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Genes essential for early events in gonadal development

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andreas Schedl


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The acquisition of a sexually dimorphic phenotype is a critical event in mammalian development. The basic underlying principle of sexual development is that genetic sex-determined at fertilization by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome--directs the embryonic gonads to differentiate into either testes or ovaries. Thereafter, hormones produced by the testes direct the developmental program that leads to male sexual differentiation. In the absence of testicular hormones, the female pathway of sexual differentiation occurs. Recent studies have defined key roles in gonadal development for two transcription factors: Wilms` tumor suppressor 1 (WT1) and steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1). After presenting a brief overview of gonadal development and sexual differentiation, this paper reviews the studies that led to the isolation and characterization of WT1 and SF-1, and then discusses how interactions between these two genes may mediate their key roles in a common developmental pathway.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Parker KL, Schimmer BP, Schedl A

Publication type: Article

Journal: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

Year: 1999

Volume: 55

Issue: 6-7

Pages: 831-838

Print publication date: 01/06/1999

ISSN (print): 1420-682X

ISSN (electronic): 1420-9071

Publisher: Birkhaeuser Verlag AG


DOI: 10.1007/s000180050337


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