The Drosophila zfh-1 and zfh-2 genes encode novel proteins containing both zinc-finger and homeodomain motifs

Mark E. Fortini, Zhichun Lai, Gerald M. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two of the most common DNA-binding motifs found in eukaryotic transcriptional regulatory proteins are the homeodomain and the C2H2 zinc finger. In Drosophila, homeodomain and zinc-finger proteins have been implicated in a wide variety of developmental processes. Until now, no proteins have been described in which both these DNA-binding motifs are present. We report here the isolation of genes encoding two such Drosophila proteins from a cDNA expression library. The product of the zfh-1 gene (zinc-finger homeodomain protein 1) contains one homeodomain and nine C2H2 zinc fingers. The product of the zfh-2 gene processes three homeodomains and sixteen C2H2 zinc fingers. For zfh-1, antisera raised against nonoverlapping regions of the gene product all recognize a 145 kDa protein on protein immunoblots, suggesting that the different DNA-binding motifs are actually all present in the mature gene product. The novel arrangement of interspersed homeodomain and zinc-finger motifs in the primary sequences of the zfh-1 and zfh-2 gene products may signify an unusual mechanism of transcriptional regulation by these proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Development
Volume34
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology

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