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EMBO J. 1988 Oct;7(10):3223-31.

Evidence that the Abdominal-B r element function is conferred by a trans-regulatory homeoprotein.

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Zoological Institute, University of Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


The Abdominal-B gene is a homeotic gene located in the distal-most region of the bithorax complex (BX-C). Based on complementation analysis it has been proposed that the gene contains two separable genetic elements, called the m and r elements. The r element has a chiefly regulatory function confined to parasegment 14. In a reverse Northern screen of the distal-most BX-C DNA, we found four distinct areas that are transcribed in the embryo. One of the transcripts spans a large genomic region which, upon disruption by rearrangement breakpoints, causes loss of r element function. This transcript is expressed in the early embryo in a single domain apparently corresponding to parasegment 14. We propose that the small homeoprotein encoded by the transcript acts as a trans-regulator to confer r element function.

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