Cis-regulatory sequences leading to female-specific expression of yolk protein genes 1 and 2 in the fat body of Drosophila melanogaster

Mol Gen Genet. 1993 Feb;237(1-2):41-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00282782.


The three yolk protein genes (yp) of Drosophila melanogaster are transcribed in a sex- and tissue-limited fashion. We have searched for cis-regulatory sequences in regions flanking yp1 and yp2 to identify the elements that confer female-specific expression in the fat body. One such 127 bp element has previously been identified in this region. We show here the existence of two additional regions which confer female fat body-specific expression on an Adh reporter gene and on the native yp2 gene, respectively. This suggests some redundancy in the regulation of expression of the yp genes. Computer searches for putative binding sites for the DSX protein, which regulates sex-specific expression of the yp genes, revealed several such sites in our constructs. However, the significance of these is unclear since many such sites also occur in genes which one would not expect to be regulated in a sex-specific manner (e.g. Adh, Actin 5C). We suggest that DSX acts in concert with other proteins to mediate sex- and tissue-specific expression of the yp genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Egg Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Egg Proteins / genetics*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics
  • Fat Body / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Insect Hormones / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DSX protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Egg Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase