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Complementary pathways in mammalian female sex determination

Serge Nef* and Jean-Dominique Vassalli

Author Affiliations

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

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Journal of Biology 2009, 8:74  doi:10.1186/jbiol173

Published: 2 September 2009


In mammals, the sex of the embryo is determined by the fate of the gonad. Recent papers, including one in BMC Developmental Biology, shed light on the molecular regulation of ovarian development and suggest that the R-spondin1/Wnt4/β-catenin pathway and the Foxl2 transcription factor act in a complementary manner to promote ovarian fate and to repress testicular development.