Structure and evolution of a pair-rule interaction element: Runt regulatory sequences in D. melanogaster and D. virilis

Christian Wolff, Melissa Elena Pepling, Peter Gergen, Martin Klingler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Pair-rule genes serve two important functions during Drosophila development: they first initiate periodic patterns, and subsequently interact with each other to refine these patterns to the precision required for definition of segmental compartments. Previously, we described a pair-role input region of the runt gene. Here we further characterize this region through the use of reporter gene constructs and by comparison with corresponding sequences from Drosophila virilis. We find that many but not all regulatory properties of this '7-stripe region' are functionally conserved. Moreover, the similarity between these homologous sequences is surprisingly low. When compared to similar data for gap gene input elements, our data suggest that pair-rule target sequences are less constrained during evolution, and that functional elements mediating pair-rule interactions can be dispersed over many kilobases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • Bicoid
  • Development
  • DNA binding proteins
  • Hairy
  • Molecular evolution
  • Pair-rule gene
  • Pattern formation
  • Regulatory elements
  • Runt
  • Segmentation
  • Upstream sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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