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1404 Publications

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    05/01/90 | The homeo domain protein rough is expressed in a subset of cells in the developing Drosophila eye where it can specify photoreceptor cell subtype.
    Kimmel BE, Heberlein U, Rubin GM
    Genes & Development. 1990 May;4(5):712-27. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    The Drosophila homeo box gene rough is required in photoreceptor cells R2 and R5 for normal eye development. We show here that rough protein expression is limited to a subset of cells in the developing retina where it is transiently expressed for 30-60 hr. The rough protein is first expressed broadly in the morphogenetic furrow but is rapidly restricted to the R2, R3, R4, and R5 precursor cells. Ubiquitous expression of rough under the control of the hsp70 promoter in third-instar larvae suppresses the initial steps of ommatidial assembly. Structures derived from other imaginal discs are not affected. Ectopic expression of rough in the R7 precursor, through the use of the sevenless promoter, causes this cell to develop into an R1-6 photoreceptor subtype; however, this cell still requires sevenless function for its neural differentiation. Taken together with previous analyses of the rough mutant phenotype, these results suggest that the normal role of rough is to establish the unique cell identity of photoreceptors R2 and R5.

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    03/01/90 | Analysis of cis-acting requirements of the Rh3 and Rh4 genes reveals a bipartite organization to rhodopsin promoters in Drosophila melanogaster.
    Fortini ME, Rubin GM
    Genes & Development. 1990 Mar;4(3):444-63. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    The rhodopsin genes of Drosophila melanogaster are expressed in nonoverlapping subsets of photoreceptor cells within the insect visual system. Two of these genes, Rh3 and Rh4, are known to display complementary expression patterns in the UV-sensitive R7 photoreceptor cell population of the compound eye. In addition, we find that Rh3 is expressed in a small group of paired R7 and R8 photoreceptor cells at the dorsal eye margin that are apparently specialized for the detection of polarized light. In this paper we present a detailed characterization of the cis-acting requirements of both Rh3 and Rh4. Promoter deletion series demonstrate that small regulatory regions (less than 300 bp) of both R7 opsin genes contain DNA sequences sufficient to generate their respective expression patterns. Individual cis-acting elements were further identified by oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis guided by interspecific sequence comparisons. Our results suggest that the Drosophila rhodopsin genes share a simple bipartite promoter structure, whereby the proximal region constitutes a functionally equivalent promoter "core" and the distal region determines cell-type specificity. The expression patterns of several hybrid rhodopsin promoters, in which all or part of the putative core regions have been replaced with the analogous regions of different rhodopsin promoters, provide additional evidence in support of this model.

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    02/01/90 | Postmetamorphic cell death in the nervous and muscular systems of Drosophila melanogaster.
    Kimura KI, Truman JW
    The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 1990 Feb;10(2):403-1

    Programmed cell death occurs in the nervous and muscular system of newly emerged adult Drosophila melanogaster. Many of the abdominal muscles that were used for eclosion and wing-spreading behavior degenerate by 12 hr after eclosion. Related neurons in the ventral ganglion also die within the first 24 hr. Ligation experiments showed that the muscle breakdown is triggered by a signal from the anterior region, presumably the head, that occurs about 1 hr before adult emergence. The timing of this signal suggests that eclosion hormone may be involved. Although muscle death is triggered prior to ecdysis, it can be delayed, at least temporarily, by forcing the emerging flies to show a prolonged ecdysis behavior. In contrast to the muscles, the death of the neurons is triggered after emergence. The signal for neuronal degeneration is closely correlated with the initiation of wing inflation behavior. Ligation and digging experiments and behavioral manipulations that either blocked or delayed wing expansion behavior had a parallel effect in suppressing or delaying neuronal death.

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    01/01/90 | Topographic EEG analysis in patients with benign focal epilepsy of childhood (BFEC).
    van Huffelen AC, van der Meij W
    Acta Neurologica Belgica. 1990;90(4):183-9
    12/01/89 | Flexible recognition of rapidly evolving promoter sequences by mitochondrial transcription factor 1.
    Fisher RP, Parisi MA, Clayton DA
    Genes & Development. 1989 Dec;3(12B):2202-17. doi: 10.1101/gad.1352105

