Absence of X-chromosome dosage compensation in the primordial germ cells of Drosophila embryos

Ryoma Ota, Makoto Hayashi, Shumpei Morita, Hiroki Miura, Satoru Kobayashi

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Dosage compensation is a mechanism that equalizes sex chromosome gene expression between the sexes. In Drosophila, individuals with two X chromosomes (XX) become female, whereas males have one X chromosome (XY). In males, dosage compensation of the X chromosome in the soma is achieved by five proteins and two non-coding RNAs, which assemble into the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex to upregulate X-linked genes twofold. By contrast, it remains unclear whether dosage compensation occurs in the germline. To address this issue, we performed transcriptome analysis of male and female primordial germ cells (PGCs). We found that the expression levels of X-linked genes were approximately twofold higher in female PGCs than in male PGCs. Acetylation of lysine residue 16 on histone H4 (H4K16ac), which is catalyzed by the MSL complex, was undetectable in these cells. In male PGCs, hyperactivation of X-linked genes and H4K16ac were induced by overexpression of the essential components of the MSL complex, which were expressed at very low levels in PGCs. Together, these findings indicate that failure of MSL complex formation results in the absence of X-chromosome dosage compensation in male PGCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4890
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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