Regulation of the sex-specific binding of the maleless dosage compensation protein to the male X chromosome in Drosophila

Cell. 1993 Jan 15;72(1):39-49. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(93)90048-u.


In Drosophila, the single male X chromosome is transcribed at twice the rate of a single female X chromosome. This hypertranscription requires the functions of at least four autosomal male-specific lethal genes (msls) and is under the control of the Sex-lethal (Sxl) gene. One of the msls, the maleless (mle) gene, encodes a protein that is associated with the male X chromosome. To investigate how dosage compensation is regulated, we have determined whether Sxl and the other msls are required for mle X chromosome binding. We have found that in females, Sxl functions to prevent mle from binding to the two X chromosomes. Additionally, we have found that mle X chromosome binding requires wild-type msl1, msl2, and msl3 functions. These data support a model whereby the activity of the mle protein is regulated through its association with one or more of the other msl proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone*
  • DNA Helicases*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homozygote
  • Insect Hormones / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • X Chromosome*


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Sxl protein, Drosophila
  • Transcription Factors
  • mle protein, Drosophila
  • DNA Helicases