Induction of cell fate in the Drosophila retina: The bride of sevenless protein is predicted to contain a large extracellular domain and seven transmembrane segments

Anne C. Hart, Helmut Krämer, David L. Van Vactor, Mukund Paidhungat, S. Lawrence Zipursky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous genetic mosaic studies established that expression of the Drosophila bride of sevenless (boss) gene is required in photoreceptor neuron R8 for the development of photoreceptor neuron R7. This led to the proposal that boss encodes or regulates an R7-specific inductive cue. We have identified the boss gene based on small deletions in mutant alleles and sequenced both cDNAs and corresponding genomic regions. One P element and three X-ray-induced boss alleles show different deletions in the gene ranging in size from 2 to 23 bp, each causing frameshifts leading to premature termination of translation. The boss gene encodes a protein of 896 amino acids with a putative amino-terminal signal sequence, a large extracellular region of 498 amino acids, and seven potential transmembrane domains followed by a carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic tail of 115 amino acids. The putative membrane localization of the boss protein is consistent with a model in which direct interaction between the boss and sevenless proteins specifies R7 cell fate. Another model in which the boss protein functions as a receptor is proposed based on its similarity to the G protein-linked family of membrane receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1835-1847
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Volume4
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • boss
  • cell-cell interaction
  • retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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