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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jun 1;90(11):5047-51.

The interaction of bride of sevenless with sevenless is conserved between Drosophila virilis and Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


An inductive interaction between the sevenless (sev) transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor and the bride of sevenless (boss) transmembrane ligand is required for the development of the R7 photoreceptor neuron in the compound eye of Drosophila melanogaster. The boss protein is proposed to contain a large N-terminal extracellular domain, seven transmembrane segments, and a C-terminal cytoplasmic tail. The boss protein from Drosophila virilis (bossvir) retains strong amino acid identity with loss from D. melanogaster (bossmel): 73% identity in the N-terminal extracellular domain and 91% identity in the seven-transmembrane domain, including the cytoplasmic tail. By using P-element-mediated DNA transformation, the bossmel and bossvir genes were shown to rescue the D. melanogaster boss1 mutation. The expression of bossvir protein in D. melanogaster is indistinguishable from that of bossmel protein. Noncoding sequences which may regulate boss expression were identified based on their conservation during evolution. The predicted sev protein from D. virilis (sevvir) was previously shown to be 63% identical to sev from D. melanogaster (sevmel). A chimeric gene, (sevvir/mel), encoding the extracellular domain of sevvir and the cytoplasmic domain of sevmel rescues the D. melanogaster sevd2 mutation through interaction with either bossvir or bossmel.

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