The transformer (tra) gene regulates female somatic sexual differentiation and has no known function in males. It gives rise to two sizes of RNA, one non-sex-specific and one female-specific. These two RNAs are shown to be present throughout the life cycle, and related by the use of alternative first intron splice acceptor sites. The non-sex-specific RNA has a 73 base first intron, while that in the female-specific RNA is 248 bases. The non-sex-specific RNA has no long open reading frame, while the female-specific RNA has a single long open reading frame beginning at the first AUG. Substitution of a heat shock promoter for the tra promoter still leads to female-specific differentiation of otherwise tra- females. We suggest a mechanism by which Sex-lethal controls itself and tra.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)