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Nature. 1984 Jul 5-11;310(5972):70-1.

Fly and frog homoeo domains show homologies with yeast mating type regulatory proteins.


Homoeotic genes in the bithorax and Antennapedia complexes of Drosophila melanogaster appear to specify the developmental fate of segments of the fly. Some of these genes (Ultrabithorax, Antennapedia and fushi tarazu) share homology due to their conservation of a 'homoeo domain'1,2 consisting of 60 amino acids. Cross-hybridization and cloning experiments show that the homoeo domain is conserved in a frog (Xenopus laevis) gene expressed in early development and may also be present in earthworm, beetle, chicken, mouse and human genomes. The extreme conservation found in the amino acid sequences between the Drosophila and Xenopus domains suggests that the domain has a vital function in the control of early development. Here we report the results of a search made in the Dayhoff sequence bank, which reveals a lesser but apparently significant homology between the homoeo domain and the amino acids coded from parts of the a 1 and alpha 2 mating type genes of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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