The Drosophila zeste protein binds cooperatively to sites in many gene regulatory regions: implications for transvection and gene regulation

EMBO J. 1988 Dec 1;7(12):3907-15.


The Drosophila zeste protein binds in vitro to several sites in the white, Ultrabithorax, decapentaplegic, Antennapedia, and engrailed genes and to at least one site in the zeste gene itself. The distribution of these sites corresponds often with that of regulatory elements in these genes as defined by mutations or, in the case of white, by molecular analysis. A zeste binding site is frequently found in the immediate vicinity of the promoter. zeste binding sites are composed of two or more zeste recognition sequences T/CGAGT/CG. Isolated consensus sequences do not bind or footprint. Cooperative interactions are involved both in binding to a given site and between proteins bound at independent sites. zeste bound to one DNA molecule can in fact bind simultaneously to another DNA molecule. These results suggest a general role for zeste in bringing together distant regulatory elements controlling the activity of a target gene. In this model, transvection effects are a by-product of normal intragenic zeste action.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA