The Drosophila gene tailless is expressed at the embryonic termini and is a member of the steroid receptor superfamily

Cell. 1990 Jul 13;62(1):151-63. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90249-e.


The zygotically active tailless (tll) gene plays a key role in the establishment of nonmetameric domains at the anterior and posterior poles of the Drosophila embryo. We have cloned the tll gene and show that it encodes a protein with striking similarity to steroid hormone receptors in both the DNA binding "finger" and ligand binding domains. tll RNA is initially expressed in embryos in two mirror-image symmetrical domains; this pattern then quickly resolves into a pattern consistent with the mutant phenotype: a posterior cap and an anterior dorsal stripe. That the tll gene may also play a role in the nervous system is suggested by its strong expression in the forming brain and transient expression in the peripheral nervous system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Gene Expression*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Mutation
  • Receptors, Steroid / genetics*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Receptors, Steroid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M34639