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Gene Expr Patterns. 2003 Jun;3(3):341-6.

Molecular analysis and developmental expression of the Sex-lethal gene of Sciara ocellaris (Diptera order, Nematocera suborder).

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Velázquez 144, 28006 Madrid, Spain.


This paper reports the cloning and characterization in Sciara ocellaris of the gene homologous to Sex-lethal (Sxl) of Drosophila melanogaster. This gene plays the key role controlling sex determination and dosage compensation in the latter species. The Sciara Sxl gene produces a single transcript encoding a single protein in both males and females. This protein, found inside the nucleus, is expressed in all tissues. Both Sciara and Drosophila Sxl proteins are highly conserved at their two RNA-binding domains. In both Sciara sexes, the Sxl protein co-localizes with transcription-active regions dependent on RNA polymerase II but not on RNA polymerase I. It would appear that in Sciara, Sxl does not appear to play the key discriminative role in controlling sex determination and dosage compensation that it plays in Drosophila.

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