extramacrochaetae, a negative regulator of sensory organ development in Drosophila, defines a new class of helix-loop-helix proteins

Cell. 1990 Apr 6;61(1):27-38. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90212-w.


The function of the extramacrochaetae (emc) gene is required to establish the normal spatial pattern of adult sensory organs in Drosophila. emc acts to suppress sensory organ development in certain regions of the body surface, apparently by antagonizing the function of the achaete and scute genes of the achaetescute complex (AS.C). We have found that emc encodes a novel member of the helix-loop-helix (HLH) family of proteins. The emc protein shares the dimerization domain of other HLH proteins but lacks their DNA binding motif. We propose a model in which the emc protein negatively regulates sensory organ determination by forming heterodimers with the HLH proteins encoded by the AS-C and/or daughterless, thereby altering or interfering with their activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Repressor Proteins
  • emc protein, Drosophila
  • RNA
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M32636
  • GENBANK/M32637