Sry: the master switch in mammalian sex determination

Development. 2010 Dec;137(23):3921-30. doi: 10.1242/dev.048983.


SRY, the mammalian Y-chromosomal testis-determining gene, induces male sex determination. Recent studies in mice reveal that the major role of SRY is to achieve sufficient expression of the related gene Sox9, in order to induce Sertoli cell differentiation, which in turn drives testis formation. Here, we discuss the cascade of events triggered by SRY and the mechanisms that reinforce the differentiation of the testes in males while actively inhibiting ovarian development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Switch*
  • Male
  • Mammals / genetics*
  • Models, Biological
  • Sex Determination Processes / genetics*
  • Sex-Determining Region Y Protein / chemistry
  • Sex-Determining Region Y Protein / genetics*
  • Sex-Determining Region Y Protein / metabolism


  • Sex-Determining Region Y Protein