Drosophila doublesex gene controls somatic sexual differentiation by producing alternatively spliced mRNAs encoding related sex-specific polypeptides

Kenneth C. Burtis, Bruce S. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

445 Scopus citations

Abstract

The doublesex (dsx) gene regulates somatic sexual differentiation in both sexes in D. melanogaster. Two functional products are encoded by dsx: one product is expressed in females and represses male differentiation, and the other is expressed in males and represses female differentiation. We have determined that the dsx gene is transcribed to produce a common primary transcript that is alternatively spliced and poly-adenylated to yield male- and female-specific mRNAs. These sex-specific mRNAs share a common 5′ end and three common exons, but possess alternative sex-specific 3′ exons, thus encoding polypeptides with a common amino-terminal sequence but sex-specific carboxyl termini. Genetic and molecular data suggest that sequences including and adjacent to the female-specific splice acceptor site play an important role in the regulation of dsx expression by the transformer and transformer-2 loci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1010
Number of pages14
JournalCell
Volume56
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 24 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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