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Cell. 1988 May 20;53(4):567-76.

Differential regulation of Ultrabithorax in two germ layers of Drosophila.

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Zoological Institute, University of Zürich, Switzerland.


The homeotic gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx) is expressed in specific parts of Drosophila embryos: in a single metamer in the visceral mesoderm and forming a complex pattern limited to a broad domain in the ectoderm and in the somatic mesoderm. Here we use a linked beta-galactosidase gene to identify cis-acting regulatory sequences. In the visceral mesoderm, correct expression of Ubx depends on localized upstream sequences. In the ectoderm, all galactosidase-positive transformants show the same characteristic pattern. The repeated elements of this basal pattern appear to be a sub-pattern of engrailed (en) expression; they depend on en function as well as on sequences in the Ubx RNA leader. We use a mutant (Haltere-mimic) to show that sequences that normally restrict segmental expression of Ubx in the ectoderm are located downstream from the RNA leader.

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