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Mech Dev. 2002 Jun;114(1-2):85-93.

The beta 3 tubulin gene is a direct target of bagpipe and biniou in the visceral mesoderm of Drosophila.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1020, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.


Previous studies have identified the NK homeobox gene bagpipe and the FoxF fork head domain gene biniou as essential regulators of visceral mesoderm development in Drosophila. Here we present additional genetic and molecular information on the functions of these two genes during visceral mesoderm morphogenesis and differentiation. We show that both genes are required for the activation of beta 3Tub60D in the visceral mesoderm, which encodes beta 3 tubulin. We demonstrate that a 254 bp derivative of a previously defined visceral mesoderm-specific enhancer element, vm1, from beta 3Tub60D contains one specific in vitro binding site for Bagpipe and two such sites for Biniou. While the wild-type version of the 254 bp enhancer is able to drive significant levels of reporter gene expression within the entire trunk visceral mesoderm, mutation of either the Bagpipe or the Biniou binding sites within this element results in a severe decrease of enhancer activity. Moreover, mutation of all three binding sites for Bagpipe and Biniou, respectively, results in the complete loss of enhancer activity. Together, these observations suggest that Bagpipe and Biniou serve as direct, partially redundant, and tissue-specific activators of the terminal differentiation gene beta 3Tub60D in the visceral mesoderm.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

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