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Reduced Activity of SRY and its Target Enhancer Sox9-TESCO in a Mouse Species with X*Y Sex Reversal

Abstract : In most eutherian mammals, sex determination is governed by the Y-linked gene Sry, but in African pygmy mice Mus minutoides, Sry action is overridden by a variant X chromosome (X*), yielding X*Y females. We hypothesized that X*Y sex reversal may be underpinned not only by neomorphic X chromosome functionality, but also by a compromised Sry pathway. Here, we show that neither M. minutoides SRY nor its target, the Sox9-TESCO enhancer, had appreciable transcriptional activity in in vitro assays, correlating with sequence degradation compared to Mus musculus counterparts. However, M. minutoides SRY activated its cognate TESCO to a moderate degree, and can clearly engage the male pathway in M. minutoides in the wild, indicating that SRY and TESCO may have co-evolved in M. minutoides to retain function above a threshold level. We suggest that weakening of the SRY/TESCO nexus may have facilitated the rise and spread of a variant X* chromosome carrying female-inducing modifier gene(s).
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 11:32:40 AM
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Liang Zhao, Alexander Quinn, Ee Ting Ng, Frederic Veyrunes, Peter Koopman. Reduced Activity of SRY and its Target Enhancer Sox9-TESCO in a Mouse Species with X*Y Sex Reversal. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), pp.41378. ⟨10.1038/srep41378⟩. ⟨hal-03101696⟩



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