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Int J Dev Biol. 2003 Sep;47(6):389-95.

The Drosophila pleiohomeotic mutation enhances the Polycomblike and Polycomb mutant phenotypes during embryogenesis and in the adult.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.


In Drosophila, the spatially restricted expression of the homeotic genes is controlled by Polycomb group (PcG) repression. PcG proteins appear to form different complexes to repress this gene expression. Although the pleiohomeotic gene (pho) shares mutational phenotypes with other PcG mutations, which demonstrates that PHO binds directly with a Polycomb (Pc)-containing complex, the genetic interactions of pho with other PcG genes have not been examined in detail. Here we investigated whether pho interacts with Polycomblike (Pcl) and Polycomb (Pc) during embryonic and adult development using developmental and genetic approaches. Pcl and Pc strongly enhanced pho phenotypes in the legs and tergite of the adult fly. Embryonic cuticle transformation was also greatly enhanced in Pcl; pho or Pc; pho double mutant embryos. The double mutant phenotypes were more severely affected by the pho maternal effect mutation than in zygotic mutant background, suggesting dosage-dependent processes. Taken together, these results provide genetic evidence of an interaction between PHO with other Polycomb group proteins at the embryonic and adult stages, and of the functioning of PHO as a component of the PcG complex.

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