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Mol Cell Biol. 1994 Oct;14(10):6809-18.

Multiple products from the shavenbaby-ovo gene region of Drosophila melanogaster: relationship to genetic complexity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


The Drosophila melanogaster shavenbaby (svb)-ovo gene region is a complex locus, containing two distinct but comutable genetic functions. ovo is required for survival and differentiation of female germ line cells and plays a role in germ line sex determination. In contrast, svb is required in both male and female embryos for the production of epidermal locomotor and sensory structures. Sequences required for the two genetic functions are partially overlapping. ovo corresponds to a previously described germ line-dependent 5.0-kb poly(A)+ mRNA that first appears in the germarium and accumulates in nurse cells during oogenesis. The 5.0-kb mRNA is stored in the egg, but it is rapidly lost in the embryos except for its continued presence in the germ line precursor pole cells. The ovo mRNA predicts a 1,028-amino-acid 110.6-kDa protein homologous with transcription factors. We have identified an embryonic mRNA, 7.1 kb in length, that contains exons partially overlapping those of the 5.0-kb poly(A)+ mRNA. The spatial distribution of this newly discovered transcript during midembryogenesis suggests that it corresponds to the svb function. The arrangement of exons common to the 5.0- and 7.1-kb mRNAs suggests that the Ovo and Svb proteins share DNA-binding specificity conferred by four Cys2-His2 zinc finger motifs but differ functionally in their capacity to interact with other components of the transcription machinery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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