SRY, a sex-determining gene, induces testis development in chromosomally female (XX) individuals. However, mouse XX Sertoli cells carrying Sry (XX/Sry Sertoli cells) are incapable of fully supporting germ cell development, even when the karyotype of the germ cells is XY. While it has therefore been assumed that XX/Sry Sertoli cells are not functionally equivalent to XY Sertoli cells, it has remained unclear which specific functions are affected. To elucidate the functional difference, we compared the gene expression of XY and XX/Sry Sertoli cells. Lactate and cholesterol metabolisms, essential for nursing the developing germ cells, were down-regulated in XX/Sry cells, which appears to be caused at least in part by the differential expression of histone modification enzymes SMCX/SMCY (H3K4me3 demethylase) and UTX/UTY (H3K27me3 demethylase) encoded by the sex chromosomes. We suggest that downregulation of lactate and cholesterol metabolism that may be due to altered epigenetic modification affects the nursing functions of XX/Sry Sertoli cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes