Navigation Links
Gene Could Play Role in 'Intersex' Conditions

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- An international team of scientists have pinpointed a gene mutation that they believe could be key to so-called "intersex" conditions, in which biologically male or female children develop or display some of the physical characteristics of the opposite sex.

"We have discovered a new molecular switch that seems to modulate the pathways between male and female development," study author Dr. Harry Ostrer, director of the Human Genetics Program at NYU Langone Medical Center, said in a news release.

Ostrer and colleagues from England, Australia and France report their finding in the Dec. 2 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

This is not the first time a gene abnormality has been cited for its role in conditions linked to sex determination, the authors noted. Among a number of prior discoveries, about 20 years back researchers honed in on a male gene called SRY and linked related mutations to such anomalies.

However, the current focus on various mutations of the so-called MAP3K1 gene revealed that this particular gene may, in fact, act as a controlling on/off switch with respect to SRY activity, either prompting or discouraging an intersex condition.

"MAP3K1 may hold the key to understanding how these various genes are connected," Ostrer noted.

The authors point out that about one in 1,000 people are affected by intersex conditions, which counters the notion that gender is determined by simple X/Y chromosome patterns.

Normally, male fetuses are distinguished by a pairing of an X chromosome alongside a Y chromosome, while female fetuses are determined by a pairing of two X chromosomes.

Problems occur, however, when a male baby born with an X/Y pairing nonetheless develops some physical attributes of a female child, such as a urethral opening on the underside of the penis or abnormalities such as an underdeveloped or extremely small penis.

Such Y-chromosome intersex children may develop as females but without the ability to menstruate, with partially developed ovaries, an overdeveloped clitoris, excess hair, or ovarian tumors, the research team noted. Infertility can also result.

Ostrer and his associates spent nine years exploring the potential impact of MAP3K1 on intersex conditions by tracking sex determination problems present among two families, one French, the other in New Zealand.

More information

For more on intersex, visit the Intersex Society of North America.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCE: American Journal of Human Genetics, Dec. 2, 2010, news release.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Disease Prevention Could Save U.S. Billions of Dollars Annually
2. True whole-body field view using PET/CT could allow doctors to more accurately manage cancer patients
3. Moderate Drinking Could Lower Death Risk for Kidney Transplant Patients
4. E. Coli Could Have Long Term Effect on Heart
5. Cough medicine could help doctors identify how breast cancer patients metabolize tamoxifen
6. Low-allergenic wines could stifle sniffles and sneezes in millions of wine drinkers
7. Enzyme action could be target for diabetes, heart disease treatments
8. Detroits urban farms could provide a majority of produce for local residents
9. Reducing salt in teen diet could have big impact on future health
10. Few Make Lifestyle Changes that Could Keep Their Heart Healthy
11. Setting National Hospital Standards Could Boost Cardiac Care
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Gene Could Play Role in 'Intersex' Conditions 
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased ... moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® in ... delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Beddit® has launched a new Android app for use with ... more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on a 100-point scale and makes it ... a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide an easy to understand scientific ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Livonia, MI (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... at Presence Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the ... the medical and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers ... our nation’s roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In ... 2013. , According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for ... of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW DELHI , November 25, 2015 ... fear invoked due to repeated failure of IVF cycles. ... Rani Bhatia was totally dejected and had lost all hopes that ... the first Indian miracle child conceived after failure of ... to abroad (UK) before they decided to take one last ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY ... Ron Squarer , will present at the ... The public is welcome to participate in the ... website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual Healthcare ConferencePresenter:  , Ron Squarer, ... p.m. Eastern Time Webcast: , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , 24. November 2015 Avery ... Pacemaker Systems, ist erfreut, die Berufung von ... bekannt geben zu können. ... --> Foto - ... (Schweden). Von 1984-1986 war er Fellow des ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: