The Drosophila gene female-lethal(2)d [fl(2)d] interacts genetically with the master regulatory gene for sex determination, Sex-lethal. Both genes are required for the activation of female-specific patterns of alternative splicing on transformer and Sex-lethal pre-mRNAs. We have used P-element- mediated mutagenesis to identify, the fl(2)d gene. The fl(2)d transcription unit generates two alternatively spliced mRNAs that can encode two protein isoforms differing at their amino terminus. The larger isoform contains a domain rich in histidine and glutamine but has no significant homology to proteins in databases. Several lines of evidence indicate that this protein is responsible for fl(2)d function. First, the P-element insertion that inactivates fl(2)d interrupts this ORF. Second, amino acid changes within this ORF have been identified in fl(2)d mutants, and the nature of the changes correlates with the severity of the mutations. Third, all of the phenotypes associated with fl(2)d mutations can be rescued by expression of this cDNA in transgenic flies. Fl(2)d protein can be detected in extracts from Drosophila cell lines, embryos, larvae, and adult animals, without apparent differences between sexes, as well as in adult ovaries. Consistent with a possible function in posttranscriptional regulation, Fl(2)d protein has nuclear localization and is enriched in nuclear extracts.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - May 2000|
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