Sex-specific regulation of yolk protein gene expression in Drosophila

John M. Belote, Alfred M. Handler, Mariana F. Wolfner, Kenneth J. Livak, Bruce S. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Many of the genes in the regulatory hierarchy controlling sex determination in Drosophila melanogaster are known. Here we examine how this regulatory hierarchy controls the expression of the structural genes encoding the female-specific yolk polypeptides. Temperature shift experiments with a temperature-sensitive allele of the sex determination regulatory gene transformer-2 (tra-2) showed that tra-2+ function is required in the adult for both the sex-specific initiation and maintenance of YP synthesis. Control of the YP genes by this, regulatory hierarchy is at the level of transcription, or transcript stability. The results of temperature shift experiments with abdomens isolated from tra-2ts homozygotes support the notion that the tra-2+ function acts in a cell-autonomous manner to control YP synthesis. These results provide a paradigm for the way this regulatory hierarchy controls the terminal differentiation functions for sexually dimorphic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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