Temporal and spatial expression of an adult cuticle protein gene from Drosophila suggests that its protein product may impart some specialized cuticle function.
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An adult cuticle protein gene (Dacp-1) from Drosophila melanogaster has been isolated and characterized. This gene was classified as an adult cuticle protein gene because it maintains the conserved structure of other cuticle protein genes, the sequence of its conceptual translation product contains a repeated motif that is found almost exclusively in a subset of adult cuticle proteins from Locust migratoria, and the gene is expressed in the epidermis underlying the head and thoracic cuticle. The bulk of Dacp-1 expression starts approximately 72 hr after pupariation, peaks approximately 12 hr after eclosion, and decreases thereafter to undetectable levels by 3 days after eclosion. The stage specificity and spatial restriction of Dacp-1 expression as well as the physical properties of its conceptual translation product suggest that it may be involved in some specialized function such as thickening of the adult cuticle.
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