The dead ringer (dri) gene of Drosophila melanogaster is a member of the recently discovered ARID-box family of eukaryotic genes that encode proteins with a conserved DNA binding domain. dri itself is highly conserved, with specific orthologs in the human, mouse, zebrafish and C. elegans genomes. We have generated dri mutant alleles to show that dri is essential for anterior-posterior patterning and for muscle development in the embryo. Consistent with the mutant phenotype and the sequence-specific DNA-binding properties of its product, dri was found to be essential for the normal early embryonic expression pattern of several key regulatory genes. In dri mutant embryos, expression of argos in the terminal domains was severely reduced, accounting for the dri mutant head phenotype. Conversely, buttonhead expression was found to be deregulated in the trunk region, accounting for the appearance of ectopic cephalic furrows. Curiously, dri was found also to be required for maintenance of expression of the ventrolateral region of even-skipped stripe four. This study establishes dri as an essential co-factor in the regulated expression of specific patterning genes during early embryogenesis.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Sep 1999|
- Pattern formation
- Gene regulation
- Drosophila melanogaster
- ARID family
- Head development
Shandala, T., Kortschak, R., Gregory, S., & Saint, R. (1999). The Drosophila dead ringer gene is required for normal embryonic patterning through regulation of argos and buttonhead. Development, 126, 4341-4349.