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Isolation and characterization of the Beadex locus of Drosophila melanogaster: a putative cis-acting negative regulatory element for the heldup-a gene

Mattox, William W. and Davidson, Norman (1984) Isolation and characterization of the Beadex locus of Drosophila melanogaster: a putative cis-acting negative regulatory element for the heldup-a gene. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 4 (7). pp. 1343-1353. ISSN 0270-7306.

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We isolated recombinant lambda phage clones spanning 49 kilobases of DNA which contain the Beadex and heldup-a loci of Drosophila melanogaster. These cloned DNAs were used to analyze the structure of eight dominant mutant alleles of the Beadex locus which show increased gene activity. A region, only 700 base pairs in length, is altered in each of these mutants. Six of the mutations have DNA insertions within this segment. Most of these insertions resemble retrovirus-like transposable elements. In one case (Beadex2) the inserted sequences are homologous to the gypsy transposon family. The other two Beadex alleles were induced by hybrid dysgenesis and suffered deletions which included at least part of the 700-base-pair segment. These deletions appear to have resulted from imprecise excision or deletion of a nearby P element found in the wild-type parental strain. Analysis of one heldup-a allele (heldup-aD30r) indicates that a similar P element-mediated event is responsible for this lesion. In this mutant, deletion of sequences no more than 1,600 base pairs from the Beadex locus accompanies the loss of heldup-a function. The deleted sequences in heldup-aD30r include the entire 700-base-pair segment within which at least part of the Beadex locus resides, yet these flies have no Beadex phenotype. This indicates that a functional heldup-a gene is necessary for expression of the Beadex phenotype. Together, these results suggest that the Beadex functional domain is contained within a short segment of DNA near the heldup-a gene and support the hypothesis that the Beadex locus functions as a cis-acting negative regulatory element for the heldup-a gene.

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Additional Information:Copyright © 1984 by the American Society for Microbiology. Received 6 February 1984/Accepted 19 April 1984 We thank I. S. Margitich for expert technical assistance with electron microscopy. We are indebted to W. Bender, K. O'Hare, and G. Rubin for generously providing cloned DNA. W. R. Engels has been exceptionally helpful; we thank him for communicating results before publication and for giving us mutant fly stocks. We thank B. J. Bond, M. D. Garfinkel, E. Meyerowitz, S. Sharp, and B. Wold for their helpful comments on this manuscript. We thank all of our colleagues at Caltech for their comments and insights. This work was supported by a National Research Service Award (GM-07616) and a Public Health Service grant (GM-10991) from the National Institutes of Health.
Issue or Number:7
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ID Code:2787
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Deposited On:27 Apr 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 22:56

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