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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Aug 5;94(16):8606-11.

Epidermal muscle attachment site-specific target gene expression and interference with myotube guidance in response to ectopic stripe expression in the developing Drosophila epidermis.

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Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Abteilung Molekulare Entwicklungsbiologie, Am Fassberg, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.


The egr-type zinc-finger transcription factor encoded by the Drosophila gene stripe (sr) is expressed in a subset of epidermal cells to which muscles attach during late stages of embryogenesis. We report loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments indicating that sr activity provides ectodermal cells with properties required for the establishment of a normal muscle pattern during embryogenesis and for the differentiation of tendon-like epidermal muscle attachment sites (EMA). Our results show that sr encodes a transcriptional activator which acts as an autoregulated developmental switch gene. sr activity controls the expression of EMA-specific target genes in cells of ectodermal but not of mesodermal origin. sr-expressing ectodermal cells generate long-range signals that interfere with the spatial orientation of the elongating myotubes.

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