We have isolated three classes of "enhancertrap" lines of Drosophila in which lacZ expression patterns in the imaginal discs are consistent with the idea of a polar (radial and angular) coordinate system of positional information. In the first class (HZ76), a circular pattern was expressed transiently during the mid-third instar larval stage when the radial components of the coordinate are probably generated. The expression patterns of the second class (HZ84) were sector-shaped and circular in the leg disc, suggesting a correlation with both radial and angular coordinate values. The expression patterns found in the third class (PZ63 and PZ22) were circular and appeared to reflect radial positional values. Expression in the latter two classes always began in the presumptive dorsal region of the leg disc and gradually spread to the ventral region. These developmental profiles of expression suggested the existence of a centre that initiates patterned gene expression in the presumptive dorsal region of the leg disc. The PZ22 line showed transient expression during tarsal segmentation, suggesting its involvement in tarsal segment formation. We have cloned the PZ22 gene and partially determined its sequence. The deduced amino acid sequence contained a zinc finger motif found in DNA/RNA binding proteins. By in situ hybridization, we determined that the PZ22 gene was transcribed in the leg disc in a pattern identical to that of the lacZ expression. In addition, it was expressed transiently in the embryonic mesoderm during mesoderm segmentation. The PZ22 gene, therefore, may function both in mesodermal segmentation in the embryo and in tarsal segmentation in the imaginal disc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology