To understand the nature of the regulatory signals impinging on the second promoter of the Antennapedia gene (Antp P2), analysis of its expression in mutants and in inhibitory drug injected embryos has been carried out. The maternally-active gene osk is identified as one of two general repressors of P2 which prevent Antp transcription until division cycle 14. Products of the zygotically-active segmentation genes ftz, hb, Kr, gt and kni then act as activators or repressors of Antp P2 in a combinatorial fashion. The timing of these events, and their positive versus negative nature, is critical for generating the expression patterns normal for Antp.

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