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Dev Biol. 1999 Jul 15;211(2):268-76.

A common mechanism for antenna-to-Leg transformation in Drosophila: suppression of homothorax transcription by four HOM-C genes.

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Institute of Genetics, Department of Life Science, National Yang-Ming University, Shipai, Taipei, 112, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The Drosophila HOM-C genes encode transcription factors containing the DNA-binding homeodomain. Mutations in the HOM-C genes can cause specific homeotic transformation, suggesting that the HOM-C genes determine segmental identities by acting on different target genes. However, misexpression of several HOM-C genes in the antenna disc causes similar antenna-to-leg transformations. Here we show that the Scr, Antp, Ubx, and abd-A HOM-C genes all exert their effects through a common mechanism: suppressing the transcription of the homothorax (hth) homeobox gene and thereby preventing the nuclear localization of the Extradenticle homeodomain protein. We also show that ectopic hth expression can cause duplication of the proximodistal axis of the antenna, suggesting that it is involved in proximodistal development of the antenna.

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