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Nature. 1992 Apr 16;356(6370):610-2.

Homeodomain-independent activity of the fushi tarazu polypeptide in Drosophila embryos.

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Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Charles H. Best Institute, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The Drosophila segmentation gene fushi tarazu (ftz) encodes a homeodomain-containing protein, ftz, that can act as a DNA-binding activator of transcription. In the developing embryo, ftz is expressed in seven stripes which correspond to the even-numbered parasegments. These parasegments are missing in ftz- embryos. When ftz is expressed throughout blastoderm embryos under the control of a heat-shock promoter, the odd-numbered parasegments are lost. This 'anti-ftz' phenotype has been attributed to autoactivation of the endogenous ftz gene by the ectopically expressed protein. Here we show that the same phenotype is induced by ectopic expression of a ftz polypeptide containing a deletion in the homeodomain. Thus, ftz can alter gene expression without binding directly to DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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