Male, female sex cell determination requires lifelong maintenance, protection

Male, female sex cell determination requires lifelong maintenance, protection

The way in which the sex of an organism is determined may require lifelong maintenance, finds new research. Sex-specific transcription factors perform lifelong work to maintain sexual determination and protect against reprogramming of cells from one sex to the other. Using a mouse model, researchers found the sex of gonadal cells — those found in the ovaries or testes — require maintenance throughout life. This research also showed loss of a single transcription factor can result in the transformation of male cells into female cells.