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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Sep 15;89(18):8754-8.

Developmentally regulated Drosophila gene family encoding the fork head domain.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Abteilung Molekulare Entwicklungsbiologie, Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


We have isolated seven Drosophila genes by means of low-stringency hybridization to a DNA probe containing the coding sequence for the protein domain shared by the rodent hepatocyte-enriched nuclear transcription factor HNF3A (alpha) and the product of the Drosophila region-specific homeotic gene fork head (fkh). The previously unreported genes encode a 110-amino acid conserved sequence, which we call the fork head (fkh) domain. Two of these fkh-domain-encoding genes ("FD genes") map to the sloppy paired locus (slp), which exerts segmentation gene function. The expression patterns of the other FD genes suggest that their protein products are likely to be involved in gut formation, mesoderm specification, and some specific aspects of neural development. The FD gene products presumably represent a family of transcription factors that, like the previously identified DNA-binding proteins, contribute to early developmental decisions in cell fates during embryogenesis.

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