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Intron of the mouse Hoxa-7 gene contains conserved homeodomain binding sites that can function as an enhancer element in Drosophila

Haerry, T.E., Gehring, W.J.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1996 v.93 no.24 pp. 13884-13889
Drosophila melanogaster, mice, introns, gene transfer, genetic transformation, transgenic animals, homeotic genes, DNA-binding proteins, gene expression, reporter genes, beta-galactosidase, recombinant DNA, binding sites
The 5' flanking sequences and the intron of the mouse Hoxa-7 gene were searched for regulatory elements that can function in Drosophila. Only the intron is able to activate a lacZ fusion gene in various tissues of Drosophila embryos. This enhancer function requires a cluster of three homeodomain binding sites (HB1-element) that are also found in the introns of other Hox genes as well as in a putative autoregulatory element of Ultrabithorax (Ubx), the Drosophila homolog of Hoxa-7. If a single binding site in the autoregulatory element of fushi tarazu (ftz) is replaced by the HB1-element Hoxa-7, the expression pattern is altered and newly controlled by the homeotic gene caudal (cad). These data suggest that HB1 is a potential target for different homeodomain proteins of both vertebrates and invertebrates.