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Keywords:

  • Sry;
  • expression;
  • mouse;
  • sex determination;
  • testis development;
  • genital ridge

Abstract

We have studied the spatial dynamics of Sry transcription in the genital ridges of mouse embryos. We find that Sry is expressed in a dynamic wave that emanates from the central and/or anterior regions, extends subsequently to both poles, and ends in the caudal pole. This dynamism may explain the relative positioning of ovarian and testicular tissue seen in ovotestes in mice. Since direct regulatory targets of SRY ought to be expressed in a corresponding or complimentary wave, our observations pave the way for identification of target genes. Sry is expressed in internal cells but not in coelomic surface epithelial cells, indicating that its effect on proliferation of surface cells is achieved non-cell-autonomously. The cellular dynamism of Sry expression revealed in this study thus provides important insights into both the cellular and molecular mode of action of SRY, and how perturbations in Sry expression can lead to anomalies of sexual development. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.