Journal Article

<i>Sox9</i> is sufficient for functional testis development producing fertile male mice in the absence of <i>Sry</i>

Yangjun Qin and Colin E. Bishop

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 14, issue 9, pages 1221-1229
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Sox9 is sufficient for functional testis development producing fertile male mice in the absence of Sry

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In the dominant mouse mutant Odd Sex, XXOds/+ mice develop as phenotypic, sterile males due to male-pattern expression of Sox9 in XXOds/+ embryonic gonads. To test whether SOX9 was sufficient to generate a fully fertile male in the absence of Sry, we constructed an XY(Sry)Ods/+ male mouse, in which the male phenotype is controlled autosomally by the Ods mutation. Mice were initially fertile, but progressively lost fertility until 5–6 months when they were sterile with very few germ cells in the testis. XY(Sry)Ods/+ males also failed to establish the correct male-specific pattern of vascularization at the time of sex determination, which could be correlated to an inability of XY(Sry),Ods/+ males to fully down-regulate Wnt4 expression in the embryonic gonad. Increasing the amount of SOX9 by producing homozygous XY(Sry)Ods/Ods males was able to completely rescue the phenotype and restore correct vascular patterning and long-term fertility. These data indicate that activation of SOX9 in the gonad is sufficient to trigger all the downstream events needed for the development of a fully fertile male and provide evidence that Sox9 may down-regulate Wnt4 expression in the gonad.

Journal Article.  5551 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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