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Genes Dev. 1992 Sep;6(9):1740-51.

Concentration-dependent activities of the even-skipped protein in Drosophila embryos.

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  • 1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto, C.H. Best Institute, Ontario, Canada.


The Drosophila pair-rule gene even-skipped (eve) encodes a homeo-domain-containing protein (Eve) that is required for the development of both odd- and even-numbered parasegments. We have used a heat shock-inducible eve transgene to study the regulatory functions of Eve in vivo. Transcripts encoded by eight other segmentation genes were monitored for changes in distribution and abundance following short pulses of ectopic Eve expression. Two tiers of response times appeared to distinguish between genes that were direct [fushi tarazu (ftz), odd-skipped (odd), runt (run), paired, and wingless] and indirect [eve, hairy, and engrailed (en)] targets of Eve. Genes that appeared to be directly regulated by Eve were differentially repressed in a concentration-dependent fashion. Interestingly, the run and ftz genes could also be activated by Eve during a brief 20- to 30-min stage in development. The delayed actions upon the eve and en genes appeared to be mediated by run and odd. As in eve- embryos, these effects on segmentation gene expression patterns caused defects in both odd- and even-numbered parasegments. Four sequential phenotypes could be induced, each of which was attributable to the altered expression of a unique subset of target genes.

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