Genomic characterization of a repetitive motif strongly associated with developmental genes in Drosophila

Costas, Javier; Vieira, Cristina P.; Casares, Fernando; Vieira, Jorge
January 2003
BMC Genomics;2003, Vol. 4, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Non-coding DNA represents a high proportion of all metazoan genomes. Although an undetermined fraction of this DNA may be considered devoid of any function, it also contains important information residing in specific cis-regulatory sequences. Results: We report a 27 bp motif that is overrepresented within the fly genome. This motif does not show any significant similarity with transposon sequences and is strongly associated with genes involved in development and/or signal transduction. The 27 bp motif is preferentially located within introns, and has a tendency to be present in multiple copies around genes. Furthermore, it is often found embedded in known non-coding regulatory regions. The regulatory network defined by this motif is partially shared in D. pseudoobscura. Conclusion: We have identified a 27 bp cis-regulatory sequence widely distributed within the Drosophila genome in association with developmental genes. This motif may be very useful towards the annotation of functional regulatory regions within the Drosophila genome and the construction of regulatory networks of Drosophila development.


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