Knocking down a single gene in an adult mouse makes ovaries develop the characteristics of a male gonad and produce testosterone, according to a study linkurl:published today; (December 10th) in __Cell.__ The study suggests that the signal is required to maintain the female phenotype throughout adulthood, and may provide clues to female infertility. "I think this is a very important finding" identifying a key regulator of the genes involved in sex development, said linkurl:Blanche Capel; from Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the research.

Image: Wikipedia
linkurl:Mathias Treier; from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, lead author of the study, and his colleagues cloned the __Foxl2__ gene, a transcription factor located on non-sex chromosomes, linkurl:several years ago.; When they knocked out the gene in mice, females began to form ovaries, but later in development, the ovaries degenerated. Since the gene is expressed throughout the lifespan, the researchers wondered...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?