CQ. Molecular markers for identified neuroblasts and ganglion mother cells in the Drosophila central nervous system. Development. 1992 Dec;116(4):855–863. [PubMed]
  • Duffy JB, Kania MA, Gergen JP. Expression and function of the Drosophila gene runt in early stages of neural development. Development. 1991 Dec;113(4):1223–1230. [PubMed]
  • Erickson P, Gao J, Chang KS, Look T, Whisenant E, Raimondi S, Lasher R, Trujillo J, Rowley J, Drabkin H. Identification of breakpoints in t(8;21) acute myelogenous leukemia and isolation of a fusion transcript, AML1/ETO, with similarity to Drosophila segmentation gene, runt. Blood. 1992 Oct 1;80(7):1825–1831. [PubMed]
  • Erickson PF, Robinson M, Owens G, Drabkin HA. The ETO portion of acute myeloid leukemia t(8;21) fusion transcript encodes a highly evolutionarily conserved, putative transcription factor. Cancer Res. 1994 Apr 1;54(7):1782–1786. [PubMed]
  • Feinberg AP, Vogelstein B. A technique for radiolabeling DNA restriction endonuclease fragments to high specific activity. Anal Biochem. 1983 Jul 1;132(1):6–13. [PubMed]
  • Ferreri K, Gill G, Montminy M. The cAMP-regulated transcription factor CREB interacts with a component of the TFIID complex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Feb 15;91(4):1210–1213. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • González-Reyes A, Morata G. The developmental effect of overexpressing a Ubx product in Drosophila embryos is dependent on its interactions with other homeotic products. Cell. 1990 May 4;61(3):515–522. [PubMed]
  • González-Reyes A, Urquia N, Gehring WJ, Struhl G, Morata G. Are cross-regulatory interactions between homoeotic genes functionally significant? Nature. 1990 Mar 1;344(6261):78–80. [PubMed]
  • Gould AP, Brookman JJ, Strutt DI, White RA. Targets of homeotic gene control in Drosophila. Nature. 1990 Nov 22;348(6299):308–312. [PubMed]
  • Graba Y, Aragnol D, Laurenti P, Garzino V, Charmot D, Berenger H, Pradel J. Homeotic control in Drosophila; the scabrous gene is an in vivo target of Ultrabithorax proteins. EMBO J. 1992 Sep;11(9):3375–3384. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hafen E, Levine M, Gehring WJ. Regulation of Antennapedia transcript distribution by the bithorax complex in Drosophila. Nature. 1984 Jan 19;307(5948):287–289. [PubMed]
  • Harrison SC. A structural taxonomy of DNA-binding domains. Nature. 1991 Oct 24;353(6346):715–719. [PubMed]
  • Hedrick SM, Cohen DI, Nielsen EA, Davis MM. Isolation of cDNA clones encoding T cell-specific membrane-associated proteins. Nature. 1984 Mar 8;308(5955):149–153. [PubMed]
  • Hinz U, Wolk A, Renkawitz-Pohl R. Ultrabithorax is a regulator of beta 3 tubulin expression in the Drosophila visceral mesoderm. Development. 1992 Nov;116(3):543–554. [PubMed]
  • Hoey T, Weinzierl RO, Gill G, Chen JL, Dynlacht BD, Tjian R. Molecular cloning and functional analysis of Drosophila TAF110 reveal properties expected of coactivators. Cell. 1993 Jan 29;72(2):247–260. [PubMed]
  • Hursh DA, Padgett RW, Gelbart WM. Cross regulation of decapentaplegic and Ultrabithorax transcription in the embryonic visceral mesoderm of Drosophila. Development. 1993 Apr;117(4):1211–1222. [PubMed]
  • Immerglück K, Lawrence PA, Bienz M. Induction across germ layers in Drosophila mediated by a genetic cascade. Cell. 1990 Jul 27;62(2):261–268. [PubMed]
  • Irvine KD, Helfand SL, Hogness DS. The large upstream control region of the Drosophila homeotic gene Ultrabithorax. Development. 1991 Feb;111(2):407–424. [PubMed]
  • Jakubczak JL, Xiong Y, Eickbush TH. Type I (R1) and type II (R2) ribosomal DNA insertions of Drosophila melanogaster are retrotransposable elements closely related to those of Bombyx mori. J Mol Biol. 1990 Mar 5;212(1):37–52. [PubMed]
  • Kagoshima H, Shigesada K, Satake M, Ito Y, Miyoshi H, Ohki M, Pepling M, Gergen P. The Runt domain identifies a new family of heteromeric transcriptional regulators. Trends Genet. 1993 Oct;9(10):338–341. [PubMed]
  • Karch F, Bender W, Weiffenbach B. abdA expression in Drosophila embryos. Genes Dev. 1990 Sep;4(9):1573–1587. [PubMed]
  • Kaufman TC, Seeger MA, Olsen G. Molecular and genetic organization of the antennapedia gene complex of Drosophila melanogaster. Adv Genet. 1990;27:309–362. [PubMed]
  • Kornfeld K, Saint RB, Beachy PA, Harte PJ, Peattie DA, Hogness DS. Structure and expression of a family of Ultrabithorax mRNAs generated by alternative splicing and polyadenylation in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 1989 Feb;3(2):243–258. [PubMed]
  • Kozu T, Miyoshi H, Shimizu K, Maseki N, Kaneko Y, Asou H, Kamada N, Ohki M. Junctions of the AML1/MTG8(ETO) fusion are constant in t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Blood. 1993 Aug 15;82(4):1270–1276. [PubMed]
  • Lamka ML, Boulet AM, Sakonju S. Ectopic expression of UBX and ABD-B proteins during Drosophila embryogenesis: competition, not a functional hierarchy, explains phenotypic suppression. Development. 1992 Dec;116(4):841–854. [PubMed]
  • Lewis EB. A gene complex controlling segmentation in Drosophila. Nature. 1978 Dec 7;276(5688):565–570. [PubMed]
  • Macias A, Casanova J, Morata G. Expression and regulation of the abd-A gene of Drosophila. Development. 1990 Dec;110(4):1197–1207. [PubMed]
  • Mann RS, Hogness DS. Functional dissection of Ultrabithorax proteins in D. melanogaster. Cell. 1990 Feb 23;60(4):597–610. [PubMed]
  • Martin G, Wiernasz D, Schedl P. Evolution of Drosophila repetitive-dispersed DNA. J Mol Evol. 1983;19(3-4):203–213. [PubMed]
  • McGinnis W, Krumlauf R. Homeobox genes and axial patterning. Cell. 1992 Jan 24;68(2):283–302. [PubMed]
  • Meyers S, Downing JR, Hiebert SW. Identification of AML-1 and the (8;21) translocation protein (AML-1/ETO) as sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins: the runt homology domain is required for DNA binding and protein-protein interactions. Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Oct;13(10):6336–6345. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Michelson AM. Muscle pattern diversification in Drosophila is determined by the autonomous function of homeotic genes in the embryonic mesoderm. Development. 1994 Apr;120(4):755–768. [PubMed]
  • Miyamoto H, Nihonmatsu I, Kondo S, Ueda R, Togashi S, Hirata K, Ikegami Y, Yamamoto D. canoe encodes a novel protein containing a GLGF/DHR motif and functions with Notch and scabrous in common developmental pathways in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 1995 Mar 1;9(5):612–625. [PubMed]
  • Moses K, Ellis MC, Rubin GM. The glass gene encodes a zinc-finger protein required by Drosophila photoreceptor cells. Nature. 1989 Aug 17;340(6234):531–536. [PubMed]
  • Nisson PE, Watkins PC, Sacchi N. Transcriptionally active chimeric gene derived from the fusion of the AML1 gene and a novel gene on chromosome 8 in t(8;21) leukemic cells. Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1992 Oct 15;63(2):81–88. [PubMed]
  • O'Hara E, Cohen B, Cohen SM, McGinnis W. Distal-less is a downstream gene of Deformed required for ventral maxillary identity. Development. 1993 Mar;117(3):847–856. [PubMed]
  • Ogawa E, Maruyama M, Kagoshima H, Inuzuka M, Lu J, Satake M, Shigesada K, Ito Y. PEBP2/PEA2 represents a family of transcription factors homologous to the products of the Drosophila runt gene and the human AML1 gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jul 15;90(14):6859–6863. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Owens GP, Hahn WE, Cohen JJ. Identification of mRNAs associated with programmed cell death in immature thymocytes. Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Aug;11(8):4177–4188. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Reuter R, Panganiban GE, Hoffmann FM, Scott MP. Homeotic genes regulate the spatial expression of putative growth factors in the visceral mesoderm of Drosophila embryos. Development. 1990 Dec;110(4):1031–1040. [PubMed]
  • Riley PD, Carroll SB, Scott MP. The expression and regulation of Sex combs reduced protein in Drosophila embryos. Genes Dev. 1987 Sep;1(7):716–730. [PubMed]
  • Sánchez-Herrero E, Vernós I, Marco R, Morata G. Genetic organization of Drosophila bithorax complex. Nature. 1985 Jan 10;313(5998):108–113. [PubMed]
  • Scott MP, Carroll SB. The segmentation and homeotic gene network in early Drosophila development. Cell. 1987 Dec 4;51(5):689–698. [PubMed]
  • Scott MP, Tamkun JW, Hartzell GW., 3rd The structure and function of the homeodomain. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 Jul 28;989(1):25–48. [PubMed]
  • Struhl G, White RA. Regulation of the Ultrabithorax gene of Drosophila by other bithorax complex genes. Cell. 1985 Dec;43(2 Pt 1):507–519. [PubMed]
  • Tautz D, Pfeifle C. A non-radioactive in situ hybridization method for the localization of specific RNAs in Drosophila embryos reveals translational control of the segmentation gene hunchback. Chromosoma. 1989 Aug;98(2):81–85. [PubMed]
  • Vachon G, Cohen B, Pfeifle C, McGuffin ME, Botas J, Cohen SM. Homeotic genes of the Bithorax complex repress limb development in the abdomen of the Drosophila embryo through the target gene Distal-less. Cell. 1992 Oct 30;71(3):437–450. [PubMed]
  • Wakimoto BT, Kaufman TC. Analysis of larval segmentation in lethal genotypes associated with the antennapedia gene complex in Drosophila melanogaster. Dev Biol. 1981 Jan 15;81(1):51–64. [PubMed]
  • White RA, Wilcox M. Distribution of Ultrabithorax proteins in Drosophila. EMBO J. 1985 Aug;4(8):2035–2043. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Will BM, Bayev AA, Finnegan DJ. Nucleotide sequence of terminal repeats of 412 transposable elements of Drosophila melanogaster. A similarity to proviral long terminal repeats and its implications for the mechanism of transposition. J Mol Biol. 1981 Dec 25;153(4):897–915. [PubMed]
  • Wilson R, Ainscough R, Anderson K, Baynes C, Berks M, Bonfield J, Burton J, Connell M, Copsey T, Cooper J, et al. 2.2 Mb of contiguous nucleotide sequence from chromosome III of C. elegans. Nature. 1994 Mar 3;368(6466):32–38. [PubMed]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links