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Mol Genet Genomics. 2004 Sep;272(2):156-61. Epub 2004 Jul 16.

Molecular genetics of the Alhambra (Drosophila AF10) complex locus of Drosophila.

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Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS UPR 1142, 141 Rue de la Cardonille, 34396, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


The Alhambra (Alh) gene is the Drosophila homologue of the human AF10 gene. AF10 has been identified as a fusion partner of MLL, a human homologue of the fly gene trithorax, in infant leukemias. The endogenous function of human AF10 is not known, but may be vital to its role in acute leukemia. This prompted us to analyse Alh function. We describe here the genetic organisation of the Alh locus in D. melanogaster. We show that an independent lethal complementation group encoding a muscle protein (Mlp84B) is located within an Alh intron. We have already shown that the leucine zipper (LZ) domain of ALH activates several Polycomb group-responsive elements. We further demonstrate that the LZ domain on its own bears the Alh vital function, since it is necessary and sufficient for rescue of Alh mutant lethality. Finally, we demonstrate that, in contrast to a previous report, Alh does not affect position-effect variegation.

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