The control of alternative splicing at genes regulating sexual differentiation in D. melanogaster

Cell. 1988 Apr 22;53(2):229-36. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90384-4.


The transformer (tra) and doublesex (dsx) genes produce sex-specific transcripts that are generated by differential RNA processing. We have examined the effects of mutants in other regulatory genes controlling sexual differentiation on the patterns of processing of the tra and dsx RNA transcripts. Our results demonstrate that the genes suggested by genetic studies to act upstream of tra or dsx in the sex determination hierarchy regulate these two loci at the level of RNA processing. Our data suggest that the order of interaction of the factors controlling sex is X:A greater than Sxl greater than tra greater than tra-2 greater than dsx greater than or equal to ix greater than terminal differentiation. While these results cannot preclude regulatory interactions at other levels, the regulation of RNA splicing revealed by these experiments is sufficient to account for all of the known functional interactions between the regulatory genes in this hierarchy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • RNA Splicing*
  • Sex Differentiation
  • Transcription, Genetic