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Gene. 1997 Oct 1;198(1-2):17-25.

viking: identification and characterization of a second type IV collagen in Drosophila.

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Developmental Genetics Group, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


We have taken an enhancer trap approach to identify genes that are expressed in hematopoietic cells and tissues of Drosophila. We conducted a molecular analysis of two P-element insertion strains that have reporter gene expression in embryonic hemocytes, strain 197 and vikingICO. This analysis has determined that viking encodes a collagen type IV gene, alpha2(IV). The viking locus is located adjacent to the previously described DCg1, which encodes collagen alpha1(IV), and in the opposite orientation. The alpha2(IV) and alpha1(IV) collagens are structurally very similar to one another, and to vertebrate type IV collagens. In early development, viking and DCg1 are transcribed in the same tissue-specific pattern, primarily in the hemocytes and fat body cells. Our results suggest that both the alpha1 and alpha2 collagen IV chains may contribute to basement membranes in Drosophila. This work also provides the foundation for a more complete genetic dissection of collagen type IV molecules and their developmental function in Drosophila.

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