abdA expression in Drosophila embryos.

  • publication
  • 01-09-1990

Karch F, Bender W, Weiffenbach B. Genes Dev. 1990 Sep;4(9):1573-87.

The abdominal A (abdA) gene is one of three transcription units in the Bithorax Complex of Drosophila encoding a homeo box protein; it is flanked by Ultrabithorax (Ubx) and Abdominal B (AbdB). The abdA gene is required for segmental identity of the second through eighth abdominal segments. The transcription unit of abdA is approximately 20 kb long and encodes a protein of 330 amino acids. The abdA homeo box is almost identical to the homeo box of Ubx but is quite different from the AbdB homeo box. A polyclonal antibody to abdA protein stains embryonic nuclei in segments A1-A7 (parasegments 7-13). The iab-2, 3, and 4 mutant classes define positive cis-regulatory elements that induce expression of abdA in segments A2-A4 (parasegments 7-9), respectively. Once a pattern of abdA expression is turned on in a given parasegment, it remains on in the more posterior parasegments, so that the complex pattern of expression is built up in the successive parasegments. The abdA product appears to repress expression of Ubx whenever they appear in the same cell, but abdA is repressed by AbdB only in the eighth and ninth abdominal segments.

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