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Sex Dev. 2017;11(3):143-150. doi: 10.1159/000473782. Epub 2017 May 5.

Prostaglandin D2 Regulates SOX9 Nuclear Translocation during Gonadal Sex Determination in Tammar Wallaby, Macropus eugenii.

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School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.


Sex determination and sexual differentiation pathways are highly conserved between marsupials and eutherians. There are 2 different pathways of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) synthesis: prostaglandin D synthase (PTGDS) and haematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase (HPGDS). PGD2 regulates the subcellular localization of SOX9 during gonadal sexual differentiation. To investigate the function of PGD2 in the tammar gonad, we cultured undifferentiated male gonads in the presence of the HPGDS inhibitor HQL-79 and female gonads with exogenous PGD2 to mimic activation of the PTGDS-PGD2 pathway. Tammar PTGDS and HPGDS have only 50% similarity with mouse and human orthologues, but functional domains are conserved. The expression of SOX9 was unchanged by the treatments in cultured gonads, but its subcellular localization was markedly affected. SOX9 remained cytoplasmic in the Sertoli cells of testes treated with HQL-79. Treated testes developed a thickened ovary-like surface epithelium. In contrast, SOX9 became nuclear in the granulosa cells of developing ovaries treated with PGD2 and the surface epithelium was thin, as in testes. These results demonstrate that PGD2 regulates the subcellular localization of SOX9 and subsequent gonadal development in the developing marsupial gonads, as it does in mice, and that it must have been an ancestral mechanism.


Marsupial; Ovaries; Sexual differentiation; Tammar wallaby; Testes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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