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Dev Cell. 2002 Oct;3(4):487-98.

Specificity of Distalless repression and limb primordia development by abdominal Hox proteins.

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1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University, 701 West 168th Street, HHSC 1104, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

In Drosophila, differences between segments, such as the presence or absence of appendages, are controlled by Hox transcription factors. The Hox protein Ultrabithorax (Ubx) suppresses limb formation in the abdomen by repressing the leg selector gene Distalless, whereas Antennapedia (Antp), a thoracic Hox protein, does not repress Distalless. We show that the Hox cofactors Extradenticle and Homothorax selectively enhance Ubx, but not Antp, binding to a Distalless regulatory sequence. A C-terminal peptide in Ubx stimulates binding to this site. However, DNA binding is not sufficient for Distalless repression. Instead, an additional alternatively spliced domain in Ubx is required for Distalless repression but not DNA binding. Thus, the functional specificities of Hox proteins depend on both DNA binding-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

PMID:
12408801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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