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Usui-Aoki, K, Ito, H, Ui-Tei, K, Takahashi, K, Lukacsovich, T, Awano, W, Nakata, H, Piao, ZF, Nilsson, EE, Tomida, J and Yamamoto, D (2000) Formation of the male-specific muscle in female Drosophila by ectopic fruitless expression. Nat. Cell Biol. 2:500-6
The Drosophila fruitless (fru) gene product Fru has been postulated to be a neural sex-determination factor that directs the development of at least two male-specific characteristics, namely courtship behaviour and formation of the muscle of Lawrence (MOL). The fru gene encodes a putative transcription factor with a BTB domain and two zinc-finger motifs, and with consensus Tra-binding sequences. The binding of Tra to these sequences results in sex-specific alternative splicing of the fru mRNA, leading to production of the 'male-type' or 'female-type' Fru protein. We show here that the Fru protein is not detected in the female central nervous system (CNS), despite the similar level of expression of fru mRNA in both male and female CNS. As ectopic expression of both the 'male-type' (with the sequence for the amino-terminal extension) and 'female-type' (without the sequence for the amino-terminal extension) fru cDNA can induce formation of the MOL in females, the presence or absence of the Fru protein, and not its sex-specific structure, seems to be responsible for the sexually dimorphic actions of the fru gene.
Alleles; Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Animals, Genetically Modified; Central Nervous System/cytology; Central Nervous System/growth & development; Central Nervous System/metabolism; Cloning, Molecular; Drosophila Proteins; Drosophila melanogaster/cytology; Drosophila melanogaster/genetics; Drosophila melanogaster/growth & development; Drosophila melanogaster/metabolism; Female; Gene Expression; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Genes, Reporter/genetics; Immunohistochemistry; In Situ Hybridization; Insect Proteins/chemistry; Insect Proteins/genetics; Insect Proteins/metabolism; Male; Molecular Sequence Data; Muscle Development; Muscles/cytology; Muscles/metabolism; Nerve Tissue Proteins/biosynthesis; Nerve Tissue Proteins/chemistry; Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics; Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism; Neurons/metabolism; Nuclear Proteins/genetics; Nuclear Proteins/metabolism; Promoter Regions, Genetic/genetics; Protein Binding; Protein Biosynthesis; Pupa/cytology; Pupa/genetics; Pupa/growth & development; Pupa/metabolism; RNA, Messenger/analysis; RNA, Messenger/genetics; Ribonucleoproteins/genetics; Ribonucleoproteins/metabolism; Sex Characteristics; Sex Differentiation/genetics; Transcription Factors/biosynthesis; Transcription Factors/chemistry; Transcription Factors/genetics; Transcription Factors/metabolism; Transfection
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