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Dosage Compensation Proteins Targeted to X Chromosomes by a Determinant of Hermaphrodite Fate

Heather E. Dawes, Dorit S. Berlin, Denise M. Lapidus, Chad Nusbaum, Tamara L. Davis and Barbara J. Meyer
Science
New Series, Vol. 284, No. 5421 (Jun. 11, 1999), pp. 1800-1804
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2898042
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

In many organisms, master control genes coordinately regulate sex-specific aspects of development. SDC-2 was shown to induce hermaphrodite sexual differentiation and activate X chromosome dosage compensation in Caenorhabditis elegans. To control these distinct processes, SDC-2 acts as a strong gene-specific repressor and a weaker chromosome-wide repressor. To initiate hermaphrodite development, SDC-2 associates with the promoter of the male sex-determining gene her-1 to repress its transcription. To activate dosage compensation, SDC-2 triggers assembly of a specialized protein complex exclusively on hermaphrodite X chromosomes to reduce gene expression by half. SDC-2 can localize to X chromosomes without other components of the dosage compensation complex, suggesting that SDC-2 targets dosage compensation machinery to X chromosomes.

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