Repression of the Drosophila fushi tarazu (ftz) segmentation gene

J. Lesley Brown, Sandra Sonoda, Hitoshi Ueda, Matthew P. Scott, Carl Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


The striped expression of the Drosophila segmentation gene fushi tarazu in alternate parasegments of the early embryo is controlled by the 740 bp zebra element. Among multiple protein factors that bind to the zebra element, FTZ-F2 behaves as a transcriptional represser of ftz. Point mutations in the zebra element which disrupt FTZ-F2 binding to DNA cause ectopic expression of zebra-lacZ activity in transformed embryos. The mutant constructs are expressed from the zygotic genome in preblastoderm embryos as early as the third nuclear division cycle. This unprecedented early transcription suggests that ftz requires active repression during initial nuclear division cycles, a novel type of embryonic gene regulation. A putative FTZ-F2 cDNA clone isolated by recognition site screening of an expression library was found to be identical in sequence with the zinc finger protein tramtrack (Harrison and Travers, 1990).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-674
Number of pages10
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Ftz
  • Preblastoderm embryo
  • Repressor
  • Segmentation
  • Zebra element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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