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Insect Mol Biol. 2008 Apr;17(2):91-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2007.00785.x.

Genes and biological processes controlled by the Drosophila FOXA orthologue Fork head.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201, USA.


The larval salivary glands of Drosophila express the FOXA transcription factor Fork head (Fkh) before, but not after, puparium formation. Forced expression of Fkh in late prepupae prevents the programmed destruction of the tissue, which normally occurs in the early pupa. Using Affymetrix GeneChips, we analysed changes in gene expression brought about by Fkh when expressed shortly before the normal time of salivary gland death. Genes identified as responsive to Fkh include not only cell death genes, but also genes involved in autophagy, phospholipid metabolism and hormone-controlled signalling pathways. In addition, Fkh changed the expression of genes involved in glucose and fatty acid metabolism that are known to be target genes of the FOXAs in vertebrates. Premature loss of fkh induced by RNAi and gain of Fkh by ectopic expression at earlier times of development confirmed that genes identified in the microarray study are under normal developmental control by Fkh. These genes include Eip63F-1, which is expressed in both salivary glands and Malpighian tubules, suggesting that Fkh controls common aspects of the secretory function of the two organs. Eip63F-1 is one of many genes controlled by the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone that appear to be co-regulated by Fkh.

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