Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 1989 Oct;8(10):3079-86.

The scute (T4) gene acts as a numerator element of the X:a signal that determines the state of activity of sex-lethal in Drosophila.

Author information

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Madrid, Spain.


The ratio of X chromosomes to sets of autosomes (X:A) is the primary genetic signal that determines sex and dosage compensation in Drosophila. The gene Sex-lethal (Sxl) receives this signal and is responsible for the execution of the alternative developmental programmes of males and females. We have found that the scute (T4) gene, which is involved in neurogenesis, also plays a role in the activation of Sxl. The following results suggest that scute (T4) may be a numerator element of the X:A signal: scute (T4) mutations show female-specific lethality. There are female-specific lethal synergistic interactions between sis-a, a previously described numerator element, and mutants for T4. The female lethality is suppressed by SxlM1, a constitutive allele which expresses an active Sxl product independently of the X:A ratio. The Hw685 mutation, which overexpresses T4, is lethal to males with a duplication of sis-a. This lethality is suppressed by either Sxlf1, or the T4 point mutation sc10-1. There are female-specific lethal interactions between sc10-1 and daughter-less (da), a gene needed maternally for Sxl to become active. The sc10-1 mutation masculinizes triploid intersexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center