Sep 22, 2001

Genetic evidence for the transcriptional-activating function of Homothorax during adult fly development

A InbalA Salzberg


Homothorax (HTH) is a homeobox-containing protein, which plays multiple roles in the development of the embryo and the adult fly. HTH binds to the homeotic cofactor Extradenticle (EXD) and translocates it to the nucleus. Its function within the nucleus is less clear. It was shown, mainly by in vitro studies, that HTH can bind DNA as a part of ternary HTH/EXD/HOX complexes, but little is known about the transcription regulating function of HTH-containing complexes in the context of the developing fly. Here we present genetic evidence, from in vivo studies, for the transcriptional-activating function of HTH. The HTH protein was forced to act as a transcriptional repressor by fusing it to the Engrailed (EN) repression domain, or as a transcriptional activator, by fusing it to the VP16 activation domain, without perturbing its ability to translocate EXD to the nucleus. Expression of the repressing form of HTH in otherwise wild-type imaginal discs phenocopied hth loss of function. Thus, the repressing form was working as an antimorph, suggesting that normally HTH is required to activate the transcription of downstream target genes. This conclusion was further supported by the observation that the activating form of HTH caused typica...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

In Vivo
Biochemical Pathway
Conserved Sequence
Transcriptional Regulation
Chimeric Proteins, Recombinant
Drosophila melanogaster Proteins
Complex (molecular entity)
Transcription, Genetic

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