Dosage-dependent gene regulation in multicellular eukaryotes: implications for dosage compensation, aneuploid syndromes, and quantitative traits

Dev Biol. 2001 Jun 15;234(2):275-88. doi: 10.1006/dbio.2001.0262.


Evidence from a variety of data suggests that regulatory mechanisms in multicellular eukaryotes have evolved in such a manner that the stoichiometric relationship of the components of regulatory complexes affects target gene expression. This type of mechanism sets the level of gene expression and, as a consequence, the phenotypic characteristics. Because many types of regulatory processes exhibit dosage-dependent behavior, they would impact quantitative traits and contribute to their multigenic control in a semidominant fashion. Many dosage-dependent effects would also account for the extensive modulation of gene expression throughout the genome that occurs when chromosomes are added to or subtracted from the karyotype (aneuploidy). Moreover, because the majority of dosage-dependent regulators act negatively, this property can account for the up-regulation of genes in monosomics and hemizygous sex chromosomes to achieve dosage compensation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Sex Chromosomes
  • Syndrome
  • Zea mays / genetics