Genetic control of testis development

R Sekido, R Lovell-Badge

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sex determination refers to the decision of the bipotential early gonads to develop as either testes or ovaries during embryogenesis. In mammals, a single genetic trigger involved in this pivotal decision has been identified on the Y chromosome: the testis-determining gene SRY/Sry. During embryogenesis, SRY triggers the differentiation of Sertoli cells from the supporting cell precursor lineage which would otherwise give granulosa cells in ovaries. Several testis-specific events occur after SRY expression and the onset of Sertoli cell differentiation, notably Leydig cell differentiation, testis cord formation, and development of testis-specific vasculature. Although a number of genes involved in these events have been identified, how they relate to Sry action is poorly understood. Furthermore, even at the adult stage, some of these genes retain a key role in maintaining the testicular fate because conditional ablation of the genes leads to adult testis dysgenesis or transdifferentiation into an ovary. This sheds light on mammalian sex-reprogramming, despite the prevailing dogma that postnatal sex change does not occur in mammals. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of genetic pathways of testis determination and differentiation in mammals, particularly in the mouse and the human.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalSexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation
Volume7
Issue number1-3
Early online date5 Sep 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Testis
Mammals
Ovary
Sertoli Cells
Embryonic Development
Cell Differentiation
sry Genes
Genes
Leydig Cells
Granulosa Cells
Y Chromosome
Gonads
Cell Lineage

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, sry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organogenesis
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • Sex Determination Processes
  • Testis
  • Sertoli Cell
  • Sex Determination
  • Sox9
  • SRY
  • TESCO
  • Testis formation
  • Transdifferentiation

Cite this

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title = "Genetic control of testis development",
abstract = "Sex determination refers to the decision of the bipotential early gonads to develop as either testes or ovaries during embryogenesis. In mammals, a single genetic trigger involved in this pivotal decision has been identified on the Y chromosome: the testis-determining gene SRY/Sry. During embryogenesis, SRY triggers the differentiation of Sertoli cells from the supporting cell precursor lineage which would otherwise give granulosa cells in ovaries. Several testis-specific events occur after SRY expression and the onset of Sertoli cell differentiation, notably Leydig cell differentiation, testis cord formation, and development of testis-specific vasculature. Although a number of genes involved in these events have been identified, how they relate to Sry action is poorly understood. Furthermore, even at the adult stage, some of these genes retain a key role in maintaining the testicular fate because conditional ablation of the genes leads to adult testis dysgenesis or transdifferentiation into an ovary. This sheds light on mammalian sex-reprogramming, despite the prevailing dogma that postnatal sex change does not occur in mammals. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of genetic pathways of testis determination and differentiation in mammals, particularly in the mouse and the human.",
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author = "R Sekido and R Lovell-Badge",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Genetic control of testis development

AU - Sekido, R

AU - Lovell-Badge, R

N1 - Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Sex determination refers to the decision of the bipotential early gonads to develop as either testes or ovaries during embryogenesis. In mammals, a single genetic trigger involved in this pivotal decision has been identified on the Y chromosome: the testis-determining gene SRY/Sry. During embryogenesis, SRY triggers the differentiation of Sertoli cells from the supporting cell precursor lineage which would otherwise give granulosa cells in ovaries. Several testis-specific events occur after SRY expression and the onset of Sertoli cell differentiation, notably Leydig cell differentiation, testis cord formation, and development of testis-specific vasculature. Although a number of genes involved in these events have been identified, how they relate to Sry action is poorly understood. Furthermore, even at the adult stage, some of these genes retain a key role in maintaining the testicular fate because conditional ablation of the genes leads to adult testis dysgenesis or transdifferentiation into an ovary. This sheds light on mammalian sex-reprogramming, despite the prevailing dogma that postnatal sex change does not occur in mammals. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of genetic pathways of testis determination and differentiation in mammals, particularly in the mouse and the human.

AB - Sex determination refers to the decision of the bipotential early gonads to develop as either testes or ovaries during embryogenesis. In mammals, a single genetic trigger involved in this pivotal decision has been identified on the Y chromosome: the testis-determining gene SRY/Sry. During embryogenesis, SRY triggers the differentiation of Sertoli cells from the supporting cell precursor lineage which would otherwise give granulosa cells in ovaries. Several testis-specific events occur after SRY expression and the onset of Sertoli cell differentiation, notably Leydig cell differentiation, testis cord formation, and development of testis-specific vasculature. Although a number of genes involved in these events have been identified, how they relate to Sry action is poorly understood. Furthermore, even at the adult stage, some of these genes retain a key role in maintaining the testicular fate because conditional ablation of the genes leads to adult testis dysgenesis or transdifferentiation into an ovary. This sheds light on mammalian sex-reprogramming, despite the prevailing dogma that postnatal sex change does not occur in mammals. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of genetic pathways of testis determination and differentiation in mammals, particularly in the mouse and the human.

KW - Animals

KW - Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental

KW - Genes, sry

KW - Humans

KW - Male

KW - Organogenesis

KW - SOX9 Transcription Factor

KW - Sex Determination Processes

KW - Testis

KW - Sertoli Cell

KW - Sex Determination

KW - Sox9

KW - SRY

KW - TESCO

KW - Testis formation

KW - Transdifferentiation

U2 - 10.1159/000342221

DO - 10.1159/000342221

M3 - Literature review

VL - 7

SP - 21

EP - 32

JO - Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation

JF - Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation

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