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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 947490, 12 pages
Research Article

Characterization of the Gene BmEm4, a Homologue of Drosophila E(spl)m4, from the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

1Institute of Biochemistry, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2Institute of Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Silkworm Bioreactor and Biomedicine, Hangzhou 310018, China
3Xin Yuan Institute of Medicine and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China

Received 19 April 2009; Revised 18 July 2009; Accepted 22 July 2009

Academic Editor: Antoine Danchin

Copyright © 2009 Fenghui Zeng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Drosophila E(spl)m4 gene contains some highly conserved motifs (such as the Brd box, GY box, K box, and CAAC motif) in its untranslated region ( UTR). It was shown to be a microRNA target gene in Drosophila and to play an important role in the regulation of neurogenesis. We identified a homologue of the E(spl)m4 gene from Bombyx mori called BmEm4 and examined the expression patterns of BmEm4 mRNA and protein. There was a lack of correlation in the expression of the mRNA and protein between the different developmental stages, which raises the possibility of posttranscriptional regulation of the BmEm4 mRNA. Consistent with this idea is the finding that the UTR contains two putative binding sites for microRNAs. Moreover, given that the expression is the highest in the larval head, as confirmed by immunohistochemistry, we propose that BmEm4 may also be involved in the regulation of neurogenesis. Immunostaining indicated that BmEm4 is located primarily in the cytoplasm.