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EMBO J. 1993 Mar;12(3):1087-97.

The bluetail transposon: evidence for independent cis-regulatory domains and domain boundaries in the bithorax complex.

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Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


An extremely large cis-regulatory region generates the parasegment-specific expression patterns of the homeotic genes in the bithorax complex. We present evidence supporting the idea that this cis-regulatory region is subdivided into independent cis-regulatory domains. We describe a Ubx-lacZ transposon which is inserted into one of these domains, iab-7. The PS12-specific pattern of LacZ expression from this reporter indicates that it is subject to the control of the iab-7 cis-regulatory domain, but is protected from the effects of adjacent regulatory domains. Protection on the proximal side appears to be provided by the Fab-7 boundary element. Deletion of this boundary results in the ectopic activation of iab-7 in PS11 (where the iab-6 cis-regulatory domain normally functions). We show that the Fab-7 boundary, like other boundaries, has an unusual chromatin structure.

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