Domain of Ultrabithorax expression in Drosophila visceral mesoderm from autoregulation and exclusion

Abstract

Domains of differential homeotic gene activity are formed at specific positions along the anteroposterior axis of the early Drosophila embryo1. Homeotic genes are required continuously throughout development2, so that homeotic gene activity has to be maintained independently of the positional information provided in the early embryo. In the ectoderm, the domains of homeotic gene activity partially overlap1, but we have found that in the visceral mesoderm at least three of these genes are expressed in adjacent and mutually exclusive domains. It has been proposed that stable, sharply demarcated domains of this type could be established if a homeotic gene product stimulated its own expression locally and inhibited the expression of other homeotic genes, which Meinhardt has termed autocatalysis and mutual exclusion respectively3,4. Furthermore, autocatalysis of this kind can in principle account for the maintenance of homeotic gene activity throughout development. We find that the unique domain of Ultrabithorax (Ubx) expression in the visceral mesoderm is dependent both on autocatalysis and on an exclusion mechanism: Ubx product is required for its own synthesis, whereas the product of the posteriorly adjacent gene abdominal-A represses Ubx expression.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Akam, M. Development 101, 1–22 (1987).

  2. 2

    Morata, G. & Garcia-Bellido, A. Wilhelm Roux Arch. dev. Biol. 179, 125–143 (1976).

  3. 3

    Meinhardt, H. J. theor. Biol. 74, 307–321 (1978).

  4. 4

    Meinhardt, H. Models of Biological Pattern Formation (Academic, New York, 1982).

  5. 5

    Bienz, M. et al. Cell 53, (in the press).

  6. 6

    Akam, M. E. & Martinez-Arias, A. EMBO J. 4, 1689–1700 (1985).

  7. 7

    Casanova, J., Sanchez-Herrero, E. & Morata, G. Cell 42, 663–669 (1985).

  8. 8

    Struhl, G. & White, R. A. H. Cell 43, 507–519 (1985).

  9. 9

    Ingham, P. & Martinez-Arias, A. Nature 324, 592–597 (1986).

  10. 10

    White, R. A. H. & Lehmann, R. Cell 47, 311–321 (1986).

  11. 11

    Martinez-Arias, A. & White, R. A. H. Development 102, 325–338 (1988).

  12. 12

    Bender, W. et al. Science 221, 23–29 (1983).

  13. 13

    Weinzierl, R., Axton, J. M., Ghysen, A. & Akam, M. Genes Dev. 1, 386–397 (1987).

  14. 14

    Casanova, J., Sanchez-Herrero, E., Busturia, A. & Morata, G. EMBO J. 6, 3103–3109 (1987).

  15. 15

    Campos-Ortega, J. & Hartenstein, V. The Embryonic Development of Drosophila melanogaster (Springer, Berlin, 1985).

  16. 16

    White, R. A. H. & Wilcox, M. Cell 39, 163–171 (1984).

  17. 17

    Desplan, C., Theis, J. & O'Farrell, P. H. Nature 318, 630–635 (1985).

  18. 18

    Hiromi, Y. & Gehring, W. J. Cell 50, 963–974 (1987).

  19. 19

    Harding, K., Rushlow, C., Doyle, H. J., Hoey, T. & Levine, M. Science 223, 953–959 (1986).

  20. 20

    Hiromi, Y., Kuroiwa, A. & Gehring, W. J. Cell 43, 603–613 (1985).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bienz, M., Tremml, G. Domain of Ultrabithorax expression in Drosophila visceral mesoderm from autoregulation and exclusion. Nature 333, 576–578 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1038/333576a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.