The Drosophila somatic sex-determination regulatory pathway has been well studied, but little is known about the target genes that it ultimately controls. In a differential screen for sex-specific transcripts expressed in fly heads, we identified a highly male-enriched transcript encoding Takeout, a protein related to a superfamily of factors that bind small lipophilic molecules. We show that sex-specific takeout transcripts derive from fat body tissue closely associated with the adult brain and are dependent on the sex determination genes doublesex (dsx) and fruitless (fru). The male-specific Doublesex and Fruitless proteins together activate Takeout expression, whereas the female-specific Doublesex protein represses takeout independently of Fru. When cells that normally express takeout are feminized by expression of the Transformer-F protein, male courtship behavior is dramatically reduced, suggesting that male identity in these cells is necessary for behavior. A loss-of-function mutation in the takeout gene reduces male courtship and synergizes with fruitless mutations, suggesting that takeout plays a redundant role with other fru-dependent factors involved in male mating behavior. Comparison of Takeout sequences to the Drosophila genome reveals a family of 20 related secreted factors. Expression analysis of a subset of these genes suggests that the takeout gene family encodes multiple factors with sex-specific functions
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.