Genetic and molecular characterization of a novel iab-8 regulatory domain in the Abdominal-B gene of Drosophila melanogaster

Development. 2002 Nov;129(22):5195-204.


Homeotic (or Hox) genes are key determinants in specifying the anteroposterior axis of most animals. The temporal and spatial expression of these genes requires the presence of large and complex cis-regulatory regions. The Abdominal-B Hox gene of the bithorax complex of Drosophila is regulated by several infraabdominal domains, which determine Abdominal-B expression in abdominal segments A5 to A9 (parasegments 10 to 14). Some of the infraabdominal domains have been characterized, including an infraabdominal-8 domain, which has been located 3' to the Abdominal-B transcription unit. We have analyzed the expression and mutant phenotype of a P-lacZ element inserted close to the Abdominal-B m origin of transcription and of derivatives of this transposon. Some of these derivatives represent a particular class of mutations in the bithorax complex, because they transform the eighth and ninth abdominal segments without affecting more anterior metameres. The analysis of these mutations and of transformants carrying sequences upstream the Abdominal-B m transcription unit has allowed us to define a new infraabdominal-8 regulatory region, located 5' to the Abdominal-B transcription unit, and has helped to characterize better the complex regulation of the Abdominal-B gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / abnormalities
  • Abdomen / embryology
  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Abd-B proteins, Drosophila
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins