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Establishment of a Novel In Vivo Sex-Specific Splicing Assay System To Identify a trans-Acting Factor That Negatively Regulates Splicing of Bombyx mori dsx Female Exons▿ †

By Masataka G. Suzuki, Shigeo Imanishi, Naoshi Dohmae, Tomoe Nishimura, Toru Shimada and Shogo Matsumoto


The Bombyx mori homolog of doublesex, Bmdsx, plays an essential role in silkworm sexual development. Exons 3 and 4 of Bmdsx pre-mRNA are specifically excluded in males. To explore how this occurs, we developed a novel in vivo sex-specific splicing assay system using sexually differentiated cultured cells. A series of mutation analyses using a Bmdsx minigene with this in vivo splicing assay system identified three distinct sequences (CE1, CE2, and CE3) positioned in exon 4 as exonic splicing silencers responsible for male-specific splicing. Gel shift analysis showed that CE1 binds to a nuclear protein from male cells but not that from female cells. Mutation of UAA repeats within CE1 inhibited the binding of the nuclear protein to the RNA and caused female-specific splicing in male cells. We have identified BmPSI, a Bombyx homolog of P-element somatic inhibitor (PSI), as the nuclear factor that specifically binds CE1. Down-regulation of endogenous BmPSI by RNA interference significantly increased female-specific splicing in male cells. This is the first report of a PSI homolog implicated in the regulated sex-specific splicing of dsx pre-mRNA

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Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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