Characterization of big bang, a novel gene encoding for PDZ domain-containing proteins that are dynamically expressed throughout Drosophila development

Gene Expr Patterns. 2006 Jun;6(5):504-18. doi: 10.1016/j.modgep.2005.10.009. Epub 2006 Jan 18.


PDZ (PSD-95, Discs-large, ZO-1) domain proteins often function as scaffolding proteins and have been shown to play important roles in diverse cellular processes such as the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, and signal transduction. Here, we report the identification and cloning of a novel Drosophila melanogaster gene that is predicted to produce several different PDZ domain-containing proteins through alternative promoter usage and alternative splicing. This gene, that we have named big bang (bbg), was first identified as C96-GAL4, a GAL4 enhancer trap line that was generated in our lab. To further characterize bbg, its expression pattern was examined in ovaries, embryos, and late third instar larvae using UAS reporter gene constructs, in situ hybridization, or immunocytochemistry. In addition, the expression of alternatively spliced transcripts was examined in more detail using in situ hybridization. We find that during embryogenesis bbg is predominantly expressed in the developing gut, but it is also expressed in external sensory organs found in the epidermis. In the late third instar larva, bbg is expressed along the presumptive wing margin in the wing disc, broadly in the eye disc, and in other imaginal discs as well as in the brain. The expression patterns observed are dynamic and specific during development, suggesting that like other genes that encode for several different PDZ domain protein isoforms, bbg likely plays important roles in multiple developmental processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Genes, Insect / genetics*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Subcellular Fractions


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary