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

Positioning adjacent pair-rule stripes in the posterior Drosophila embryo.

We present a genetic and molecular analysis of two hairy (h) pair-rule stripes in order to determine how gradients of gap proteins position adjacent stripes of gene expression in the posterior of Drosophila embryos. We have delimited regulatory sequences critical for the expression of h stripes 5 and 6 to 302 bp and 526 bp fragments, respectively, and assayed the expression of stripe-specific reporter constructs in several gap mutant backgrounds. We demonstrate that posterior stripe boundaries are established by gap protein repressors unique to each stripe: h stripe 5 is repressed by the giant (gt) protein on its posterior border and h stripe 6 is repressed by the hunchback (hb) protein on its posterior border. Interestingly, Krüppel (Kr) limits the anterior expression limits of both stripes and is the only gap gene to do so, indicating that stripes 5 and 6 may be coordinately positioned by the Kr repressor. In contrast to these very similar cases of spatial repression, stripes 5 and 6 appear to be activated by different mechanisms. Stripe 6 is critically dependent upon knirps (kni) for activation, while stripe 5 likely requires a combination of activating proteins (gap and non-gap). To begin a mechanistic understanding of stripe formation, we locate binding sites for the Kr protein in both stripe enhancers. The stripe 6 enhancer contains higher affinity Kr-binding sites than the stripe 5 enhancer, which may allow for the two stripes to be repressed at different Kr protein concentration thresholds. We also demonstrate that the kni activator binds to the stripe 6 enhancer and present evidence for a competitive mechanism of Kr repression of stripe 6.[1]


  1. Positioning adjacent pair-rule stripes in the posterior Drosophila embryo. Langeland, J.A., Attai, S.F., Vorwerk, K., Carroll, S.B. Development (1994) [Pubmed]
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