A fat gene for male manners

Body fat expresses the takeout gene that motivates male flies to court females.

Tudor Toma
Nov 17, 2002

Takeout, is a Drosophila protein related to a superfamily of factors that bind small lipophilic molecules. It provides a molecular link between circadian rhythms and feeding behavior, but its role in fruit fly sexual behavior has been unclear. In November 15 Genes & Development, Brigitte Dauwalder and colleagues at the University of Texas, Houston, Texas USA, show that the Drosophila takeout gene is regulated by the somatic sex-determination pathway and affects male courtship behavior (Genes & Development, 16:2879-2892, November 15, 2002).

Dauwalder et al. used takeout mutants and sexual mosaics and performed a differential screen for takeout transcripts. They observed that sex-specific takeout transcripts are expressed in fat body tissue closely associated with the adult brain and the expression is dependent on the sex determination genes doublesex (dsx) and fruitless (fru). The male-specific Doublesex and Fruitless proteins together activated Takeout expression, whereas the female-specific Doublesex protein...

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