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EMBO J. 1989 Apr;8(4):1205-12.

Autoregulatory and gap gene response elements of the even-skipped promoter of Drosophila.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Fairchild Center, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.


The pair-rule gene even-skipped (eve) plays a key role in the regulatory hierarchy governing segmentation in Drosophila. Here we describe the use of P-transformation and eve promoter fusions to identify cis elements that regulate the periodic seven-stripe eve pattern. A distal region of the eve promoter, located between -5.9 and -5.2 kb, controls autoregulation. Sequences from this region will induce striped expression of a heterologous hsp70 basal promoter in the presence, but not absence, of endogenous eve+ products. Autoregulatory activity was localized to a 200-bp region of the distal eve promoter. We also provide evidence that individual eve expression stripes are regulated by separate cis sequences. eve promoter sequences located between -4.7 and -3 kb upstream of the transcription start site are important for the initiation of stripe 3, whereas sequences between -1.7 and -0.4 kb are needed for stripes 2 and 7. It is possible that these latter regions are directly regulated by the products of gap genes.

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