Publications by authors named "John M Belote"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

How female × male and male × male interactions influence competitive fertilization in .

Evol Lett 2020 Oct 4;4(5):416-429. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Department of Biology Syracuse University Syracuse New York 13244.

How males and females contribute to joint reproductive success has been a long-standing question in sexual selection. Under postcopulatory sexual selection, paternity success is predicted to derive from complex interactions among females engaging in cryptic female choice and males engaging in sperm competition. Such interactions have been identified as potential sources of genetic variation in sexually selected traits but are also expected to inhibit trait diversification. To date, studies of interactions between females and competing males have focused almost exclusively on genotypes and not phenotypic variation in sexually selected traits. Here, we characterize within- and between-sex interactions in using isogenic lines with heritable variation in both male and female traits known to influence competitive fertilization. We confirmed, and expanded on, previously reported genotypic interactions within and between the sexes, and showed that several reproductive events, including sperm transfer, female sperm ejection, and sperm storage, were explained by two- and three-way interactions among sex-specific phenotypes. We also documented complex interactions between the lengths of competing males' sperm and the female seminal receptacle, which are known to have experienced rapid female-male co-diversification. Our results highlight the nonindependence of sperm competition and cryptic female choice and demonstrate that complex interactions between the sexes do not limit the ability of multivariate systems to respond to directional sexual selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/evl3.193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523561PMC
October 2020

A putative novel role for Eip74EF in male reproduction in promoting sperm elongation at the cost of male fecundity.

J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol 2020 Jul 28. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.

Spermatozoa are the most morphologically variable cell type, yet little is known about genes controlling natural variation in sperm shape. Drosophila fruit flies have the longest sperm known, which are evolving under postcopulatory sexual selection, driven by sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Long sperm outcompete short sperm but primarily when females have a long seminal receptacle (SR), the primary sperm storage organ. Thus, the selection on sperm length is mediated by SR length, and the two traits are coevolving across the Drosophila lineage, driven by a genetic correlation and fitness advantage of long sperm and long SR genotypes in both males and females. Ecdysone-induced protein 74EF (Eip74EF) is expressed during postmeiotic stages of spermatogenesis when spermatid elongation occurs, and we found that it is rapidly evolving under positive selection in Drosophila. Hypomorphic knockout of the E74A isoform leads to shorter sperm but does not affect SR length, suggesting that E74A may be involved in promoting spermatid elongation but is not a genetic driver of male-female coevolution. We also found that E74A knockout has opposing effects on fecundity in males and females, with an increase in fecundity for males but a decrease in females, consistent with its documented role in oocyte maturation. Our results suggest a novel function of Eip74EF in spermatogenesis and demonstrates that this gene influences both male and female reproductive success. We speculate on possible roles for E74A in spermatogenesis and male reproductive success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.22986DOI Listing
July 2020

Interaction Between the μ-Opioid Receptor Gene and the Number of Heavy-Drinking Peers on Alcohol Use.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2017 Dec 2;41(12):2041-2050. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Department of Psychology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.

Background: The presence of heavy-drinking peers may trigger genetic vulnerabilities to alcohol use. Limited correlational findings, albeit mixed as a function of age, suggest that carriers of a μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) G allele may be more vulnerable than noncarriers to alcohol-promoting perceived peer environments. However, research has not yet examined such genetic susceptibility to actual (rather than perceived) peer environments through an experimental, ad libitum alcohol administration design. This study examined whether OPRM1 modulates the effects of heavy-drinking group size on alcohol consumption and explored potential mediators of such OPRM1-based differences.

Methods: Caucasian young adult moderate to heavy drinkers (N = 116; mean age = 22 years [SD = 2.21], 49% female) were randomly assigned to consume alcohol in the presence of none, 1, or 3 heavy-drinking peer confederates.

Results: Results showed no significant moderating effects of OPRM1 in the relationship between the number (or presence) of heavy-drinking peers and voluntary alcohol consumption (partial η  = 0.01). This result remained the same after controlling for sex, age, and typical drinking quantity as well as their 2-way interactions with OPRM1 and social drinking condition. In addition, OPRM1 did not moderate the peer influence on any proposed mediating variables, including craving for alcohol and subjective responses to alcohol.

