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Cell. 1997 May 30;89(5):789-98.

The regulation of the Drosophila msl-2 gene reveals a function for Sex-lethal in translational control.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, California 94305, USA.


In Drosophila, dosage compensation occurs by increasing the transcription of the single male X chromosome. Four trans-acting factors encoded by the male-specific lethal genes are required for this process. Dosage compensation is restricted to males by the splicing regulator Sex-lethal, which functions to prevent the production of the MSL-2 protein in females by an unknown mechanism. In this report, we provide evidence that Sex-lethal acts synergistically through sequences in both the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of MSL-2 to mediate repression. We also provide evidence that the repression of MSL-2 is directly regulated by Sex-lethal at the level of translation.

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