The Activation Of Transcription Factors

2254 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 10 Pages
During the development of multicellular organisms, the fate of a cell is often determined by the influence of neighboring cells or tissues. The molecular mechanisms by which such inductive signals cause changes in the genetic program of the responding cell remain largely unknown. In the early stages of the response, signals from the cell surface must lead to modifications in the activity of one or more pre-existing transcription factors, which then set in motion the appropriate cascade of gene activation. Post-translational activation of transcription factors has been demonstrated in a number of cases, including steroid hormone receptors (Glineur et al. 1990), the yeast heat shock response factor (Sorger and Pelham 1988), and the mammalian factor AP-1 (Angel et al. 1987; Lee et al. 1987). The activation of transcription factors in response to inductive signals during development has proved more difficult to demonstrate, largely because the critical transcription factors have not been identified. Cell identities in the developing eye of Drosophila are determined by induction, and mutations in several genes that encode putative transcription factors have been shown to disrupt normal eye development (Tomlinson 1988; Banerjee and Zipursky 1990). Here, it is shown that one of these genes, glass, encodes a site-specific DNA-binding protein and that glass function, in its broadest sense, is regulated at the protein level. The glass gene is required for the normal development of…
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