The regulation of the Drosophila msl-2 gene reveals a function for Sex-lethal in translational control

Cell. 1997 May 30;89(5):789-98. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80262-7.


In Drosophila, dosage compensation occurs by increasing the transcription of the single male X chromosome. Four trans-acting factors encoded by the male-specific lethal genes are required for this process. Dosage compensation is restricted to males by the splicing regulator Sex-lethal, which functions to prevent the production of the MSL-2 protein in females by an unknown mechanism. In this report, we provide evidence that Sex-lethal acts synergistically through sequences in both the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of MSL-2 to mediate repression. We also provide evidence that the repression of MSL-2 is directly regulated by Sex-lethal at the level of translation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Male
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • X Chromosome*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • msl-2 protein, Drosophila