Gene Families

The Interactive Fly

Maternally transcribed genes

Anterior Group

What is an anterior group gene?
Anterior group genes


What is an anterior group gene?

The anterior system is one of the four maternal systems for assuring proper polarity of the oocyte prior to fertilization. Genes affecting the localization of Bicoid belong to the anterior group. Bicoid is the principle protein for structuring the head and thorax of the developing fly, and Bicoid messenger RNA is transported to the anterior pole of the oocyte during oocyte development.

Localization of Bicoid mRNA is divided into three phases. In the previtellogenic stage, Bicoid mRNA is localized to the apex of each of the 15 nurse cells of the ovule. In vitellogenesis, the contents of the nurse cells are transported into the oocyte by a cytoskeletal based mechanism of cytoplasmic streaming. In a third process, Bicoid mRNA is transported along the microtubule network of the oocyte to its anterior pole. The latter process requires direction action of Exuperantia, Exuperantia-like, Swallow and Staufen, and involves binding of Exu-like to cis-acting localization signals within the 3' untranslated region of Bicoid mRNA. Staufen also binds to the 3' UTR of BCD mRNA.

Maternally transcribed genes

Home page: The Interactive Fly © 1995, 1996 Thomas B. Brody, Ph.D.

The Interactive Fly resides on the
Society for Developmental Biology's Web server.