Pervasive and largely lineage-specific adaptive protein evolution in the dosage compensation complex of Drosophila melanogaster

Genetics. 2007 Nov;177(3):1959-62. doi: 10.1534/genetics.107.079459.


Dosage compensation refers to the equalization of X-linked gene transcription among heterogametic and homogametic sexes. In Drosophila, the dosage compensation complex (DCC) mediates the twofold hypertranscription of the single male X chromosome. Loss-of-function mutations at any DCC protein-coding gene are male lethal. Here we report a population genetic analysis suggesting that four of the five core DCC proteins--MSL1, MSL2, MSL3, and MOF--are evolving under positive selection in D. melanogaster. Within these four proteins, several domains that range in function from X chromosome localization to protein-protein interactions have elevated, D. melanogaster-specific, amino acid divergence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Species Specificity
  • X Chromosome / genetics


  • Drosophila Proteins