A study of non-coding rox1 and rox2 RNAs in Drosophila species
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rox1 and rox2 are two non-coding RNAs found in male Drosophila melanogaster, which can direct the MSL complex to bind to the X-chromosome to up-regulate all X-linked genes two-fold. rox1 and rox2 RNAs lack similarity in their primary sequences, but they have functional redundancy; that is, in the presence either one of them, males survive. The mechanism of this redundancy is unclear. Here we have used comparative bioinformatics methods to predict an double internal-loop structure near 3’-end of rox RNAs shared by rox1 and rox2; this structure might contribute to the rox1 and rox2 RNA functional redundancy. rox1 and rox2 RNAs in other Drosophila species have not been previously reported; we identify putative rox1 and rox2 RNAs in Drosophila simulans, sechellia, yakuba and erecta.