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Sexual orientation and courtship behavior in Drosophila are regulated by fruitless (fru), the first gene in a branch of the sex-determination hierarchy functioning specifically in the central nervous system (CNS). The phenotypes of new fru mutants encompass nearly all aspects of male sexual behavior. Alternative splicing of fru transcripts produces sex-specific proteins belonging to the BTB-ZF family of transcriptional regulators. The sex-specific fru products are produced in only about 500 of the 10(5) neurons that comprise the CNS. The properties of neurons expressing these fru products suggest that fru specifies the fates or activities of neurons that carry out higher order control functions to elicit and coordinate the activities comprising male courtship behavior.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell

Publication Date

13/12/1996

Volume

87

Pages

1079 - 1089

Keywords

Age Factors, Animals, Base Sequence, Central Nervous System, Cloning, Molecular, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Genes, Insect, Male, Molecular Sequence Data, Nerve Tissue Proteins, RNA Splicing, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sex Differentiation, Sexual Behavior, Animal, Transcription Factors, Transcription, Genetic, Zinc Fingers