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Cell. 1997 Dec 12;91(6):777-88.

Drosophila ecdysone receptor mutations reveal functional differences among receptor isoforms.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305, USA.


The steroid hormone ecdysone directs Drosophila metamorphosis via three heterodimeric receptors that differ according to which of three ecdysone receptor isoforms encoded by the EcR gene (EcR-A, EcR-B1, or EcR-B2) is activated by the orphan nuclear receptor USP. We have identified and molecularly mapped two classes of EcR mutations: those specific to EcR-B1 that uncouple metamorphosis, and embryonic-lethal mutations that map to common sequences encoding the DNA- and ligand-binding domains. In the larval salivary gland, loss of EcR-B1 results in loss of activation of ecdysone-induced genes. Comparable transgenic expression of EcR-B1, EcR-B2, and EcR-A in these mutant glands results, respectively, in full, partial, and no repair of that loss.

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