Conclusions: Findings suggest no OPRM1-based susceptibility to the number of heavy-drinking peers, adding to the existing mixed findings from correlational studies. Future research on OPRM1-related susceptibility to alcohol-promoting peer environments through meta-analytic synthesis and both experimental and prospective, multiwave designs is needed to resolve these mixed findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.13523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5711571PMC
December 2017

Interaction between the ADH1B*3 allele and drinking motives on alcohol use among Black college students.

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2018 29;44(3):329-338. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

a Department of Psychology , Syracuse University , Syracuse , NY , USA.

Background: Black young adults have lower rates of alcohol use than other racial groups. Genetic factors may protect against drinking. Specifically, the ADH1B*3 allele is present almost exclusively in Black populations and has been protective against alcohol use and alcohol use disorder. The protective effects of the ADH1B*3 allele, however, may differ as a function of alcohol-promoting cognitions.

Objectives: The current study examined whether ADH1B*3 moderated relations of drinking motives with alcohol consumption among Black college drinkers.

Methods: Participants were 241 undergraduate students of self-identified Black race (mean age = 20 years; 66% female) who reported consuming alcohol at least once in the past 30 days.

Results: ADH1B*3 was not significantly associated with drinking motives or drinking behaviors. However, significant, albeit small, interaction effects of ADH1B*3 with drinking motives on drinking behavior were found; the presence of an ADH1B*3 allele protected against greater drinking quantity among students with high social motives (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.95, 95% CI [0.92, 0.99]) and against frequent drinking among students with low coping motives (IRR = 1.06, 95% CI [1.01, 1.11]).

Conclusion: These findings represent a novel demonstration of genetic modulation of alcohol-related cognitions within Black college drinkers, although replication is needed. Results represent an initial step toward better characterizing individual differences in associations of drinking motives with drinking behavior, with potential implications for interventions aimed at motivational processes in alcohol use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00952990.2017.1339054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5747558PMC
September 2018

Interaction between ADH1B*3 and alcohol-facilitating social environments in alcohol behaviors among college students of african descent.

Am J Addict 2017 Jun;26(4):349-356

Department of Psychology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.

Background And Objectives: Although alcohol-facilitating social environmental factors, such as alcohol offers and high perceived peer drinking norms, have been extensively studied as determinants of college drinking, their role among college students of African descent remains understudied. Furthermore, gene-environment interaction research suggests that the effects of alcohol-facilitating environments may differ as a function of genetic factors. Specifically, the alcohol dehydrogenase gene's ADH1B*3 allele, found almost exclusively in persons of African descent, may modulate the association of risky social environments with alcohol behaviors. The current study examined whether the ADH1B*3 allele attenuated the relationship between alcohol-facilitating environments (ie, alcohol offers and perceived peer drinking norms) and alcohol behaviors.

Method: Participants were 241 undergraduate students who self-identified as being of African descent (mean age = 20 years [SD = 4.11]; 66% female).

Results: Significant interaction effects of ADH1B*3 with alcohol offers were found on alcohol use frequency (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.14) and on drinking consequences (IRR = 1.21). ADH1B*3 also interacted with perceived peer norms on drinking consequences (IRR = 1.41). Carriers of the ADH1B*3 allele drank less frequently and experienced fewer negative consequences than non-carriers when exposed to lower levels of alcohol offers and perceived peer drinking. In contrast, in high alcohol-facilitating environments, no protective genetic effect was observed.

Discussion And Conclusion: This study demonstrates that ADH1B*3 may protect college students of African descent against alcohol outcomes, although only in low alcohol-facilitating environments.

Scientific Significance: Findings add to the growing body of knowledge regarding genetic and social determinants of alcohol behaviors among college students of African descent. (Am J Addict 2017;26:349-356).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajad.12532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5636222PMC
June 2017

Resolving mechanisms of short-term competitive fertilization success in the red flour beetle.

J Insect Physiol 2016 Oct - Nov;93-94:1-10. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.

Postcopulatory sexual selection occurs when sperm from multiple males occupy a female's reproductive tract at the same time and is expected to generate strong selection pressures on traits related to competitive fertilization success. However, knowledge of competitive fertilization success mechanisms and characters targeted by resulting selection is limited, partially due to the difficulty of discriminating among sperm from different males within the female reproductive tract. Here, we resolved mechanisms of competitive fertilization success in the promiscuous flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Through creation of transgenic lines with fluorescent-tagged sperm heads, we followed the fate of focal male sperm in female reproductive tracts while tracking paternity across numerous rematings. Our results indicate that a given male's sperm persist and fertilize eggs through at least seven rematings. Additionally, the proportion of a male's sperm in the bursa (the site of spermatophore deposition), which is influenced by both timing of female's ejecting excess sperm and male size, significantly predicted paternity share in the 24h following a mating. Contrary to expectation, proportional representation of sperm within the female's specialized sperm-storage organ did not significantly predict paternity, though spermathecal sperm may play a role in fertilization when females do not have access to mates for longer time periods. We address the adaptive significance of the identified reproductive mechanisms in the context of T. castaneum's unique mating system and ecology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2016.06.003DOI Listing
July 2017

How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation.

Nature 2016 05;533(7604):535-8

Center for Reproductive Evolution, Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 107 College Place, Syracuse, New York 13244-1270, USA.

Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18005DOI Listing
May 2016

No inbreeding depression in sperm storage ability or offspring viability in Drosophila melanogaster females.

J Insect Physiol 2014 Jan 1;60:1-6. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA. Electronic address:

Mating between relatives usually decreases genetic quality of progeny as deleterious recessive alleles are expressed in inbred individuals. Inbreeding degrades sperm traits but its effects on sperm storage and fate within females are currently unknown. We quantified the relationship between the degrees of inbreeding relevant to natural populations (f=0, 0.25 and 0.50) and the number of sperm inseminated and stored, sperm swimming speed, long-term sperm viability while in storage, pattern of sperm precedence, mating latency, and offspring viability of female Drosophila melanogaster. The use of transgenic flies that have either red or green fluorescent sperm heads allowed us to distinguish two ejaculates in the female reproductive tract and facilitated quantification of sperm storage and use traits. We found no inbreeding depression in either long- or short-term sperm storage ability. The most inbred females exhibited significantly longer mating latency, which could be explained by males preferring to mate with outbred females. On the other hand, as no evidence for cryptic male choice in the form of ejaculate tailoring of sperm number was found, the most inbred females might just be less eager to mate. We also found no evidence that the degree of maternal inbreeding influenced offspring viability. Comparison with a contemporaneous study of male inbreeding consequences for ejaculate quality suggests that inbreeding depression is more severe in males than in females in our study population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2013.10.005DOI Listing
January 2014

Postcopulatory sexual selection generates speciation phenotypes in Drosophila.

Curr Biol 2013 Oct 26;23(19):1853-62. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.

Background: Identifying traits that reproductively isolate species, and the selective forces underlying their divergence, is a central goal of evolutionary biology and speciation research. There is growing recognition that postcopulatory sexual selection, which can drive rapid diversification of interacting ejaculate and female reproductive tract traits that mediate sperm competition, may be an engine of speciation. Conspecific sperm precedence (CSP) is a taxonomically widespread form of reproductive isolation, but the selective causes and divergent traits responsible for CSP are poorly understood.

Results: To test the hypothesis that postcopulatory sexual selection can generate reproductive isolation, we expressed GFP or RFP in sperm heads of recently diverged sister species, Drosophila simulans and D. mauritiana, to enable detailed resolution of species-specific sperm precedence mechanisms. Between-species divergence in sperm competition traits and mechanisms prompted six a priori predictions regarding mechanisms of CSP and degree of cross asymmetry in reproductive isolation. We resolved four distinct mechanisms of CSP that were highly consistent with predictions. These comprise interactions between multiple sex-specific traits, including two independent mechanisms by which females exert sophisticated control over sperm fate to favor the conspecific male.

Conclusions: Our results confirm that reproductive isolation can quickly arise from diversifying (allopatric) postcopulatory sexual selection. This experimental approach to "speciation phenotypes" illustrates how knowledge of sperm precedence mechanisms can be used to predict the mechanisms and extent of reproductive isolation between populations and species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.086DOI Listing
October 2013

Inbreeding reveals mode of past selection on male reproductive characters in Drosophila melanogaster.

