Control of cleavage cycles in Drosophila embryos by frühstart

Jörg Großhans, H. Arno J. Müller, Eric Wieschaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Early metazoan development consists of cleavage stages characterized by rapid cell cycles that successively divide the fertilized egg. The cell cycle oscillator pauses when the ratio of DNA and cytoplasm (N/C) reaches a threshold characteristic for the species. This pause requires maternal factors as well as zygotic expression of as yet unknown genes. Here we isolate the zygotic gene frühstart of Drosophila and show that it is involved in pausing the cleavage cell cycle. frs is expressed immediately after the last cleavage division. It plays a role in generating a uniform pause and it can inhibit cleavage divisions when precociously expressed. Furthermore, the expression of frs is delayed in haploid embryos and requires activity of the maternal checkpoint gene grapes. We propose that zygotic frs expression is involved in linking the N/C and the pause of cleavage cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Control of cleavage cycles in Drosophila embryos by frühstart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this