Araucan and caupolican, two members of the novel iroquois complex, encode homeoproteins that control proneural and vein-forming genes

Cell. 1996 Apr 5;85(1):95-105. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81085-5.


In Drosophila imaginal wing discs, the achaete-scute (ac-sc) proneural genes and rhomboid (veinlet) are expressed in highly resolved patterns that prefigure the positions of sensory organs and wing veins, respectively. It is thought that these patterns are generated by a combination of factors (a prepattern) regulating these genes. We provide evidence for the existence of this prepattern by identifying two of its factors, Araucan and Caupolican. They are members of a novel family of homeoproteins, with homologs in vertebrates. Araucan and Caupolican, present in domains of the imaginal discs larger than those expressing ac-sc and rhomboid, are necessary for expression of these genes in the overlapping domains. Araucan and Caupolican appear to be positive, direct regulators of ac-sc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Genes, Insect / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nervous System / growth & development
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Veins / growth & development
  • Wings, Animal / growth & development


  • ARA protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • caup protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X95178
  • GENBANK/X95179