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Nature. 1996 Feb 22;379(6567):746-9.

RNA binding and translational suppression by bicoid.

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Abteilung Molekulare Entwicklungsbiologie, Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany.


The anterior determinant bicoid (bcd) of Drosophila is a homeodomain protein. It forms an anterior-to-posterior gradient in the embryo and activates, in a concentration-dependent manner, several zygotic segmentation genes during blastoderm formation. Its posterior counterpart, the homeodomain transcription factor caudal (cad), forms a concentration gradient in the opposite direction, emanating from evenly distributed messenger RNA in the egg. In embryos lacking bcd activity as a result of mutation, the cad gradient fails to form and cad becomes evenly distributed throughout the embryo. This suggests that bcd may act in the region-specific control of cad mRNA translation. Here we report that bcd binds through its homeodomain to cad mRNA in vitro, and exerts translational control through a bcd-binding region of cad mRNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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