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Chen, Y., Dai, H., Chen, S., Zhang, L., Long, M. (2011). Highly Tissue Specific Expression of Sphinx Supports Its Male Courtship Related Role in Drosophila melanogaster.  PLoS ONE 6(4): e18853.
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Research paper

Sphinx is a lineage-specific non-coding RNA gene involved in regulating courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. The 5' flanking region of the gene is conserved across Drosophila species, with the proximal 300 bp being conserved out to D. virilis and a further 600 bp region being conserved amongst the melanogaster subgroup (D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. sechellia, D. yakuba, and D. erecta). Using a green fluorescence protein transformation system, we demonstrated that a 253 bp region of the highly conserved segment was sufficient to drive sphinx expression in male accessory gland. GFP signals were also observed in brain, wing hairs and leg bristles. An additional ∼800 bp upstream region was able to enhance expression specifically in proboscis, suggesting the existence of enhancer elements. Using anti-GFP staining, we identified putative sphinx expression signal in the brain antennal lobe and inner antennocerebral tract, suggesting that sphinx might be involved in olfactory neuron mediated regulation of male courtship behavior. Whole genome expression profiling of the sphinx knockout mutation identified significant up-regulated gene categories related to accessory gland protein function and odor perception, suggesting sphinx might be a negative regulator of its target genes.

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PMC3082539 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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