Homeotic genes and positional signalling in the Drosophila viscera

Trends Genet. 1994 Jan;10(1):22-6. doi: 10.1016/0168-9525(94)90015-9.


Homeotic genes play a key regulatory role in the two innermost germ layers of Drosophila, the visceral mesoderm and the endoderm. Here, they control, and are controlled by, genes that encode extracellular proteins involved in signalling. Examples of these regulatory interactions are an inductive process between the two germ layers, and an indirect autoregulatory loop of a homeotic gene in the visceral mesoderm. Both these mechanisms define or redefine spatial domains of homeotic gene expression, by way of intercellular communication. The homeotic genes that are expressed in the viscera control morphogenesis and differentiation of the larval midgut.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Genes, Homeobox / genetics*
  • Genes, Insect / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Insect Hormones / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Viscera / embryology
  • Viscera / physiology
  • Wnt1 Protein


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ubx protein, Drosophila
  • Wnt1 Protein
  • lab protein, Drosophila
  • wg protein, Drosophila