The nuclear receptor homologue Ftz-F1 and the homeodomain protein Ftz are mutually dependent cofactors

Nature. 1997 Feb 6;385(6616):548-52. doi: 10.1038/385548a0.


Nuclear hormone receptors and homeodomain proteins are two classes of transcription factor that regulate major developmental processes. Both depend on interactions with other proteins for specificity and activity. The Drosophila gene fushi tarazu (ftz), which encodes a homeodomain protein (Ftz), is required zygotically for the formation of alternate segments in the developing embryo. Here we show that the orphan nuclear receptor alphaFtz-F1 (ref. 3), which is deposited in the egg during oogenesis, is an obligatory cofactor for Ftz. The two proteins interact specifically and directly, both in vitro and in vivo, through a conserved domain in the Ftz polypeptide. This interaction suggests that other nuclear receptor/homeodomain protein interactions maybe important and common in developing organisms.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Female
  • Fushi Tarazu Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Insect Hormones / genetics
  • Insect Proteins
  • Male
  • Mutagenesis
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Steroidogenic Factor 1
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Wnt1 Protein


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • En protein, Drosophila
  • Fushi Tarazu Transcription Factors
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Insect Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Steroidogenic Factor 1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wnt1 Protein
  • ftz protein, Drosophila
  • nuclear hormone receptor FTZ-F1, Drosophila
  • wg protein, Drosophila