• Fang Li

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Conservation and sex-specific splicing of the doublesex gene in the economically important pest species Lucilia cuprina

      Carolina Concha Fang Li Maxwell J. Scott

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      Genetic control of sex determination in insects has been best characterized in Drosophila melanogaster, where the master gene Sxl codes for RNA that is sex specifically spliced to produce a functional protein only in females. SXL regulates the sex-specific splicing of transformer (tra) RNA which, in turn, regulates the splicing of dsx RNA to produce functional male and female proteins. In the Australian sheep blowfly (Lucilia cuprina), the tra gene (Lctra) is required for female development and Lctra transcripts are sex-specifically spliced such that only female Lctra mRNA codes for functional protein. In males, a factor encoded by the Y-linked male determining gene is thought to prevent the female-mode of splicing of Lctra RNA. To further our understanding of the sex determination regulatory hierarchy in L. cuprina, we have isolated the dsx gene (Lcdsx) from this species. We found that the Lcdsx transcripts are sex-specifically spliced in a similar manner as their counterparts in D. melanogaster, housefly and tephritids. The LcDSX proteins are well conserved and the male form of DSX contains a motif encoded by a male-specific exon that is within the female-specific intron. This intron/exon arrangement had previously been found only in the housefly dsx gene, suggesting this may be a unique feature of dsx genes of Calyptratae species.

    • Schinzel–Giedion syndrome: a novel case, review and revised diagnostic criteria


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      Schinzel–Giedion syndrome (SGS) is a rare autosomal dominant inheritance disorder. Heterozygous de novo mutations in the SETBP1 gene have been identified as the genetic cause of SGS. Here, we report a novel case with the syndrome with a novel insertion mutation in SETBP1. We also present a review of SGS cases, and first revise diagnostic criteria of SGS based on clinicalfindings and/or SETBP1 mutation worldwide. A revised diagnostic criteria and typing of SGS can be determined. Type I (complex and classic type) SGS patients present a development delay and typical facial features (prominent forehead, midface retraction, and short and upturned nose) associated with hydronephrosis or two of the characteristic skeletal anomalies (a sclerotic skull base, wideoccipital synchondrosis, increased cortical density or thickness, and broad ribs). Type II (middle type) patients show development delay and the distinctive facial phenotype (midface retraction, short and upturned nose), lacking both hydronephrosis and typical skeletal abnormalities, with existence of SETBP1mutation. Type III (simple type) patients with SETBP1 alteration show theirmajor symptom is development delay, in which expressive language delay is the most striking feature. Central nervous system involvement with development delay in which expressive language delay is much more obviously affected is the most prominent feature of SGS. There is another indication that severity of phenotype of SGS may be inversely correlated with degree of SETBP1 alteration, besides gain-of-function or dominant-negative effects in SETBP1 alteration causing SGS

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