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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Repression of the wing vein development in Drosophila by the nuclear matrix protein plexus.

The wing of Drosophila is separated into several sectors by the wing veins. Vein primordia are specified by the positional information provided by hedgehog and decapentaplegic in the wing imaginal disc and express the key regulatory gene rhomboid. One model of this process is that boundaries of gene expression regulated by hedgehog or decapentaplegic provide reference points where rhomboid transcription is activated. We present an analysis of the gene plexus, whose loss of function causes an excess vein phenotype. Molecular cloning revealed that plexus encodes a novel 1990-amino acid protein with cysteine-rich motifs. Plexus protein was ubiquitously expressed and was tightly associated with the nuclear matrix. In plexus mutant wing imaginal discs, an anteroposterior positional coordinate was established normally as revealed by the wild-type pattern of spalt major and knirps expression. However, the expression of several vein-specific and intervein-specific genes was misregulated, as if they had neglected the positional coordinate. These results suggest that Plexus is an essential component of a global repressor of vein differentiation. Although Plexus protein was expressed in vein primordia of the wing disc, it does not appear to interfere with vein differentiation in the normal position. A genetic epistasis test between px and knirps suggests that plexus acts downstream of knirps. We propose that the vein differentiation takes place by inactivation of the plexus- mediated repression by prepattern genes such as knirps. Plexus may regulate transcription of vein-and intervein-specific genes by tethering transcriptional regulators to specific locations in the nucleus.[1]


  1. Repression of the wing vein development in Drosophila by the nuclear matrix protein plexus. Matakatsu, H., Tadokoro, R., Gamo, S., Hayashi, S. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
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