The Trithorax-like gene encodes the Drosophila GAGA factor

Nature. 1994 Oct 27;371(6500):806-8. doi: 10.1038/371806a0.


Little is known about the way higher-order chromatin structure influences gene expression and chromosome topology in general. Genetic analysis in Drosophila has led to the discovery of two classes of genes, the regulators of homeotic genes and the modifiers of position-effect variegation, which seem to be good candidates for encoding some of the factors regulating chromatin functions. The Trithorax-like gene we described here is required for the normal expression of the homeotic genes and is a modifier of position-effect variegation. We found that Trithorax-like encodes the GAGA factor which is involved in the formation of an accessible chromatin structure at promoter sequences. Our genetic analysis suggests that the chromatin modelling function of the GAGA factor is not restricted to promoter regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Insect
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics


  • Chromatin
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Trl protein, Drosophila