The Drosophila pumilio gene: an unusually long transcription unit and an unusual protein

Development. 1992 Jan;114(1):221-32. doi: 10.1242/dev.114.1.221.


Specification of the posterior body plan in Drosophila requires the action of a determinant prelocalized to the posterior pole of the embryo. During embryogenesis this determinant appears to move anteriorly in a process dependent on the pumilio (pum) gene. This report describes the cloning and molecular characterization of a cDNA derived from the pum gene, and the analysis of pum mRNA and protein expression during early Drosophila development. The pum gene is unusually large; comparison of genomic and cDNA sequences reveals that the pum transcription unit is at least 160 kb in length. The pum cDNA encodes a 157 x 10(3) M(r) protein which consists mainly of regions enriched in a single amino acid, usually glycine, alanine, glutamine or serine/threonine. Six tandem repeats of a 36 amino acid repeat unit are also present. Pum protein is cytoplasmic and is concentrated in a subcortical region of the embryo. The distribution of pum protein exhibits no asymmetry along the anteroposterior axis of the embryo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Circular / chemistry*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Embryonic Induction / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Insect Hormones / chemistry
  • Insect Hormones / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oogenesis / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Circular
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • pum protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L12697
  • GENBANK/L12698
  • GENBANK/L12699
  • GENBANK/L12700
  • GENBANK/L12701
  • GENBANK/L12702
  • GENBANK/L12703
  • GENBANK/M81689
  • GENBANK/M81690
  • GENBANK/X62589