The homeotic gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx), located in the bithorax complex of Drosophila, encodes a family of closely related proteins that direct the developmental fates of posterior thoracic and anterior abdominal metameres. We have purified a member of the Ubx protein family from an overproducing E. coli strain and have shown that it is a sequence-specific DNA binding protein. The protein binds tightly to sequences near its own promoter and near the P1 promoter of Antennapedia (Antp), a homeotic gene Ubx is known to repress from genetic studies. The binding sites occur in clusters downstream of the transcription start sites, and far upstream at Antp P1. They range in size from 40 to 90 bp, and contain tandem repeats of the trinucleotide TAA or the related hexanucleotide TAA-TCG. These results suggest that the regulatory activities of Ubx are direct and are mediated by binding of Ubx proteins to promoter region sequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology