ABSTRACT: The products of the trithorax and Polycomb groups genes maintain the activity and silence, respectively, of many developmental genes including genes of the homeotic complexes. This transcriptional regulation is likely to involve modification of chromatin structure. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of a new gene, trithorax-related (trr), which shares sequence similarities with members of both the trithorax and Polycomb groups. The trr transcript is 9.6 kb in length and is present throughout development. The TRR protein, as predicted from the nucleotide sequence of the open reading frame, is 2431 amino acids in length and contains a PHD finger-like domain and a SET domain, two highly conserved protein motifs found in several trithorax and Polycomb group proteins, and in modifiers of position effect variegation. TRR is most similar in sequence to the human ALR protein, suggesting that trr is a Drosophila homologue of the ALR. TRR is also highly homologous to Drosophila TRITHORAX protein and to its human homologue, ALL-1/HRX. However, preliminary genetic analysis of a trr null allele suggests that TRR protein may not be involved in regulation of homeotic genes (i.e. not a member of the trithorax or Polycomb groups) or in position effect variegation.
Mechanisms of Development 05/1999; 82(1-2):171-9. · 2.83 Impact Factor