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Dev Biol. 2007 Jul 1;307(1):142-51. Epub 2007 Apr 27.

Direct interaction between Teashirt and Sex combs reduced proteins, via Tsh's acidic domain, is essential for specifying the identity of the prothorax in Drosophila.

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The Burnham Institute, Neuroscience and Aging Research Center, 10901 North Torrey Pines Rd, Building 7 room 7125, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


teashirt (tsh) encodes a zinc-finger protein that is thought to be part of a network that contributes to regionalization of the Drosophila embryo and establishes the domains of Hox protein function. tsh and the Hox gene Sex combs reduced (Scr) are essential to establish the identity of the first thoracic segment. We used the development of the first thoracic segment as a paradigm for Scr dependent regional morphological distinctions. In this specific context, we asked whether Tsh protein could have a direct influence on Scr activity. Here we present evidence that Tsh interacts directly with Scr and this interaction depends in part on the presence of a short domain located in the N-terminal half of Teashirt called "acidic domain". In vivo, expression of full length Tsh can rescue the tsh null phenotype throughout the trunk whereas Tsh lacking the Scr interacting domain rescues all the trunk defects except in the prothorax. We suggest this provides insights into the mechanism by which Tsh, in concert with Scr, specifies the prothoracic identity.

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