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Discrete changes in silkmoth choriogenesis have occurred during evolution, as exemplified in the present report in Antheraea polyphemus and Hyalophora cecropia. At the level of morphology, the chorion of A. polyphemus has surface structures, called aeropyle crowns, that are absent from H. cecropia. Aeropyle crowns form during the very late period of choriogenesis and consist of two substructures--lamellae and filler. Filler is present in H. cecropia in greatly reduced amounts. At the level of protein synthesis, overall similarities in the two species are maintained until the very late period of choriogenesis, when synthesis of aeropyle crown components is maximal. In H. cecropia, very late period-specific proteins are reduced in number and abundance. Several of these minor proteins are candidates for E1 and E2, the components of filler. E1 and E2 RNAs are about 35 times more abundant in A. polyphemus, despite very similar gene copy numbers and times of expression in the two species. These results support the hypothesis that evolutionary changes in chorion morphology have resulted from regulatory changes in the expression of chorion genes, either at the level of transcription or mRNA decay. The hypothesis that evolutionary changes in chorion morphology are based on terminal addition onto a preexisting developmental program is discussed.
The c-myc gene comprises three exons with a single large AUG-initiated open reading frame extending from exon 2 through exon 3. Exon 1 lacks any AUG codons. Cells from a wide range of species produce two c-myc proteins that, while highly related, do not appear to arise from posttranslational interconversion. To understand the origin of the two proteins, we mapped them and analyzed the in vitro protein-coding capacity of c-myc cDNAs. Our findings show that the two proteins are derived from alternative translational initiations at the exon 2 AUG and at a non-AUG codon near the 3' end of exon 1, resulting in the production of proteins with distinct N termini. In Burkitt's lymphomas, the removal or specific mutation of exon 1 in c-myc translocations correlates with suppression of synthesis of the larger protein, and thus may contribute to the oncogenic activation of c-myc.
The S1 gene nucleotide sequences of 10 type 3 (T3) reovirus strains were determined and compared with the T3 prototype Dearing strain in order to study sequence diversity in strains of a single reovirus serotype and to learn more about structure-function relationships of the two S1 translation products, sigma 1 and sigma 1s. Analysis of phylogenetic trees constructed from variation in the sigma 1-encoding S1 nucleotide sequences indicated that there is no pattern of S1 gene relatedness in these strains based on host species, geographic site, or date of isolation. This suggests that reovirus strains are transmitted rapidly between host species and that T3 strains with markedly different S1 sequences circulate simultaneously. Comparison of the deduced sigma 1 amino acid sequences of the 11 T3 strains was notable for the identification of conserved and variable regions of sequence that correlate with the proposed domain organization of sigma 1 (M.L. Nibert, T.S. Dermody, and B. N. Fields, J. Virol. 64:2976-2989, 1990). Repeat patterns of apolar residues thought to be important for sigma 1 structure were conserved in all strains examined. The deduced sigma 1s amino acid sequences of the strains were more heterogeneous than the sigma 1 sequences; however, a cluster of basic residues near the amino terminus of sigma 1s was conserved. This analysis has allowed us to investigate molecular epidemiology of T3 reovirus strains and to identify conserved and variable sequence motifs in the S1 translation products, sigma 1 or sigma 1s.
An antibody was used to detect antigens in zebrafish that appear to be homologous to the frog homeodomain-containing protein XlHbox 1. These antigens show a restricted expression in the anteroposterior axis and an anteroposterior gradient in the pectoral fin bud, consistent with the distribution of XlHbox 1 protein in frog and mouse embryos. In the somitic mesoderm, a sharp anterior limit of expression coincides exactly with the boundary between somites 4 and 5, and the protein level fades out posteriorly. A similar, graded expression of the antigen is seen within the series of Rohon-Beard sensory neurons of the CNS. We also immunostained the mutant spt-1 ('spadetail'), in which the trunk mesoderm is greatly depleted and disorganized in the region of XlHbox 1 expression. The defects stem from misdirected cell movements during gastrulation, but nervertheless, newly recruited cells that partially refill the trunk mesoderm express the antigen within the normal span of the anteroposterior axis. This finding suggests that the mutation does not delete positional information required for activation of the XlHbox 1 gene.