The pleiohomeotic functions as a negative regulator of Drosophila even-skipped gene during embryogenesis.
ABSTRACT Polycomb group (PcG) proteins maintain the spatial expression patterns of genes that are involved in cell-fate specification along the anterior-posterior (A/P) axis. This repression requires cis-acting silencers, which are called PcG response elements (PREs). One of the PcG proteins, Pleiohomeotic (Pho), which has a zinc finger DNA binding protein, plays a critical role in recruiting other PcG proteins to bind to PREs. In this study, we characterized the effects of a pho mutation on embryonic segmentation. pho maternal mutant embryos showed various segmental defects including pair-rule gene mutant patterns. Our results indicated that engrailed and even-skipped genes were misexpressed in pho mutant embryos, which caused embryonic segment defects.