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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 3, 1996; 93(18): 9687–9692.

Sexual orientation in Drosophila is altered by the satori mutation in the sex-determination gene fruitless that encodes a zinc finger protein with a BTB domain.


We have isolated a new Drosophila mutant, satori (sat), the males of which do not court or copulate with female flies. The sat mutation comaps with fruitless (fru) at 91B and does not rescue the bisexual phenotype of fru, indicating that sat is allelic to fru (fru(sat)). The fru(sat) adult males lack a male-specific muscle, the muscle of Lawrence, as do adult males with other fru alleles. Molecular cloning and analyses of the genomic and complementary DNAs indicated that transcription of the fru locus yields several different transcripts. The sequence of fru cDNA clones revealed a long open reading frame that potentially encodes a putative transcription regulator with a BTB domain and two zinc finger motifs. In the 5' noncoding region, three putative transformer binding sites were identified in the female transcript but not in male transcripts. The fru gene is expressed in a population of brain cells, including those in the antennal lobe, that have been suggested to be involved in determination of male sexual orientation. We suggest that fru functions downstream of tra in the sex-determination cascade in some neural cells and that inappropriate sexual development of these cells in the fru mutants results in altered sexual orientation of the fly.

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