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Mech Dev. 2002 Sep;117(1-2):209-15.

Structure and expression patterns of Drosophila TULP and TUSP, members of the tubby-like gene family.

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  • 1Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093-0349, USA.


Tubby is a mouse gene that may provide a model for adult-onset obesity in humans. It is a member of a four gene family in mammals that collectively encode the Tubby-like proteins (TULPs), putative transcription factors which share similar 260 amino acid 'tubby domains' at their C-termini. The mammalian genome also encodes distant relatives of TULPs, which have been called TUSPs (tubby domain superfamily proteins). We have characterized the transcription unit of the single Drosophila TULP homolog, analyzed the expression pattern of the Drosophila TULP and TUSP genes, and determined the evolutionary relationships between the Drosophila proteins and members of the tubby domain superfamily in other organisms. Interestingly, like its mammalian homologs, Drosophila TULP is principally expressed in the embryonic central and peripheral nervous systems. This suggests that mammalian and Drosophila TULPs may possess some conserved functional properties in the nervous system. The Drosophila TUSP gene is also expressed in the central nervous system and olfactory organ but in few other peripheral sensory organs.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

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