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Curr Biol. 2010 Aug 24;20(16):1476-81. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.06.076. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Dosage compensation and demasculinization of X chromosomes in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. dbachtrog@berkeley.edu

Abstract

The X chromosome of Drosophila shows a deficiency of genes with male-biased expression, whereas mammalian X chromosomes are enriched for spermatogenesis genes expressed premeiosis and multicopy testis genes. Meiotic X-inactivation and sexual antagonism can only partly account for these patterns. Here, we show that dosage compensation (DC) in Drosophila may contribute substantially to the depletion of male genes on the X. To equalize expression between X-linked and autosomal genes in the two sexes, male Drosophila hypertranscribe their single X, whereas female mammals silence one of their two X chromosomes. We combine fine-scale mapping data of dosage compensated regions with genome-wide expression profiles and show that most male-biased genes on the D. melanogaster X are located outside dosage compensated regions. Additionally, X-linked genes that have newly acquired male-biased expression in D. melanogaster are less likely to be dosage compensated, and parental X-linked genes that gave rise to an autosomal male-biased retrocopy are more likely located within compensated regions. This suggests that DC contributes to the observed demasculinization of X chromosomes in Drosophila, both by limiting the emergence of male-biased expression patterns of existing X genes, and by contributing to gene trafficking of male genes off the X.

PMID:
20705467
PMCID:
PMC4511158
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2010.06.076
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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