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Identification of novel genes in Drosophila reveals the complex regulation of early gene activity in the mesoderm

Casal, J., Leptin, M.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1996 v.93 no.19 pp. 10327-10332
Drosophila melanogaster, complementary DNA, structural genes, transcription factors, DNA-binding proteins, animal tissues, gene expression, cell differentiation, nucleotide sequences, amino acid sequences, embryogenesis, embryo (animal), regulator genes
Two zygotic genes, twist and snail, are indispensable for the correct establishment of the mesoderm primordium in the early Drosophila embryo. They are also needed for morphogenesis and differentiation of the mesoderm. Both genes code for transcription factors with different, albeit complementary, functions. Therefore, to understand the early development of the mesoderm, it will be necessary to identify and study the genes regulated by twist and snail. We have searched for downstream genes using a subtractive cDNA library enriched in sequences expressed in the mesoderm. We have isolated sequences that correspond to 13 novel early mesoderm genes. These novel genes show a variety of expression patterns and also differ in their dependence on twist and snail functions. This indicates that the regulation of early gene activity in the mesoderm is more complex than previously thought.