Analysis of Biological Development (K. Kalthoff)

Updates to Topic 22C: Homeotic Genes and Homeodomain

New Review Articles

New Research Articles

Halder G., Polaczyk P., Kraus M.E., Hudson A., Kim J., Laughon L. and Carroll S. (1998) The Vestigial and Scalloped proteins act together to directly regulate wing-specific gene expression in Drosophila. Genes & Devel. 12: 3900-3909

Halder G. and Carroll S.B. (2001) Binding of the Vestigial co-factor switches the DNA-target selectivity of the Scalloped selector protein. Development 128: 3295-3305.

The identity of insect organs is regulated by specific selector genes encoding transcription factors that regulate potentially large sets of target genes. The DNA-binding domains of selector proteins often exhibit relatively low DNA-binding specificity in vitro. It is not understood how the target selectivity of most selector proteins is determined in vivo. In Drosophila, the Scalloped selector protein controls wing development by forming a complex with the Vestigial protein and regulating the expression of numerous target genes. The investigators show that binding of Vestigial to Scalloped changeses the DNA-binding selectivity of Scalloped. Two conserved domains of the Vestigial protein that are not required for Scalloped binding in solution are required for the formation of the heterotetrameric Vestigial-Scalloped complex on DNA. The authors suggest that Vestigial affects the conformation of Scalloped to create a wing cell-specific DNA-binding selectivity. The modification of selector protein DNA-binding specificity by co-factors appears to be a general mechanism for regulating their target selectivity in vivo.

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