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

Molecular cloning of an alpha-esterase gene cluster on chromosome 3r of Drosophila melanogaster.

All or part of the alpha-esterase gene cluster in Drosophila melanogaster has been isolated by screening a YAC clone that spans cytological region 84D3-10 with consensus carboxyl/cholinesterase oligonucleotides. The cluster encompasses 11 putative esterase genes within 65 kb of genomic DNA and is one of the largest clusters of related protein-coding genes yet reported in Drosophila. The cluster must include the gene encoding the major alpha-esterase isozyme, EST9, which has previously been mapped to 84D3-5. It probably also includes the genes encoding the EST23, MCE and ALI esterases that have previously been mapped to 84D3-E2. The latter three are homologs of genes involved in organophosphate insecticide resistance in the sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina and the housefly, Musca domestica. Sequencing of one of the putative esterase genes in the Drosophila cluster, alpha E1, shows that it would encode features characteristic of an active carboxyl/cholinesterase, including the so-called catalytic triad, the nucleophilic elbow and oxyanion hole. It also shows that the closest relative of alpha E1 amongst previously published esterase sequences is ESTB1, which confers organophosphate resistance in Culex mosquitoes. We argue that we have cloned the D. melanogaster version of a major cluster of esterase genes which have variously mutated to confer organophosphate resistance in diverse Diptera.[1]


  1. Molecular cloning of an alpha-esterase gene cluster on chromosome 3r of Drosophila melanogaster. Russell, R.J., Robin, G.C., Kostakos, P., Newcomb, R.D., Boyce, T.M., Medveczky, K.M., Oakeshott, J.G. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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