The sex-determining region of the mouse Y chromosome encodes a protein with a highly acidic domain and 13 zinc fingers

Cell. 1989 Mar 10;56(5):765-70. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90680-6.


The ZFY gene, located in the sex-determining region of the human Y chromosome, appears to encode a zinc-finger protein. Two homologous genes, Zfy-1 and Zfy-2, are found in the sex-determining region of the mouse Y chromosome. One or both genes may serve as the primary sex-determining signal in mice. Both Zfy-1 and Zfy-2 are transcribed in the adult testis. Nucleotide sequence analysis of a Zfy-2 cDNA suggests that it encodes a 783 amino acid protein with two domains: the amino-terminal portion is highly acidic, with 25% of its residues being glutamic or aspartic acid, while the carboxy-terminal domain contains 13 zinc fingers. The presence in Zfy-2 of an acidic domain in combination with a putative nucleic acid binding domain suggests that Zfy-2 activates transcription in a sequence-specific fashion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Male
  • Metalloproteins / genetics*
  • Mice / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sex Determination Analysis*
  • Testis / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Y Chromosome*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Metalloproteins
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M24401