Groucho is required for Drosophila neurogenesis, segmentation, and sex determination and interacts directly with hairy-related bHLH proteins

Ze'ev Paroush*, Russell L. Finley, Thomas Kidd, S. Mark Wainwright, Philip W. Ingham, Roger Brent, David Ish-Horowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

503 Scopus citations


We have used the interaction trap, a yeast two-hybrid system, to identify proteins interacting with hairy, a basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein that represses transcription during Drosophila embryonic segmentation. We find that the groucho (gro) protein binds specifically to hairy and also to hairy-related bHLH proteins encoded by deadpan and the Enhancer of split complex. The C-terminal WRPW motif present in all these bHLH proteins is essential for this interaction. We demonstrate that these associations reflect in vivo maternal requirements for gro during neurogenesis, segmentation, and sex determination, three processes regulated by the above bHLH proteins, and we propose that gro is a transcriptional corepressor recruited to specific target promoters by hairy-related bHLH proteins.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)805-815
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All correspondence should be addressed to D. I.-H. We should like to thank members of the Developmental Genetics Laboratory, especially Sheena Pinchin, for their continued help and encouragement during this project. 2. P. is also grateful to Jane Mellor and Steve Kearsey for advice in handling yeast, Sheena Pinchin for assistance in sequencing, and Tim Davies and Julie Adam for help in photography. We would like to thank Helen Francis-Lang and Susan Parkhurst for comments on the manuscript and Dave Hartley, Ethan Bier, Chris Higgins, Jim Posakony, Sheena Pinchin, Ken Howard, Gerard0 Jimenezand Daniel Bopp for probes, antibodies, and fly stocks. We also thank Jeno Gyuris, Erica Golemis, and members of the Brent lab for many helpful discussions. We apologize for the incomplete referencing owing to rigid space constraints. Z. P. was supported by a European Molecular Biology Orgamzatron Long Term Fellowship and a British Council/Israeli Ministry of Technology and Science Joint Award. R. L. F. was sup. ported by a Public Health Service National Research Service Award. Work was supported by the imperial Cancer Research Fund and a grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program (to R. 8. and D. I.-H). R. B. was supported by an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award and a Pew Scholar’s Award. D. I.-H. is a Howard Hughes International Research Scholar.


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