X-linkage is not a general inhibitor of tissue-specific gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster Journal Article

Author(s): Argyridou, Eliza; Huylmans, Ann K; Königer, Annabella; Parsch, John
Article Title: X-linkage is not a general inhibitor of tissue-specific gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: As a consequence of its difference in copy number between males and females, the X chromosome is subject to unique evolutionary forces and gene regulatory mechanisms. Previous studies of Drosophila melanogaster have shown that the expression of X-linked, testis-specific reporter genes is suppressed in the male germline. However, it is not known whether this phenomenon is restricted to testis-expressed genes or if it is a more general property of genes with tissue-specific expression, which are also underrepresented on the X chromosome. To test this, we compared the expression of three tissue-specific reporter genes (ovary, accessory gland and Malpighian tubule) inserted at various autosomal and X-chromosomal locations. In contrast to testis-specific reporter genes, we found no reduction of X-linked expression in any of the other tissues. In accessory gland and Malpighian tubule, we detected higher expression of the X-linked reporter genes, which suggests that they are at least partially dosage compensated. We found no difference in the tissue-specificity of X-linked and autosomal reporter genes. These findings indicate that, in general, the X chromosome is not a detrimental environment for tissue-specific gene expression and that the suppression of X-linked expression is limited to the male germline.
Journal Title: Heredity
Volume: 119
ISSN: 0018-067X
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group  
Date Published: 2017-03-15
Start Page: 27
End Page: 34
DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2017.12
Notes: We thank Hilde Lainer and Gaby Kumpfmüller for excellent technical assistance. We also thank the Munich evolutionary biology group for helpful comments and discussions. This work was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grant PA 903/6.
Open access: no