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Gopinath, G. and Arunkumar, K.P. and Mita, K. and Nagaraju, J. (2016) Role of Bmznf-2, a Bombyx mori CCCH zinc finger gene, in masculinisation and differential splicing of Bmtra-2. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 75. pp. 32-44. ISSN 0965-1748

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Deciphering the regulatory factors involved in Bombyx mori sex determination has been a puzzle, challenging researchers for nearly a century now. The pre-mRNA of B. mori doublesex (Bmdsx), a master regulator gene of sexual differentiation, is differentially spliced, producing Bmdsxm and Bmdsxf transcripts in males and females respectively. The putative proteins encoded by these differential transcripts orchestrate antagonistic functions, which lead to sexual differentiation. A recent study in B. mori illustrated the role of a W-derived fem piRNA in conferring femaleness. In females, the fem piRNA was shown to suppress the activity of a Z-linked CCCH type zinc finger (znf) gene, Masculiniser (masc), which indirectly promotes the Bmdsxm type of splicing. In this study, we report a novel autosomal (Chr 25) CCCH type znf motif encoding gene Bmznf-2 as one of the potential factors in the Bmdsx sex specific differential splicing, and we also provide insights into its role in the alternative splicing of Bmtra2 by using ovary derived BmN cells. Over-expression of Bmznf-2 induced Bmdsxm type of splicing (masculinisation) with a correspondingly reduced expression of Bmdsxf type isoform in BmN cells. Further, the site-directed mutational studies targeting the tandem CCCH znf motifs revealed their indispensability in the observed phenotype of masculinisation. Additionally, the dual luciferase assays in BmN cells using 5′ UTR region of the Bmznf-2 strongly implied the existence of a translational repression over this gene. From these findings, we propose Bmznf-2 to be one of the potential factors of masculinisation similar to Masc. From the growing number of Bmdsx splicing regulators, we assume that the sex determination cascade of B. mori is quite intricate in nature; hence, it has to be further investigated for its comprehensive understanding.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Dr P Divakar
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 07:33
URI: http://cdfd.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/727

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