SOX9 regulates prostaglandin D synthase gene transcription in vivo to ensure testis development

Dagmar Wilhelm, Ryuji Hiramatsu, Hirofumi Mizusaki, Laura Widjaja, Alexander N Combes, Yoshiakira Kanai, Peter A Koopman

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In mammals, male sex is determined by the Y-chromosomal gene Sry (sex-determining region of Y chromosome). The expression of Sry and subsequently Sox9 (SRY box containing gene 9) in precursors of the supporting cell lineage results in the differentiation of these cells into Sertoli cells. Sertoli cells in turn orchestrate the development of all other male-specific cell types. To ensure that Sertoli cells differentiate in sufficient numbers to induce normal testis development, the early testis produces prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)), which recruits cells of the supporting cell lineage to a Sertoli cell fate. Here we show that the gene encoding prostaglandin D synthase (Pgds), the enzyme that produces PGD(2), is expressed in Sertoli cells immediately after the onset of Sox9 expression. Promoter analysis in silico and in vitro identified a paired SOX/SRY binding site. Interestingly, only SOX9, and not SRY, was able to bind as a dimer to this site and transactivate the Pgds promoter. In line with this, a transgenic mouse model showed that Pgds expression is not affected by ectopic Sry expression. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation proved that SOX9 but not SRY binds to the Pgds promoter in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10553 - 10560
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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