Roux's archives of developmental biology

, Volume 199, Issue 7, pp 387–396 | Cite as

Interactions of thePolycomb group of genes with homeotic loci ofDrosophila

  • Joanie McKeon
  • Hugh Willet Brock


Members of thePolycomb (Pc) group of genes are required for the correct determination of segment identity, and are thought to be negative regulators of thebithorax andAntennapedia complexes. This hypothesis has been tested molecularly for only some members of thePc group. Here, we examine the distribution ofUltrabithorax (Ubx),Antennapedia (Antp), andSex combs reduced (Scr) proteins in the epidermis, central nervous system, and midgut of embryos homozygous for mutations in tenPc group genes. We show that zygotic loss of mostPc group genes causes ectopic expression ofUbx andAntp, but that there are differences in time and tissue-specificity. FivePc group mutations lack midgut constrictions and also exhibit ectopic or suppressedUbx expression and suppression ofAntp expression. Distribution ofAntp is upset earlier than distribution ofUbx in the central nervous system of everyPc group mutant affecting both genes. Loss of the zygotic products ofPolycomb, extra sex combs, andAdditional sex combs cause ectopic expression ofScr in epidermis, and allPc group genes exceptPsc have suppressedScr expression in the nervous system. These results are discussed with respect to the function of thePc group.

Key words

Pc group Ultrabithorax Antennapedia Sex combs reduced 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanie McKeon
    • 1
  • Hugh Willet Brock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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