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Cell. 1991 May 17;65(4):579-86.

Sex-specific splicing and polyadenylation of dsx pre-mRNA requires a sequence that binds specifically to tra-2 protein in vitro.

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Harvard University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


Somatic sex determination in Drosophila involves a hierarchy of regulated alternative pre-mRNA processing. Female-specific splicing and/or polyadenylation of doublesex (dsx) pre-mRNA, the final gene in this pathway, requires transformer (tra) and transformer-2 (tra-2) proteins. The mechanisms by which these proteins regulate RNA processing has not been characterized. In this paper we show that tra-2 produced in Escherichia coli binds specifically to a site within the female-specific exon of dsx pre-mRNA. This site, which contains six copies of a 13 nucleotide repeat, is required not only for female-specific splicing, but also for female-specific polyadenylation. These observations suggest that tra-2 is a positive regulator of dsx pre-mRNA processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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