    Transcriptional promoters of mitochondrial DNA have diverged extensively in the course of mammalian evolution. Nevertheless, the transcriptional machinery and the overall mechanisms of transcriptional control and regulation seem to be conserved. We have compared the human and murine homologs of the major DNA-binding transcriptional activator, mitochondrial transcription factor 1 (mtTF1), with unexpected results. Both proteins have similar chromatographic and transcriptional properties and are the same size. Both recognize and bind sequences between -12 and -39 within their respective homologous promoters. However, the sequences that they recognize are markedly divergent; although the base pairs they contact are situated similarly or identically with respect to the transcriptional start site, sequence identity between the two species’ contact points is less than 50%. Interestingly, the two proteins are functionally interchangeable; each can bind to the heterologous light-strand promoter and can activate transcription by the heterologous mitochondrial RNA polymerase. Thus, the RNA polymerase or some as yet undetected transcription factor, rather than mTF1, may determine the strict species specificity of mitochondrial transcription. Flexible DNA sequence recognition by mtTF1, on the other hand, may be a principal facilitating mechanism for rapid control sequence evolution.

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    08/17/89 | The glass gene encodes a zinc-finger protein required by Drosophila photoreceptor cells.
    Moses K, Ellis MC, Rubin GM
    Nature. 1989 Aug 17;340(6234):531-6. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    Null mutations of glass specifically remove photoreceptor cells, leaving other cell types intact. We have isolated the glass gene and have shown that its transcript encodes a putative protein of 604 amino acids with five zinc-fingers. The glass product may be a transcription factor required for the development of a single neuronal cell type.

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    04/01/89 | Molecular characterization of the Drosophila trp locus: a putative integral membrane protein required for phototransduction.
    Montell C, Rubin GM
    Neuron. 1989 Apr;2(4):1313-23. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    Recent studies suggest that the fly uses the inositol lipid signaling system for visual excitation and that the Drosophila transient receptor potential (trp) mutation disrupts this process subsequent to the production of IP3. In this paper, we show that trp encodes a novel 1275 amino acid protein with eight putative transmembrane segments. Immunolocalization indicates that the trp protein is expressed predominantly in the rhabdomeric membranes of the photoreceptor cells.

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    Baker Lab

    The doublesex (dsx) gene regulates somatic sexual differentiation in both sexes in D. melanogaster. Two functional products are encoded by dsx: one product is expressed in females and represses male differentiation, and the other is expressed in males and represses female differentiation. We have determined that the dsx gene is transcribed to produce a common primary transcript that is alternatively spliced and polyadenylated to yield male- and female-specific mRNAs. These sex-specific mRNAs share a common 5' end and three common exons, but possess alternative sex-specific 3' exons, thus encoding polypeptides with a common amino-terminal sequence but sex-specific carboxyl termini. Genetic and molecular data suggest that sequences including and adjacent to the female-specific splice acceptor site play an important role in the regulation of dsx expression by the transformer and transformer-2 loci.

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    Baker Lab

    The D. melanogaster transformer-2 (tra-2) gene regulates somatic sexual differentiation in females and is necessary for spermatogenesis in males. Wild-type tra-2 function is required for the female-specific splicing of the pre-mRNA of the next known gene (doublesex) downstream of tra-2 in the sex determination regulatory hierarchy. The tra-2 gene was cloned, and P element-mediated transformation was used to demonstrate that a 3.9 kb genomic fragment contains all sequences necessary for tra-2 function. A 1.7 kb transcript was shown to be the product of the tra-2 locus based on its reduced level in flies containing a tra-2 mutant allele. The sequence of a cDNA corresponding to this transcript indicates that it encodes a polypeptide with strong similarity to a family of RNA binding proteins that includes proteins found associated with hnRNPs and snRNPs, suggesting that the tra-2 product may directly regulate the processing of the double-sex pre-mRNA in females.

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    Using complementary oligonucleotide probes, we have isolated the nuclear gene for the RNA moiety of RNAase MRP; it is present as a single copy and encodes an uncapped primary transcript of 275 nucleotides. Direct sequence analysis revealed that the 136 nucleotide RNA that copurifies with RNAase MRP represents the 3’ half of the 275 nucleotide primary transcript. The 5’-flanking region of the gene has putative transcriptional control elements homologous to the promoters of RNA polymerase II-transcribed U-series snRNA genes; however, the coding region possesses a box A sequence and terminates at four T residues, both features characteristic of polymerase III-transcribed genes. A decamer sequence, 5’-CGA-CCCCUCC-3’, complementary to a conserved sequence adjacent to the enzymatic cleavage site on the mitochondrial RNA substrate, is present in the RNAase MRP RNA. Isolation of a nuclear gene for the RNA component of a mitochondrial enzyme implies that nucleic acids can be transported across mitochondrial membranes.

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