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Development. 2005 Apr;132(7):1591-600.

Recognition of distinct target sites by a unique Labial/Extradenticle/Homothorax complex.

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  • 1Biozentrum der Universit├Ąt Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

Hox genes encode evolutionarily conserved transcriptional regulators, which define regional identities along the anteroposterior axis of multicellular animals. In Drosophila, Hox proteins bind to target DNA sequences in association with the Extradenticle (Exd) and Homothorax (Hth) co-factors. The current model of Hox-binding selectivity proposes that the nucleotide sequence identity defines the Hox protein engaged in the trimeric complex, implying that distinct Hox/Exd/Hth complexes select different binding sites and that a given Hox/Exd/Hth complex recognizes a consensus DNA sequence. Here, we report that the regulation of a newly identified Lab target gene does not rely on the previously established consensus Lab/Exd/Hth-binding site, but on a strongly divergent sequence. Thus Lab, and most probably other Hox proteins, selects different DNA sequences in regulating downstream target genes. These observations have implications with regard to the current model of Hox-binding selectivity.

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