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J Mol Evol. 2016 May;82(4-5):199-206. doi: 10.1007/s00239-016-9735-y. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

Dosage Compensation and the Distribution of Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Drosophila: Considerations and Genomic Constraints.

Author information

1
Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna (CIBIV), Max F Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna, Dr. Bohrgasse 9, 1030, Vienna, Austria. miguel.gallach@univie.ac.at.
2
Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, USA.

Abstract

Several studies in Drosophila have shown a paucity of male-biased genes (i.e., genes that express higher in males than in females) on the X chromosome. Dosage compensation (DC) is a regulatory mechanism of gene expression triggered in males that hypertranscribes the X-linked genes to the level of transcription in females. There are currently two different hypotheses about the effects of DC on the distribution of male-biased genes: (1) it might limit male-expression level, or (2) it might interfere with the male upregulation of gene expression. Here, we used previously published gene expression datasets to reevaluate both hypotheses and introduce a mutually exclusive prediction that helped us to reject the hypothesis that the paucity of male-biased genes in the X chromosome is due to a limit in the male-expression level. Our analysis also uncovers unanticipated details about how DC interferes with the genomic distribution of both, male-biased and female-biased genes. We suggest that DC actually interferes with female downregulation of gene expression and not male upregulation, as previously suggested.

KEYWORDS:

Dosage compensation; Drosophila; Sex-biased gene expression; X chromosome

PMID:
27059220
PMCID:
PMC4866998
DOI:
10.1007/s00239-016-9735-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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