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Bioessays. 1996 Feb;18(2):91-4.

How do single homeotic genes control multiple segment identities?

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Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


Each of the homeotic genes of the bithorax complex of Drosophila defines the identities of more than one body segment. The mechanisms by which this occurs have been elusive. In a recent report, Castelli-Gair and Akam analyze in detail the control of parasegment 5 and parasegment 6 identities by the bithorax complex gene Ubx. Their results indicate that differences in the spatial and temporal expression patterns of Ubx are critical in determining differences between these parasegments. However, dose effects observed by others indicate that parasegment-specific differences in the level of Ubx expression are also important. For the other BX-C genes, parasegment-specific expression of protein isoforms, or combinatorial control dependent on the expression patterns of other spatially restricted regulators, may also play a role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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