Fruitless recruits two antagonistic chromatin factors to establish single-neuron sexual dimorphism

Hiroki Ito, Kosei Sato, Masayuki Koganezawa, Manabu Ote, Ken Matsumoto, Chihiro Hama, Daisuke Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The Drosophila fruitless (fru) gene encodes a set of putative transcription factors that promote male sexual behavior by controlling the development of sexually dimorphic neuronal circuitry. However, the mechanism whereby fru establishes the sexual fate of neurons remains enigmatic. Here, we show that Fru forms a complex with the transcriptional cofactor Bonus (Bon), which, in turn, recruits either of two chromatin regulators, Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), which masculinizes individual sexually dimorphic neurons, or Heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a), which demasculinizes them. Manipulations of HDAC1 or HP1a expression change the proportion of male-typical neurons and female-typical neurons rather than producing neurons with intersexual characteristics, indicating that on a single neuron level, this sexual switch operates in an all-or-none manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1338
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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