The embryonic expression patterns of zfh-1 and zfh-2, two Drosophila genes encoding novel zinc-finger homeodomain proteins

Mech Dev. 1991 Jun;34(2-3):123-34. doi: 10.1016/0925-4773(91)90049-c.


The zfh-1 and zfh-2 genes of D. melanogaster encode novel proteins containing both homeodomain and C2-H2 zinc-finger DNA-binding motifs. Antisera against these proteins were used to investigate their expression patterns during embryonic development. The zfh-1 gene is expressed in the mesoderm of early embryos and in a number of mesodermally-derived structures of late embryos, including the dorsal vessel, support cells of the gonads, and segment-specific arrays of adult muscle precursors. In addition, zfh-1 is expressed in the majority of identified motor neurons of the developing CNS. The mesodermal zfh-1 expression requires the products of the twist and snail genes. The zfh-2 gene displays a more limited expression pattern, largely restricted to the CNS of late embryos. Ubiquitous zfh-1 expression in transgenic flies bearing an hsp70-zfh-1 construct has specific developmental consequences, including embryonic CNS defects as well as adult eye and bristle abnormalities. The expression patterns of zfh-1 and zfh-2 suggest that both genes may be involved in Drosophila neurogenesis and that zfh-1 may have additional functions in mesoderm development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Homeobox / genetics*
  • Genes, Homeobox / immunology
  • Genes, Regulator / genetics*
  • Immune Sera / immunology
  • Immunoblotting
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Motor Neurons / cytology
  • Proteins / immunology
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics*
  • Zinc Fingers / immunology


  • Immune Sera
  • Proteins