Letter | Published:

The dosage compensation system of Drosophila is co-opted by newly evolved X chromosomes

Nature volume 383, pages 160163 (12 September 1996) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

IN species where males and females differ in number of sex chromosomes, the expression of sex-linked genes is equalized by a process known as dosage compensation. In Drosophila melanogaster, dosage compensation is mediated by the binding of the products of the male-specific lethal (msl) genes to the single male X chromosome. Here we report that the sex- and chromosome-specific binding of three of the msl proteins (MSLs) occurs in other drosophilid species, spanning four genera. Moreover, we show that MSL binding correlates with the evolution of the sex chromosomes: in species that have acquired a second X chromosome arm because of an X-autosome translocation, we observe binding of the MSLs to the 'new' (previously autosomal) arm of the X chromosome, only when its homologue has degenerated. Moreover, in Drosophila miranda, a Y-autosome translocation has produced a new X chromosome (called neo-X), only some regions of which are dosage compensated. In this neo-X chromosome, the pattern of MSL binding correlates with the known pattern of dosage compensation.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Science 251, 1030–1033 (1991).

  2. 2.

    Curr. Biol. 6, 149–162 (1996).

  3. 3.

    Evolution of Sex Determining Mechanisms (Benjamin/Cummings, 1983).

  4. 4.

    , & Annu. Rev. Genet. 28, 491–521 (1994).

  5. 5.

    & Development 121, 3245–3258 (1995).

  6. 6.

    et al. EMBO J. 14, 2884–2895 (1996).

  7. 7.

    et al. Cell 81, 867–877 (1995).

  8. 8.

    Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. His. 197, 1–139 (1990).

  9. 9.

    , & Mol. Biol. Evol. 12, 391–404 (1995).

  10. 10.

    & J. Mol. Evol. 21, 1–13 (1984).

  11. 11.

    , , & J. Mol. Evol. 38, 443–454 (1994).

  12. 12.

    & Genetics 78, 119–126 (1974).

  13. 13.

    , & Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 75, 931–935 (1978).

  14. 14.

    , , & Chromosoma 87, 373–388 (1982).

  15. 15.

    , & Development 121, 463–475 (1995).

  16. 16.

    Genetics 20, 377–391 (1935).

  17. 17.

    , & Chromosome Res. 4, 185–190 (1996).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Ignacio Marín
    • , Axel Franke
    • , Greg J. Bashaw
    •  & Bruce S. Baker

Authors

  1. Search for Ignacio Marín in:

  2. Search for Axel Franke in:

  3. Search for Greg J. Bashaw in:

  4. Search for Bruce S. Baker in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/383160a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.