The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 46: 133 - 141 (2002)

Vol 46, Issue 1

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Switzerland

Extensive conservation of sequences and chromatin structures in the bxd polycomb response element among Drosophilid species

Published: 1 January 2002

Gaetano I Dellino, Christophe Tatout and Vincenzo Pirrotta

Department of Zoology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


The Polycomb Response Element (PRE) is the nucleation site for the Polycomb silencing complexes. The sequences responsible for the recruitment of the components of the Polycomb complex are not well understood. A comparison of the bxd PRE sequences from several different Drosophila species shows that some changes have occurred during phylogeny but large blocks of sequence are conserved after a divergence of some 60 million years. We compare the PRE sequences, the sites of some known PRE binding proteins, the conservation of DNasel hypersensitive sites and relate them to the sequence of the Ultrabithorax promoter which these PREs regulate.

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