We have isolated and molecularly characterized the cramped (crm) gene of Drosophila melanogaster, and show that it can be classified as a Polycomb-group (Pc-G) gene. crm mutants exhibit typical Pc-G mutant phenotypes, reminiscent of ectopic homeotic gene expression, with additional sex comb teeth found on mesothoracic and metathoracic legs, and proximodistal transformations of the tarsal segments. crm encodes an 693 amino acids protein, with no significant homology to known proteins. We used polyclonal antibodies raised against bacterially expressed truncated CRM protein to show that the crm gene product is localized to the nucleus during embryogenesis. This nuclear localization appears to be restricted to S-phase nuclei, as CRM immunostaining disappears at mitosis. We found that this cell-cycle-dependent staining pattern was identical to that of Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA). Furthermore, we provide evidence for co-localization of CRM and PCNA proteins in salivary gland polytene nuclei, and for a genetic interaction between crm and mus209, the Drosophila gene encoding PCNA. Together, our data suggest that these two proteins are involved in a common regulatory pathway and highlight possible interactions between Pc-G-mediated silencing and DNA replication in Drosophila.
The cramped gene of Drosophila is a member of the Polycomb-group, and interacts with mus209, the gene encoding Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
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Y. Yamamoto, F. Girard, B. Bello, M. Affolter, W.J. Gehring; The cramped gene of Drosophila is a member of the Polycomb-group, and interacts with mus209, the gene encoding Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen. Development 1 September 1997; 124 (17): 3385–3394. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.124.17.3385
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