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Mol Genet Metab. 2000 Sep-Oct;71(1-2):397-404.

Deletions of 9p and the quest for a conserved mechanism of sex determination.

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  • 1Unité d'Immunogénétque Humaine, INSERM U276, Institut Pasteur, 24-25 rue du Docteur Roux, Paris, 75724, France.


Distal chromosome 9p contains a locus that, when deleted, is a cause of 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis in the absence of extragenital anomalies. This locus might account for the frequently observed cases of 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis who do not harbor mutations in SRY, the sex master regulator gene found in mammalian species. The genomic organization of 9p positional candidate genes is currently being studied and mutational screens are ongoing. Among other positional candidates, including two additional doublesex-related genes, the evidence to support a role for the gene DMRT1 in vertebrate male sexual development is accumulating. Although formal proof of the requirement of DMRT1 in gonadal sex fate choice has not been obtained so far, the particular interest in this gene and perhaps other doublesex-related genes identified in vertebrates lies in that they may provide an entry point to a conserved mechanism of sex determination across animal phyla. We discuss recent results and emerging views on the genetics of sex determination, while stressing that the majority of cases of 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis remain unexplained. The latter is likely to be efficiently addressed by positional cloning efforts, particularly by considering the wealth of sequence data provided by the Human Genome Project.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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