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EMBO J. 1988 Aug;7(8):2569-78.

Molecular structure and spatial expression of a homeobox gene from the labial region of the Antennapedia-complex.

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Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland.


We report the molecular characterization of a homeobox-containing gene that maps at 84A in the proximal region of the Antennapedia-complex. The structure and complete sequence are presented. Deletion analysis indicates that the cloned gene, F24, most likely corresponds to the labial (lab) gene. Northern blot experiments show a single approximately 3-kb transcript that is expressed at all embryonic stages from cellular blastoderm onwards and during larval development. The homeobox is split by an intron in the region which encodes the putative DNA-binding helix, a splicing position for homeobox-containing genes which is unique so far. The 5' part of the gene contains four M-repeat sequences (CAA/G repeats) in the protein-coding region. In situ hybridization to the transcripts during embryogenesis reveals two domains of expression. The anterior one is located in parts of the developing head, mainly in the hypopharyngeal organ and in anterior parts of the mandibular lobe, and is restricted to the ectoderm. The posterior domain is part of the posterior midgut primordium (endoderm), that invaginates and later contacts the endoderm cells from the anterior midgut invagination.

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