Molecular organization of the decapentaplegic gene in Drosophila melanogaster

R. Daniel St Johnston, F. Michael Hoffmann, Ronald K. Blackman, Daniel Segal, Raymond Grimaila, Richaid W. Padgett, Holly A. Irick, William M. Gelbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


The decapentaplegic (dpp) locus of Drosopbila melanogaster is a >55 kb genetic unit required for proper pattern formation during the embryonic and imaginai development of the organism. We have proposed that these morphogenetic functions result from the action of a secreted transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-related protein product encoded by dpp. In this paper we localize 60 mutations on the molecular map of dpp. The positions of these mutations cluster according to phenotypic class, identifying the locations of specific dpp functions. By Northern and cDNA analysis, we characterize five overlapping dpp transcripts. On the basis of the locations of the overlaps relative to a previously sequenced cDNA, it is likely that these transcripts all encode similar or identical polypeptides. We propose that the bulk of dpp DNA consists of extensive arrays of cis-regulatory information. The large (>25-kb) 3′ cis-regulatory region represents a novel feature of dpp gene organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1127
Number of pages14
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


  • Dpp gene
  • Drosophila
  • Family
  • Imaginal disks
  • Pattern formation
  • TGF-β

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