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Insect Mol Biol. 2004 Jun;13(3):323-7.

The moleskin gene product is essential for Caudal-mediated constitutive antifungal Drosomycin gene expression in Drosophila epithelia.

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Division of Molecular Life Science and Center for Cell Signalling Research, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.


The homeobox gene, Caudal, encodes the DNA-binding nuclear transcription factor that plays a crucial role during development and innate immune response. The Drosophila homologue of importin-7 (DIM-7), encoded by moleskin, was identified as a Caudal-interacting molecule during yeast two-hybrid screening. Both mutation of the minimal region of Caudal responsible for moleskin binding and RNA interference (RNAi) of moleskin dramatically inhibited the Caudal nuclear localization. Furthermore, Caudal-mediated constitutive expression of antifungal Drosomycin gene was severely affected in the moleskin-RNAi flies, showing a local Drosomycin expression pattern indistinguishable from that of the Caudal-RNAi flies. These in vivo data suggest that DIM-7 mediates Caudal nuclear localization, which is important for the proper Caudal function necessary for regulating innate immune genes in Drosophila.

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