SOX9 is one of the genes that play critical roles in male sexual differentiation. Mutations of SOX9 leading to haploinsufficiency can cause campomelic dysplasia and XY sex reversal. We report here evidence supporting that SOX9 duplication can cause XX sex reversal. A newborn infant was referred for genetic evaluation because of abnormal male external genitalia. The infant had severe penile/scrotal hypospadias. Gonads were palpable. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated a de novo mosaic 46,XX,dup(17)(q23.1q24.3)/46, XX karyotype. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a BAC clone containing the SOX9 gene demonstrated that the SOX9 gene is duplicated on the rearranged chromosome 17. The presence of SRY was ruled out by FISH with a probe containing the SRY gene and polymerase chain reaction with SRY-specific primers. Microsatellite analysis with 13 markers on 17q23-24 determined that the duplication is maternal in origin and defined the boundary of the duplication to be approximately 12 centimorgans (cM) proximal and 4 cM distal to the SOX9 gene. Thus, SOX9 duplication is the most likely cause for the sex reversal in this case because it plays an important role in male sex determination and differentiation. This study suggests that extra dose of SOX9 is sufficient to initiate testis differentiation in the absence of SRY. Other SRY-negative XX sex-reversed individuals deserve thorough investigation of SOX9 gene.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.