Sexual dimorphism in developmental genetics

Koji Muroya, Tomonobu Hasegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We review the current knowledge about the molecular mechanism of sex determination and differentiation. The first sex-specific differentiation starts at the gonad, which in turns influences the development of sexual duct systems and the external genitalia. The secondary sexual characteristics in puberty complete sexual dimorphism. Recent studies have provided compelling evidence for the presence of an alternative "backdoor pathway" to produce dihydrotestosterone(DHT: the most potent androgen) directly without testosterone intermediary. This pathway primarily is operated in the normal fetal testis to produce a sufficient amount of DHT for male sex development. As for ovary development, which had formerly been regarded as a static "default" pathway, recent studies have unequivocally demonstrated that RSPO1, WNT4, and FOXL2 have important roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-692
Number of pages7
JournalNihon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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