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In the genome of Drosophila melanogaster, there are 19 phosphoprotein phosphatase (PPP) catalytic subunit coding genes. Seven of the novel members of the gene family turned out to be Drosophila-specific. The expression and evolution of these genes was investigated in the present study. CG11597 is a recently evolved gene that is expressed during all stages of morphogenesis in D. melanogaster. In contrast, the transcription of PpD5, PpD6, Pp1-Y1, and Pp1-Y2 genes is restricted to the pupa and imago developmental stages and to the testis of the males, just as that of the previously characterized PpY-55A and PpN58A. With the exception of the Y-localized Pp1-Y1 and Pp1-Y2, the testis-specific phosphatase genes are expressed in X/0 males, while none of them are expressed in XX/Y females. The mRNA of PpD5, Pp1-Y1, and PpY-55A were detected in the developing cysts by in situ hybridization, in contrast with the PpD6 transcript that was found in the distal ends of elongating spermatids. The latter localization suggests post-meiotic expression. The comparison of PPP genes in five Drosophila species revealed that the sequence of the six testis-specific phosphatases changed more rapidly than that of the housekeeping phosphatases. Our results support the "faster male" hypothesis. On the other hand, the male-biased expression of the six genes remained conserved during evolution despite the fact that Pp1-Y1, Pp1-Y2, and PpD6 moved from autosomes to the Y chromosome. Interestingly, the PpD6 gene was found to be Y-linked only in Drosophila ananassae.


Csaba Adám, László Henn, Márton Miskei, Miklós Erdélyi, Péter Friedrich, Viktor Dombrádi. Conservation of male-specific expression of novel phosphoprotein phosphatases in Drosophila. Development genes and evolution. 2010 Sep;220(3-4):123-8

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PMID: 20632030

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