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Sex-biased expression of microRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster.

Marco, Antonio (2014) 'Sex-biased expression of microRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster.' Open Biol, 4. 140024 - ?. ISSN 2046-2441

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Abstract

Most animals have separate sexes. The differential expression of gene products, in particular that of gene regulators, is underlying sexual dimorphism. Analyses of sex-biased expression have focused mostly on protein-coding genes. Several lines of evidence indicate that microRNAs, a class of major gene regulators, are likely to have a significant role in sexual dimorphism. This role has not been systematically explored so far. Here, I study the sex-biased expression pattern of microRNAs in the model species Drosophila melanogaster. As with protein-coding genes, sex-biased microRNAs are associated with the reproductive function. Strikingly, contrary to protein-coding genes, male-biased microRNAs are enriched in the X chromosome, whereas female microRNAs are mostly autosomal. I propose that the chromosomal distribution is a consequence of high rates of de novo emergence, and a preference for new microRNAs to be expressed in the testis. I also suggest that demasculinization of the X chromosome may not affect microRNAs. Interestingly, female-biased microRNAs are often encoded within protein-coding genes that are also expressed in females. MicroRNAs with sex-biased expression do not preferentially target sex-biased gene transcripts. These results strongly suggest that the sex-biased expression of microRNAs is mainly a consequence of high rates of microRNA emergence in the X chromosome (male bias) or hitchhiked expression by host genes (female bias).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: demasculinization, evolution, gene birth, sex, Animals, Drosophila melanogaster, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Evolution, Molecular, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Male, MicroRNAs, Oocytes, Ovary, Reproduction, Sex Factors, Testis, Transcriptome, X Chromosome
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Antonio Marco
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2014 11:01
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2019 23:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/9667

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