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Science. 2001 Aug 31;293(5535):1629-33. Epub 2001 Aug 2.

Patterns of gene expression during Drosophila mesoderm development.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Beckman Center B300, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, USA.


The transcription factor Twist initiates Drosophila mesoderm development, resulting in the formation of heart, somatic muscle, and other cell types. Using a Drosophila embryo sorter, we isolated enough homozygous twist mutant embryos to perform DNA microarray experiments. Transcription profiles of twist loss-of-function embryos, embryos with ubiquitous twist expression, and wild-type embryos were compared at different developmental stages. The results implicate hundreds of genes, many with vertebrate homologs, in stage-specific processes in mesoderm development. One such gene, gleeful, related to the vertebrate Gli genes, is essential for somatic muscle development and sufficient to cause neural cells to express a muscle marker.

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