Determinants of Drosophila fushi tarazu mRNA instability

Ann Riedl, Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The fushi tarazu gene is essential for the establishment of the Drosophila embryonic body plan. When first expressed, in early embryogenesis, fushi tarazu mRNA is uniformly distributed over most of the embryo. Subsequently, fushi tarazu mRNA expression rapidly evolves into a pattern of seven stripes that encircle the embryo. The instability of fushi tarazu mRNA is probably crucial for attaining this localized pattern of expression. mRNA stability in transgenic embryos was measured by a new method that does not use drugs or external interference. Experiments using hybrid genes that fuse fushi tarazu sequences to those of the stable ribosomal protein A1 mRNA provide evidence for at least two destabilizing elements in the fushi tarazu mRNA, one located within the 5' one-third of the mRNA and the other near the 3' end (termed FIE3 for ftz instability element 3'). The FIE3 lies within a 201-nucleotide sequence just upstream of the polyadenylation signal and can act autonomously to destabilize a heterologous mRNA. Further deletion constructs identified an essential 68-nucleotide element within the FIE3. Lack of homology between this element and other previously identified destabilization sequences suggests that FIE3 contains a novel RNA destabilization element.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3047-3053
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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