The Drosophila homolog of the vertebrate serum response factor (SRF) was isolated by low stringency hybridization. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the Drosophila SRF homolog (DSRF) codes for a protein that displays 93% sequence identity with human SRF in the MADS domain, the region required for DNA binding, dimerization and interaction with accessory factors. The DSRF gene is expressed during several phases of embryonic development. In the egg, both the RNA and the protein are maternal in origin and slowly decrease in amount during gastrulation. After germ band retraction, high levels of zygotic expression are observed in a distinct subset of peripheral tracheal cells distributed throughout the embryo. Many of these cells are at the tip of tracheal branches and are in direct contact with the target tissues. The DSRF gene was mapped to position 60C on the second chromosome, and overlapping deficiencies which remove the gene were identified. Analysis of tracheal development in embryos carrying these deletions revealed a degeneration of most of the major branches of the tracheal system. Although the initial migration of tracheal cells was not affected in those deficient embryos, many tracheal cells appeared not to maintain their correct position and continued to migrate. Thus, the DSRF gene might play a role in the proper formation and maintenance of the trachea.
The Drosophila SRF homolog is expressed in a subset of tracheal cells and maps within a genomic region required for tracheal development
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M. Affolter, J. Montagne, U. Walldorf, J. Groppe, U. Kloter, M. LaRosa, W.J. Gehring; The Drosophila SRF homolog is expressed in a subset of tracheal cells and maps within a genomic region required for tracheal development. Development 1 April 1994; 120 (4): 743–753. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.120.4.743
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