[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Drosophila melanogaster, transformer-2 (TRA-2) which is a non-sex-specific auxiliary splicing factor, is required to promote female sexual differentiation by interaction with the female-specific TRA. The two proteins positively regulate the splicing of both doublesex (dsx) and fruitless (fru) pre-mRNAs, which in turn regulate phenotypic and behavioural sexual dimorphism. In the Mediterranean fruitfly Ceratitis capitata, the female-specific CcTRA is similarly required not only for Ccdsx splicing, but also to exert a novel autoregulatory function that consists of promoting female-specific splicing of Cctra pre-mRNA. This study reports the isolation and functional analysis of the C. capitata homologue of the Drosophila transformer-2 gene (Cctra-2). Transient RNAi against Cctra-2 during embryonic development causes the full sex reversal of XX flies in adult fertile pseudo-males, as well as changes in the splicing pattern of Cctra, Ccdsx and Ccfruitless (Ccfru). We propose that: 1) Cctra-2, as in Drosophila, is necessary for promoting Ccdsx and putative Ccfru pre-mRNA female-specific splicing and that 2) unlike in Drosophila, Cctra-2 appears to be necessary for establishing female sex determination in early XX embryos and for maintaining the positive feedback regulation of Cctra during development.
The International journal of developmental biology 02/2009; 53(1):109-20. DOI:10.1387/ijdb.082681ms · 1.90 Impact Factor