The mei-41 gene of D. melanogaster is a structural and functional homolog of the human ataxia telangiectasia gene

Cell. 1995 Sep 8;82(5):815-21. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90478-6.


The D. melanogaster mei-41 gene is required for DNA repair, mitotic chromosome stability, and normal levels of meiotic recombination in oocytes. Here we show that the predicted mei-41 protein is similar in sequence to the ATM (ataxia telangiectasia) protein from humans and to the yeast rad3 and Mec1p proteins. There is also extensive functional overlap between mei-41 and ATM. Like ATM-deficient cells, mei-41 cells are exquisitely sensitive to ionizing radiation and display high levels of mitotic chromosome instability. We also demonstrate that mei-41 cells, like ATM-deficient cells, fail to show an irradiation-induced delay in the entry into mitosis that is characteristic of normal cells. Thus, the mei-41 gene of Drosophila may be considered to be a functional homolog of the human ATM gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / genetics*
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / radiation effects
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Damage / physiology
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Genes, Insect / genetics
  • Genes, Insect / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / radiation effects
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • ATM protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U34925