Ecol Evol 2013 Jul 3;3(7):2089-102. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University Syracuse, New York ; Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä PO Box 35, 40014, Finland.

Directional dominance is a prerequisite of inbreeding depression. Directionality arises when selection drives alleles that increase fitness to fixation and eliminates dominant deleterious alleles, while deleterious recessives are hidden from it and maintained at low frequencies. Traits under directional selection (i.e., fitness traits) are expected to show directional dominance and therefore an increased susceptibility to inbreeding depression. In contrast, traits under stabilizing selection or weakly linked to fitness are predicted to exhibit little-to-no inbreeding depression. Here, we quantify the extent of inbreeding depression in a range of male reproductive characters and then infer the mode of past selection on them. The use of transgenic populations of Drosophila melanogaster with red or green fluorescent-tagged sperm heads permitted in vivo discrimination of sperm from competing males and quantification of characteristics of ejaculate composition, performance, and fate. We found that male attractiveness (mating latency) and competitive fertilization success (P2) both show some inbreeding depression, suggesting they may have been under directional selection, whereas sperm length showed no inbreeding depression suggesting a history of stabilizing selection. However, despite having measured several sperm quality and quantity traits, our data did not allow us to discern the mechanism underlying the lowered competitive fertilization success of inbred (f = 0.50) males.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728949PMC
July 2013

Rapid diversification of sperm precedence traits and processes among three sibling Drosophila species.

Evolution 2013 Aug 29;67(8):2348-62. Epub 2013 May 29.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.

Postcopulatory sexual selection is credited with driving rapid evolutionary diversification of reproductive traits and the formation of reproductive isolating barriers between species. This judgment, however, has largely been inferred rather than demonstrated due to general lack of knowledge about processes and traits underlying variation in competitive fertilization success. Here, we resolved processes determining sperm fate in twice-mated females, using transgenic Drosophila simulans and Drosophila mauritiana populations with fluorescently labeled sperm heads. Comparisons among these two species and Drosophila melanogaster revealed a shared motif in the mechanisms of sperm precedence, with postcopulatory sexual selection potentially occurring during any of the three discrete stages: (1) insemination; (2) sperm storage; and (3) sperm use for fertilization, and involving four distinct phenomena: (1) sperm transfer; (2) sperm displacement; (3) sperm ejection; and (4) sperm selection for fertilizations. Yet, underlying the qualitative similarities were significant quantitative differences in nearly every relevant character and process. We evaluate these species differences in light of concurrent investigations of within-population variation in competitive fertilization success and postmating/prezygotic reproductive isolation in hybrid matings between species to forge an understanding of the relationship between microevolutionary processes and macroevolutionary patterns as pertains to postcopulatory sexual selection in this group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12117DOI Listing
August 2013

Female mediation of competitive fertilization success in Drosophila melanogaster.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Jun 11;110(26):10693-8. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.

How females store and use sperm after remating can generate postcopulatory sexual selection on male ejaculate traits. Variation in ejaculate performance traits generally is thought to be intrinsic to males but is likely to interact with the environment in which sperm compete (e.g., the female reproductive tract). Our understanding of female contributions to competitive fertilization success is limited, however, in part because of the challenges involved in observing events within the reproductive tract of internally fertilizing species while discriminating among sperm from competing males. Here, we used females from crosses among isogenic lines of Drosophila melanogaster, each mated to two genetically standardized males (the first with green- and the second with red-tagged sperm heads) to demonstrate heritable variation in female remating interval, progeny production rate, sperm-storage organ morphology, and a number of sperm performance, storage, and handling traits. We then used multivariate analyses to examine relationships between this female-mediated variation and competitive paternity. In particular, the timing of female ejection of excess second-male and displaced first-male sperm was genetically variable and, by terminating the process of sperm displacement, significantly influenced the relative numbers of sperm from each male competing for fertilization, and consequently biased paternity. Our results demonstrate that females do not simply provide a static arena for sperm competition but rather play an active and pivotal role in postcopulatory processes. Resolving the adaptive significance of genetic variation in female-mediated mechanisms of sperm handling is critical for understanding sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the coevolution of male and female reproductive traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1300954110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696778PMC
June 2013

How multivariate ejaculate traits determine competitive fertilization success in Drosophila melanogaster.

Curr Biol 2012 Sep 26;22(18):1667-72. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1270, USA.

Success in sperm competition, occurring whenever females mate with multiple males, is predicted to be influenced by variation in ejaculate quality and interactions among competing sperm. Yet, apart from sperm number, relevant ejaculate characteristics and sperm-sperm interactions are poorly understood, particularly within a multivariate framework and the natural selective environment of the female reproductive tract. Here, we used isogenic lines of Drosophila melanogaster with distinguishable sperm to demonstrate and partition genetic variation in multiple sperm quality and performance traits. Next, by competing males from different lines, we show how rival sperm significantly influence each other's velocity and reveal that males with relatively slow and/or long sperm better displace rival sperm and resist displacement, thus avoiding ejection by the female from her reproductive tract. Finally, we establish fitness consequences of genetic variation in sperm quality and its role in securing a numerical advantage in storage by showing that offspring paternity is determined strictly by the representation of stored, competing sperm. These results provide novel insight into complex postcopulatory processes, illustrate that different ejaculate traits are critical at different biologically relevant time-points, and provide a critical foundation for elucidating the role of postcopulatory sexual selection in trait diversification and speciation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.059DOI Listing
September 2012

Resolving mechanisms of competitive fertilization success in Drosophila melanogaster.

Science 2010 Apr 18;328(5976):354-7. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1270, USA.

Our understanding of postcopulatory sexual selection has been constrained by an inability to discriminate competing sperm of different males, coupled with challenges of directly observing live sperm inside the female reproductive tract. Real-time and spatiotemporal analyses of sperm movement, storage, and use within female Drosophila melanogaster inseminated by two transgenic males with, respectively, green and red sperm heads allowed us to unambiguously discriminate among hypothesized mechanisms underlying sperm precedence, including physical displacement and incapacitation of "resident" sperm by second males, female ejection of sperm, and biased use of competing sperm for fertilization. We find that competitive male fertilization success derives from a multivariate process involving ejaculate-female and ejaculate-ejaculate interactions, as well as complex sperm behavior in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1187096DOI Listing
April 2010

Developmental and tissue-specific accumulation pattern for the Drosophila melanogaster TART ORF1 protein.

Gene 2008 May 15;415(1-2):32-9. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Laboratory of Developmental Genetics, Wadsworth Center and Department of Biomedical Sciences, University at Albany School of Public Health, P.O. Box 22002, Albany, NY 12201-2002, United States.

The TART, HeT-A, and TAHRE families of Drosophila non-LTR retrotransposons specifically retrotranspose to telomeres to maintain telomeric DNA. Recent evidence indicates that an RNA interference mechanism is likely to regulate TART, HeT-A, and TAHRE retrotransposition, but the developmental and tissue-specific expression of telomeric retrotransposon proteins has not previously been investigated. We have generated antisera against TART ORF1 protein (ORF1p) and used these antisera to examine the pattern of TART ORF1p expression in Drosophila melanogaster. We detected TART ORF1p throughout most of development and observed particularly high levels of protein in late larval and pupal stages. In late-stage larvae, ORF1p accumulates in brain and imaginal discs tissues, rather than in terminally differentiated larval tissues. Accumulation of ORF1p in imaginal discs is intriguing, since TART antisense RNA has previously been detected in imaginal discs, and we discuss the implications of these findings for TART regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2008.02.002DOI Listing
May 2008

The testis-specific proteasome subunit Prosalpha6T of D. melanogaster is required for individualization and nuclear maturation during spermatogenesis.

Development 2007 Oct 29;134(19):3517-25. Epub 2007 Aug 29.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 130 College Place, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.

Most regulated proteolysis in eukaryotes is carried out by the 26S proteasome. This large, multisubunit complex comprises a catalytic core particle (20S proteasome) and a regulatory particle (19S regulator) capping each end. In Drosophila, about a third of the 32 proteasome subunits are found to have testis-specific isoforms, encoded by paralogous genes. Here, we characterize in detail the spermatogenic expression of the core particle subunit Prosalpha6 (Pros35) and its testis-specific isoform Prosalpha6T. Using GFP-tagged transgenes, it is shown that whereas the Prosalpha6 subunit is expressed in early stages of spermatogenesis, gradually fading away following meiosis, the testis-specific Prosalpha6T becomes prominent in spermatid nuclei and cytoplasm after meiosis, and persists in mature sperm. In addition, these subunits are found in numerous ;speckles' near individualization complexes, similar to the previously described expression pattern of the caspase Dronc (Nedd2-like caspase), suggesting a link to the apoptosis pathway. We also studied the phenotypes of a loss-of-function mutant of Prosalpha6T generated by targeted homologous recombination. Homozygous males are sterile and show spermatogenic defects in sperm individualization and nuclear maturation, consistent with the expression pattern of Prosalpha6T. The results demonstrate a functional role of testis-specific proteasomes during Drosophila spermatogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.004770DOI Listing
October 2007

Identification of multiple transcription initiation, polyadenylation, and splice sites in the Drosophila melanogaster TART family of telomeric retrotransposons.

Nucleic Acids Res 2006 4;34(19):5498-507. Epub 2006 Oct 4.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 130 College Place, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.

The Drosophila non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons TART and HeT-A specifically retrotranspose to chromosome ends to maintain Drosophila telomeric DNA. Relatively little is known, though, about the regulation of their expression and their retrotransposition to telomeres. We have used rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) to identify multiple transcription initiation and polyadenylation sites for sense and antisense transcripts of three subfamilies of TART elements in Drosophila melanogaster. These results are consistent with the production of an array of TART transcripts. In contrast to other Drosophila non-LTR elements, a major initiation site for sense transcripts was mapped near the 3' end of the TART 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR), rather than at the start of the 5'-UTR. A sequence overlapping this sense start site contains a good match to an initiator consensus for the transcription start sites of Drosophila LTR retrotransposons. Interestingly, analysis of 5' RACE products for antisense transcripts and the GenBank EST database revealed that TART antisense transcripts contain multiple introns. Our results highlight differences between transcription of TART and of other Drosophila non-LTR elements and they provide a foundation for testing the relationship between exceptional aspects of TART transcription and TART's specialized role at telomeres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkl709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1636488PMC
December 2006

A genetic suppressor of two dominant temperature-sensitive lethal proteasome mutants of Drosophila melanogaster is itself a mutated proteasome subunit gene.

Genetics 2006 Jul 28;173(3):1377-87. Epub 2006 Apr 28.

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.

Two dominant temperature-sensitive (DTS) lethal mutants of Drosophila melanogaster are Pros26(1) and Prosbeta2(1), previously known as DTS5 and DTS7. Heterozygotes for either mutant die as pupae when raised at 29 degrees , but are normally viable and fertile at 25 degrees . Previous studies have identified these as missense mutations in the genes encoding the beta6 and beta2 subunits of the 20S proteasome, respectively. In an effort to isolate additional proteasome-related mutants a screen for dominant suppressors of Pros26(1) was carried out, resulting in the identification of Pros25(SuDTS) [originally called Su(DTS)], a missense mutation in the gene encoding the 20S proteasome alpha2 subunit. Pros25(SuDTS) acts in a dominant manner to rescue both Pros26(1) and Prosbeta2(1) from their DTS lethal phenotypes. Using an in vivo protein degradation assay it was shown that this suppression occurs by counteracting the dominant-negative effect of the DTS mutant on proteasome activity. Pros25(SuDTS) is a recessive polyphasic lethal at ambient temperatures. The effects of these mutants on larval neuroblast mitosis were also examined. While Prosbeta2(1) shows a modest increase in the number of defective mitotic figures, there were no defects seen with the other two mutants, other than slightly reduced mitotic indexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.106.057976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1526694PMC
July 2006

Targeted expression of dominant negative proteasome mutants in Drosophila melanogaster.

Genesis 2002 Sep-Oct;34(1-2):80-2

Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gene.10131DOI Listing
April 2003
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