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Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 20;5:4157. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5157.

Co-option of Sox3 as the male-determining factor on the Y chromosome in the fish Oryzias dancena.

Author information

1
1] Laboratory of Bioresources, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan [2] Department of Basic Biology, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.
2
Center for Bioscience Research and Education, Utsunomiya University, Utsunomiya, Tochigi 321-8505, Japan.
3
Institute of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Niigata 950-2181, Japan.
4
1] Neural Circuits and Behaviour Group, Uni Research AS, Bergen 5008, Norway [2] Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8540, Japan.
5
1] Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8540, Japan [2] Department of Genetics, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Mishima 411-8540, Japan.
6
Center for Genetic Resource Information, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8540, Japan.
7
Department of Integrative Genomics, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Sendai 980-8573, Japan.
8
1] Department of Genetics, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Mishima 411-8540, Japan [2] Comparative Genomics Laboratory, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8540, Japan.
9
1] Department of Genetics, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Mishima 411-8540, Japan [2] Comparative Genomics Laboratory, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima 411-8540, Japan [3] National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo 101-8430, Japan.

Abstract

Sex chromosomes harbour a primary sex-determining signal that triggers sexual development of the organism. However, diverse sex chromosome systems have been evolved in vertebrates. Here we use positional cloning to identify the sex-determining locus of a medaka-related fish, Oryzias dancena, and find that the locus on the Y chromosome contains a cis-regulatory element that upregulates neighbouring Sox3 expression in developing gonad. Sex-reversed phenotypes in Sox3(Y) transgenic fish, and Sox3(Y) loss-of-function mutants all point to its critical role in sex determination. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Sox3 initiates testicular differentiation by upregulating expression of downstream Gsdf, which is highly conserved in fish sex differentiation pathways. Our results not only provide strong evidence for the independent recruitment of Sox3 to male determination in distantly related vertebrates, but also provide direct evidence that a novel sex determination pathway has evolved through co-option of a transcriptional regulator potentially interacted with a conserved downstream component.

PMID:
24948391
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5157
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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