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J Mol Biol. 1983 Feb 5;163(4):533-51.

Two Drosophila actin genes in detail. Gene structure, protein structure and transcription during development.


DNA fragments representing the six Drosophila actin genes have been isolated by recombinant DNA techniques. We have compared the transcriptional characteristics of the actin genes at the cytological loci 79B and 88F. The activity of each gene in vivo was examined using gene-specific probes from transcribed, but non-translated 3' regions of each gene. The genes show similar patterns of transcriptional activity during development until the pupal stage, with two periods showing RNA accumulation at two to three hours and 12 to 15 hours during embryonic development, followed by large increases in the proportion of message from each gene in first and second instar larvae. During pupal development, the 88F gene apparently produces a larger proportion of transcripts than at any other developmental stage, while the transcripts of the 79B gene are reduced to a level lower than in first and second instar larvae. The 5' end of each messenger RNA in larvae has been mapped by nuclease S1 digestion of hybrids between restriction fragments of genes and homologous mRNAs. The two genes display widely differing capacities to serve as templates for transcription in vitro in HeLa cell extracts. The complete DNA sequences of both genes including the flanking regions immediately 3' and 5' to the gene are presented. These data permit comparison of the DNA sequences of these Drosophila actin genes with each other and with the DNA sequence and protein sequence information available for the actins of Drosophila and other organisms. These two genes share the common structural feature of an intervening sequence at amino acid 307, though the sequences within each intron differ greatly. This may be a reflection of a duplication event, followed by divergence of the intervening sequences. We discuss possible correlations between the DNA sequences of each 5' flanking region and the differences in transcriptional characteristics of these two distinct but closely related genes.

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