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

The Drosophila Polycomb group gene Sex comb on midleg (Scm) encodes a zinc finger protein with similarity to polyhomeotic protein.

The Sex comb on midleg (Scm) gene is a member of the Polycomb group (PcG) of genes in Drosophila melanogaster. The PcG genes encode transcriptional repressors required for proper spatial expression of homeotic genes. We report the isolation of new Scm mutations and the molecular characterization of the Scm gene. Scm mRNA is expressed maternally, at peak levels in early embryos and then at lower levels throughout the remainder of development. Scm encodes a putative zinc finger protein of 877 amino acids. Scm protein is similar to polyhomeotic, another member of the PcG, both in the zinc finger region and in a separate C-terminal domain of 60 amino acids, which we term the SPM domain. Sequence analysis of an Scm mutant allele suggests a functional requirement for the SPM domain. Scm protein also bears homology in multiple domains to a mouse protein, Rae-28 (Nomura, M., Takihara, Y. and Shimada, K. (1994) Differentiation 57,39-50) and to a fly tumor suppressor protein, the product of the lethal(3)malignant brain tumor gene (Wismar, J. et al., (1995) Mech. Dev. 53, 141-154). Possible functional relationships among these proteins and potential biochemical roles for Scm protein in PcG repression are discussed.[1]


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