The homeotic gene fork head encodes a nuclear protein and is expressed in the terminal regions of the Drosophila embryo

Cell. 1989 May 19;57(4):645-58. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90133-5.


The region-specific homeotic gene fork head (fkh) promotes terminal as opposed to segmental development in the Drosophila embryo. We have cloned the fkh region by chromosomal walking. P element-mediated germ-line transformation and sequence comparison of wild-type and mutant alleles identify the fkh gene within the cloned region. fkh is expressed in the early embryo in the two terminal domains that are homeotically transformed in fkh mutant embryos. The nuclear localization of the fkh protein suggests that fkh regulates the transcription of other, subordinate, genes. The fkh gene product, however, does not contain a known protein motif, such as the homeodomain or the zinc fingers, nor is it similar in sequence to any other known protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blastoderm / cytology
  • Blastoderm / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / analysis
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / analysis
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Terminator Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/J03177