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

Effects of Polycomb group mutations on the expression of Ultrabithorax in the Drosophila visceral mesoderm.

The Polycomb group (PcG) genes encode repressors of many developmental regulatory genes including homeotic genes and are known to act by modifying chromatin structure through complex formation. We describe how Ultrabithorax (Ubx) expression is affected by the PcG mutants in the visceral mesoderm. Mutant embryos of the genes extra sex combs (esc), Polycomb (Pc), additional sex combs (Asx) and pleiohomeotic (pho) were examined. In each mutation, Ubx was ectopically expressed outside of their normal domains along the anterior-posterior axis in the visceral mesoderm, which is consistent with the effect of PcG proteins repressing the homeotic genes in other tissues. All of these four PcG mutations exhibit complete or partial lack of midgut constriction. However, two thirds of esc mutant embryos did not show Ubx expression in parasegment 7 (PS7). Even in the embryos showing ectopic Ubx expression, the level of Ubx expression in the PcG mutations was weaker than that in normal embryos. We suggest that in PcG mutations the ectopic Ubx expression is caused by lack of PcG repressor proteins, while the weaker or lack of Ubx expression is due to the repression of Ubx by Abd-B protein which is ectopically expressed in PcG mutations as well.[1]


  1. Effects of Polycomb group mutations on the expression of Ultrabithorax in the Drosophila visceral mesoderm. Choi, S.H., Oh, C.T., Kim, S.H., Kim, Y.T., Jeon, S.H. Mol. Cells (2000) [Pubmed]
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