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

Molecular analysis of ref(2)P, a Drosophila gene implicated in sigma rhabdovirus multiplication and necessary for male fertility.

The ref(2)P gene of Drosophila melanogaster is implicated in sigma rhabdovirus multiplication. A permissive allele was cloned and sequenced. The structural gene ( 3.1 kbp) is divided into three exons. The mRNAs are heterogeneous in size. They differ only in the 5' end of the first exon. The sequence upstream of the short mRNAs contains classical promoter elements. No TATA and CAAT boxes are appropriately positioned upstream of the initiation sites of the long mRNAs, but several repeats, palindromic sequences and inverted CAAT boxes are present. These observations, together with the tissue-dependent distribution of short and long transcripts, support the hypothesis of the existence of at least two classes of genuine initiation sites. The long size of the untranslated leader RNA region suggests a control of gene expression at the translation level. The same translation product of 599 amino acids (76.3 kd) is predicted for all mRNAs, but the in vitro translation product migrates in SDS-PAGE with a higher apparent mol. wt (115-125 kd). The putative ref(2)P protein contains internal repeats, PEST regions which may be signals for protein degradation, and interesting structural motifs such as zinc finger and amphiphilic helices. These later motifs could be mitochondrial pre-sequences. The degeneration of mitochondria is observed in the spermatids of sterile male flies homozygous for the loss-of-function alleles. The amino acid sequence of the ref(2)P product shows no homology with any known protein from the data banks.[1]


  1. Molecular analysis of ref(2)P, a Drosophila gene implicated in sigma rhabdovirus multiplication and necessary for male fertility. Dezelee, S., Bras, F., Contamine, D., Lopez-Ferber, M., Segretain, D., Teninges, D. EMBO J. (1989) [Pubmed]
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