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Genetics. 1992 Jun;131(2):377-88.

The embryonically active gene, unkempt, of Drosophila encodes a Cys3His finger protein.

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  • 1Barnard College, New York, New York 10027.


The unkempt gene of Drosophila encodes a set of embryonic RNAs, which are abundant during early stages of embryogenesis and are present ubiquitously in most somatic tissues from the syncytial embryo through stage 15 of embryogenesis. Expression of unkempt RNAs becomes restricted predominantly to the central nervous system in stages 16 and early 17. Analysis of cDNAs from this locus reveals the presence of five Cys3His fingers in the protein product. Isolation and analysis of mutations affecting the unkempt gene, including complete deletions of this gene, indicate that there is no zygotic requirement for unkempt during embryogenesis, presumably due to the contribution of maternally supplied RNA, although the gene is essential during post-embryonic development.

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