Edridge D’Souza’s “Lady Gaga” Paper — Now Posted on BioRxiv!By m In Drosophila
GA-repeats on mammalian X chromosomes support Ohno’s hypothesis of dosage compensation by transcriptional upregulation
Over 50 years ago, Susumo Ohno proposed that dosage compensation in mammals would require upregulation of gene expression on the single active X chromosome, a mechanism which to date is best understood in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we report that the GA-repeat sequences that recruit the conserved MSL dosage compensation complex to the Drosophila X chromosome are also enriched across mammalian X chromosomes, providing genomic support for the Ohno hypothesis. We show that mammalian GA-repeats derive in part from transposable elements, suggesting a mechanism whereby unrelated X chromosomes from dipterans to mammals accumulate binding sites for the MSL dosage compensation complex through convergent evolution, driven by their propensity to accumulate transposable elements.