The YPWM motif links Antennapedia to the basal transcriptional machinery

Frédéric Prince, Tomonori Katsuyama, Yoshiteru Oshima, Serge Plaza, Diana Resendez-Perez, Meera Berry, Shoichiro Kurata, Walter J. Gehring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


HOX genes specify segment identity along the anteroposterior axis of the embryo. They code for transcription factors harbouring the highly conserved homeodomain and a YPWM motif, situated amino terminally to it. Despite their highly diverse functions in vivo, HOX proteins display similar biochemical properties in vitro, raising the question of how this specificity is achieved. In our study, we investigated the importance of the Antennapectia (Antp) YPWM motif for homeotic transformations in adult Drosophila. By ectopic overexpression, the head structures of the fly can be transformed into structures of the second thoracic segment, such as antenna into second leg, head capsule into thorax (notum) and eye into wing. We found that the YPWM motif is absolutely required for the eye-to-wing transformation. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we were able to identify a novel ANTP-interacting protein, Bric-à-brac interacting protein 2 (BIP2), that specifically interacts with the YPWM motif of ANTP in vitro, as well as in vivo, transforming eye to wing tissue. BIP2 is a TATA-binding protein associated factor (also known as dTAFII3) that links ANTP to the basal transcriptional machinery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1679
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May
Externally publishedYes


  • ANTP
  • Drosophila
  • Eye-to-wing transformation
  • HOX
  • Homeotic transformation
  • bip2
  • dTAF3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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