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The Hox gene uses Doublesex as a cofactor to promote neuroblast apoptosis in the central nervous system [Transgenic Fly Facility]

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TitleThe Hox gene uses Doublesex as a cofactor to promote neuroblast apoptosis in the central nervous system [Transgenic Fly Facility]
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGhosh N, Bakshi A, Khandelwal R, Rajan SGovinda, Joshi R
JournalDevelopment
Volume146
Issue16
Date Published2019 08 22
ISSN1477-9129
KeywordsAnimals, Apoptosis, DNA-Binding Proteins, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Genes, Homeobox, Homeodomain Proteins, Male, Neural Stem Cells, Protein Isoforms, Sex Characteristics
Abstract

Highly conserved DM domain-containing transcription factors (Doublesex/MAB-3/DMRT1) are responsible for generating sexually dimorphic features. In the central nervous system, a set of Doublesex (Dsx)-expressing neuroblasts undergo apoptosis in females whereas their male counterparts proliferate and give rise to serotonergic neurons crucial for adult mating behaviour. Our study demonstrates that the female-specific isoform of Dsx collaborates with Hox gene () to bring about this apoptosis. Biochemical results suggest that proteins AbdB and Dsx interact through their highly conserved homeodomain and DM domain, respectively. This interaction is translated into a cooperative binding of the two proteins on the apoptotic enhancer in the case of females but not in the case of males, resulting in female-specific activation of apoptotic genes. The capacity of AbdB to use the sex-specific isoform of Dsx as a cofactor underlines the possibility that these two classes of protein are capable of cooperating in selection and regulation of target genes in a tissue- and sex-specific manner. We propose that this interaction could be a common theme in generating sexual dimorphism in different tissues across different species.

DOI10.1242/dev.175158
Alternate JournalDevelopment
PubMed ID31371379
PubMed Central IDPMC6737903