Hybrids between species are often characterized by novel gene-expression patterns. A recent study on allele-specific gene expression in hybrids between species of Drosophila revealed cases in which cis- and trans-regulatory elements within species had coevolved in such a way that changes in cis-regulatory elements are compensated by changes in trans-regulatory elements. We hypothesized that such coevolution should often lead to gene misexpression in the hybrid. To test this hypothesis, we estimated allele-specific expression and overall expression levels for 31 genes in D. melanogaster, D. simulans, and their F1 hybrid. We found that 13 genes with cis-trans compensatory evolution are in fact misexpressed in the hybrid. These represent candidate genes whose dysregulation might be the consequence of coevolution of cis- and trans-regulatory elements within species. Using a mathematical model for the regulation of gene expression, we explored the conditions under which cis-trans compensatory evolution can lead to misexpression in interspecific hybrids.
Landry, Christian RWittkopp, Patricia JTaubes, Clifford HRanz, Jose MClark, Andrew GHartl, Daniel LengGM 60035/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/GM 68465/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/R01 AI 064950/AI/NIAID NIH HHS/Comparative StudyResearch Support, N.I.H., ExtramuralResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov't2005/09/07 09:00Genetics. 2005 Dec;171(4):1813-22. Epub 2005 Sep 2.