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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Factors on the third chromosome affect the level of cyp6a2 and cyp6a8 expression in Drosophila melanogaster.

The expression of two second chromosome-linked cytochrome P450 genes, Cyp6a2 and Cyp6a8, of Drosophila melanogaster was measured in various strains. Six different strains, including ry(506) and 91-C, showed low or undetectable levels of CYP6A2 and CYP6A8 mRNAs, suggesting that low expression is the wild-type phenotype of Cyp6a2 and Cyp6a8 genes. In the 91-R and MHIII-D23 strains, however, both these genes are overexpressed. In order to examine the genetic basis of Cyp6a2 and Cyp6a8 expression, CYP6A2 and CYP6A8 RNA levels were measured in the F1 hybrids of overproducer (91-R and MHIII-D23) and underproducer (ry(506) and 91-C) strains. Results showed that the total amounts of CYP6A2 and CYP6A8 mRNAs in the F1 hybrids were lower than half the amounts of these RNAs found in the overproducer parental strains. This suggested that the underproducer strains carry loci which downregulate Cyp6a2 and Cyp6a8 gene expression. To determine the chromosome linkage of these loci, several stocks homozygous for the second chromosome of overproducer 91-R strain and, therefore, homozygous for the Cyp6a2-91R and Cyp6a8-91R alleles were synthesized. The third chromosomes in all these stocks were from the underproducer ry(506) strain. The levels of expression of both Cyp6a2-91R and Cyp6a8-91R genes in these three stocks were significantly lower than that observed in the 91-R strain. One of these stocks, named iso-2, showing reduced expression, was used to synthesize two new isogenic stocks by resubstituting the third chromosome of ry(506) origin with third chromosomes of the 91-R strain. Expression of both Cyp6a2-91R and Cyp6a8-91R alleles was found to be much higher in these two resubstituted isogenic stocks than in the progenitor iso-2 stock. Taken together, these results suggest that the second chromosome-linked Cyp6a2 and Cypa8 genes are regulated by loci present on the third chromosome, and the wild-type function of these loci is to repress these two Cyp genes. The data also suggest that Cyp6a2 and Cyp6a8 overexpression in the 91-R and MHIII-D23 strains is more likely due to mutation in the repressor locus (or loci) rather than in the cis-regulatory sequences of the Cyp6a2 and Cyp6a8 genes.[1]


  1. Factors on the third chromosome affect the level of cyp6a2 and cyp6a8 expression in Drosophila melanogaster. Maitra, S., Dombrowski, S.M., Basu, M., Raustol, O., Waters, L.C., Ganguly, R. Gene (2000) [Pubmed]
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