Conversion of Dorsal from an activator to a repressor by the global corepressor Groucho

Todd Dubnicoff, Scott A. Valentine, Guoqing Chen, Tao Shi, Judith A. Lengyel, Ze'ev Paroush, Albert J. Courey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The Dorsal morphogen acts as both an activator and a repressor of transcription in the Drosophila embryo to regulate the expression of dorsal/ventral patterning genes. Circumstantial evidence has suggested that Dorsal is an intrinsic activator and that additional factors (corepressors) convert it into a repressor. These corepressors, however, have previously eluded definitive identification. We show here, via the analysis of embryos lacking the maternally encoded Groucho corepressor and via protein-binding assays, that recruitment of Groucho to the template by protein:protein interactions is required for the conversion of Dorsal from an activator to a repressor. Groucho is therefore a critical component of the dorsal/ventral patterning system.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2952-2957
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number22
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1997


  • Corepressor
  • Dorsal
  • Drosophila
  • Embryogenesis
  • Groucho
  • Pattern formation


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