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;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(09)01433-0 (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;http://www.cellbio.duke.edu/Faculty/Research/capel.html from Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the research.
linkurl:Mathias Treier;http://emblorg.embl.de/research/units/dev_biology/treier/members/?s_personId=1031 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.;http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/131/4/933 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...
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