Direct homeodomain-DNA interaction in the autoregulation of the fushi tarazu gene

Schier, A. F. and Gehring, W. J.. (1992) Direct homeodomain-DNA interaction in the autoregulation of the fushi tarazu gene. Nature, Vol. 356. pp. 804-807.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5257325

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A major problem in the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms governing development is the distinction between direct and indirect regulatory interactions among developmental control genes. In vivo studies have indicated that the Drosophila segmentation gene fushi tarazu (ftz) directly or indirectly autoregulates its expression. Here we describe a generally applicable experimental approach which establishes a direct in vivo interaction of the homeodomain protein ftz with the ftz cis-autoregulatory control region. In vitro studies have shown that the DNA-binding specificity of the ftz homeodomain can be changed by a single amino-acid substitution in the recognition helix (Gln 50----Lys). Whereas wild-type ftz homeodomain binds preferentially to a CCATTA motif, the mutant homeodomain (ftzQ50K) recognizes a GGATTA motif. We now find that the in vivo activity of an ftz autoregulatory enhancer element is reduced by mutations of putative ftz-binding sites to GGATTA. This down-regulatory effect is specifically suppressed in vivo by the DNA-binding specificity mutant ftzQ50K. These results establish a direct positive autoregulatory feedback mechanism in the regulation of this homeobox gene.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Cell Biology (Gehring)
UniBasel Contributors:Gehring, Walter Jakob
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:19
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:17

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