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

Interactions of the Drosophila gap gene giant with maternal and zygotic pattern-forming genes.

The Drosophila gene giant (gt) is a segmentation gene that affects anterior head structures and abdominal segments A5-A7. Immunolocalization of the gt product shows that it is a nuclear protein whose expression is initially activated in an anterior and a posterior domain. Activation of the anterior domain is dependent on the maternal bicoid gradient while activation of the posterior domain requires maternal nanos gene product. Initial expression is not abolished by mutations in any of the zygotic gap genes. By cellular blastoderm, the initial pattern of expression has evolved into one posterior and three anterior stripes of expression. The evolution, position and width of these stripes are dependent on interactions between gt and the other gap genes. In turn, gt activity in these domains affects the expression of the other gap genes. These interactions, typical of the cross-regulation previously observed among gap genes, confirm that gt is a member of the gap gene class whose function is necessary to establish the overall pattern of gap gene expression. After cellular blastoderm, gt protein continues to be expressed in the head region in parts of the maxillary and mandibular segments as well as in the labrum. Expression is never detected in the labial or thoracic segment primordia but persists in certain head structures, including the ring gland, until the end of embryonic development.[1]


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