Temperature-dependent gene silencing by an expressed inverted repeat in Drosophila

Eric Fortier, John M. Belote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) induced by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is an intriguing phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster. Although PTGS in Drosophila is typically observed following direct injection of the dsRNA into embryos, it is theoretically possible that the in vivo transcription of an inverted repeat transgene might also produce a dsRNA 'hairpin' that is capable of triggering PTGS. Here we test this idea, and show that an expressed inverted repeat of a portion of the sex differentiation gene, transformer-2, (tra-2), driven by a GAL4-dependent promoter, does genetically repress the endogenous wild-type tra-2 function, producing a dominant loss-of-function mutant phenotype. Remarkably, this effect is temperature-sensitive, with phenotypic consequences seen at 29°, but not at 22°. Moreover, by altering the dosage of either the transgenes or the endogenous tra2+ loci, one can vary the effect over a wide range of mutant phenotypes. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-244
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • RNA
  • UAS/GAL4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Temperature-dependent gene silencing by an expressed inverted repeat in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this