Homeodomain-independent activity of the fushi tarazu polypeptide in Drosophila embryos

Nature. 1992 Apr 16;356(6370):610-2. doi: 10.1038/356610a0.


The Drosophila segmentation gene fushi tarazu (ftz) encodes a homeodomain-containing protein, ftz, that can act as a DNA-binding activator of transcription. In the developing embryo, ftz is expressed in seven stripes which correspond to the even-numbered parasegments. These parasegments are missing in ftz- embryos. When ftz is expressed throughout blastoderm embryos under the control of a heat-shock promoter, the odd-numbered parasegments are lost. This 'anti-ftz' phenotype has been attributed to autoactivation of the endogenous ftz gene by the ectopically expressed protein. Here we show that the same phenotype is induced by ectopic expression of a ftz polypeptide containing a deletion in the homeodomain. Thus, ftz can alter gene expression without binding directly to DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chimera
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fushi Tarazu Transcription Factors
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Insect Hormones / genetics*
  • Insect Hormones / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Plasmids
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Fushi Tarazu Transcription Factors
  • GAL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • ftz protein, Drosophila
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase