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Cell. 1996 Feb 9;84(3):421-30.

Identification of a Stat gene that functions in Drosophila development.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


A Drosophila Stat gene (D-Stat) with a zygotic segmental expression pattern was identified. This protein becomes phosphorylated on Tyr-704 when coexpressed in Schneider cells with a Drosophila janus kinase (JAK), Hopscotch (HOP). The phosphorylated protein binds specifically to the consensus sequence TTCCCGGAA. Suppressor mutations of hopTum-I, a dominant hyperactive allele of hop whose phenotype is hematocyte overproduction and tumor formation, were selected. One of these mutants, statHJ, mapped to the same chromosomal region (92E) as does D-Stat, had an incompletely penetrant pair rule phenotype, and exhibited aberrant expression of the pair rule gene even skipped (eve) at the cellular blastoderm stage. Two D-STAT-binding sites were identified within the eve stripe 3 enhancer region. Mutations in either of the STAT-binding sites greatly decreased the stripe 3 expression in transgenic flies. Clearly, the JAK-STAT pathway is connected to Drosophila early development.

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