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Biochem Genet. 1998 Feb;36(1-2):51-64.

A family of Drosophila genes encoding quaking-related maxi-KH domains.

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Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.


We recently identified a Drosophila gene, wings held out (who), that specifies a STAR (signal transduction and RNA activation) protein expressed within mesoderm and muscles. Genetic evidence suggests that WHO regulates muscle development and function in response to steroid hormone titer. who is related to the mouse quacking gene, essential for embryogenesis and neural myelination, and gld-1, a nematode tumor suppressor gene necessary for oocyte differentiation, both of which contain RNA binding "maxi-KH" domains presumed to link RNA metabolism to cell signaling. To initiate a broader study of Drosophila WHO-related proteins we used degenerate primers encoding peptides unique to maxi-KH domains to amplify the corresponding genes. We recovered nine genes, all specifying single maxi-KH domain proteins having tripartite regions of similarity that extend over 200 amino acids. One is located within the 54D chromosome subdivision, and one within 58C, while the remaining seven are within the 58E subdivision. At least four of these STAR proteins are expressed in a general manner, suggesting that maxi-KH domains are employed widely in Drosophila.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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