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From brain determination to testis determination: Evolution of the mammalian sex-determining gene

Graves, Jennifer

Description

In mammals, sex is determined by an XY male:XX female sex chromosome system in which a male-dominant gene on the Y chromosome (SRY) determines testis formation. Sex chromosomes evolved from an ordinary autosome pair as the Y chromosome was progressively degraded. The Y chromosome has lost nearly all of its 1500 original genes, and those that survived did so because they evolved a critical role in male determination or differentiation. SRY is typical of Y-borne genes. Comparative gene mapping...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorGraves, Jennifer
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:16:38Z
dc.date.available2015-12-13T22:16:38Z
dc.identifier.issn1031-3613
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/70959
dc.description.abstractIn mammals, sex is determined by an XY male:XX female sex chromosome system in which a male-dominant gene on the Y chromosome (SRY) determines testis formation. Sex chromosomes evolved from an ordinary autosome pair as the Y chromosome was progressively degraded. The Y chromosome has lost nearly all of its 1500 original genes, and those that survived did so because they evolved a critical role in male determination or differentiation. SRY is typical of Y-borne genes. Comparative gene mapping and sequencing shows that SRY arose quite recently as a degraded version of the SOX3 gene on the X chromosome. SOX3 is expressed predominantly in brain, and so is more likely to be a brain-determining than a testis-determining gene. The male-dominant action of SRY may be an illusion, as its structure suggests that it works by interfering with the action of a related gene, which in turn inhibits testis development. This hypothesis can give a good account of how a brain-determining gene acquired a role in testis determination via differential dosage of SOX3. SRY has no central role in sex determination and it can be replaced as a trigger and lost, as have many other Y-borne genes in recent evolutionary history. The absence of SRY in two species of the mole vole (Ellobius) suggests that its useful life is already running out.
dc.publisherCSLI Publications
dc.sourceReproduction, Fertility and Development
dc.subjectKeywords: animal experiment; article; autosome; brain development; chromosome pairing; comparative gene mapping; controlled study; evolution; female; gender; gene expression; gene function; gene sequence; gene structure; hypothesis; karyotype 46,XX; karyotype 46,XY
dc.titleFrom brain determination to testis determination: Evolution of the mammalian sex-determining gene
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume13
dc.date.issued2001
local.identifier.absfor060403 - Developmental Genetics (incl. Sex Determination)
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub2487
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationGraves, Jennifer, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage665
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage672
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T07:27:52Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-0035574679
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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