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Dev Biol. 1996 Aug 25;178(1):149-59.

Functional analysis of Drosophila and mammalian cut proteins in files.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


The cut locus acts as a bimodal switch controlling cell fate in the peripheral nervous system of Drosophila and is also required for the development of the wing margin. It encodes a protein, Cut, that contains an atypical homeodomain and three copies of a new motif which can bind DNA in vitro. The human protein CDP and the murine protein Cux have recently been isolated as DNA-binding activities and they are structurally related to Cut. We show that ectopic expression of Cut, CDP, or Cux similarly affects embryonic sensory organ development and can rescue a wing scalloping mutant phenotype associated with loss of cut expression along the prospective wing margins. This suggests that the function of Cut is evolutionarily conserved.

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