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Asian J Androl. 2012 Jan;14(1):164-71. doi: 10.1038/aja.2011.169. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

Male sex determination: insights into molecular mechanisms.

Author information

1
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Abstract

Disorders of sex development often arise from anomalies in the molecular or cellular networks that guide the differentiation of the embryonic gonad into either a testis or an ovary, two functionally distinct organs. The activation of the Y-linked gene Sry (sex-determining region Y) and its downstream target Sox9 (Sry box-containing gene 9) triggers testis differentiation by stimulating the differentiation of Sertoli cells, which then direct testis morphogenesis. Once engaged, a genetic pathway promotes the testis development while actively suppressing genes involved in ovarian development. This review focuses on the events of testis determination and the struggle to maintain male fate in the face of antagonistic pressure from the underlying female programme.

PMID:
22179516
PMCID:
PMC3735148
DOI:
10.1038/aja.2011.169
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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