FOXL2 is a female sex-determining gene in the goat - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Current Biology - CB Year : 2014

FOXL2 is a female sex-determining gene in the goat

Laurent Boulanger
Maëlle Pannetier
Corinne Cotinot
Eric Pailhoux


The origin of sex reversal in XX goats homozygous for the polled intersex syndrome (PIS) mutation was unclear because of the complexity of the mutation that affects the transcription of both FOXL2 and several long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) [1, 2]. Accumulating evidence suggested that FOXL2 could be the sole gene of the PIS locus responsible for XX sex reversal, the lncRNAs being involved in transcriptional regulation of FOXL2 [2]. In this study, using zinc-finger nuclease-directed mutagenesis, we generated several fetuses, of which one XX individual bears biallelic mutations of FOXL2. Our analysis demonstrates that FOXL2 loss of function dissociated from loss of lncRNA expression is sufficient to cause an XX female-to-male sex reversal in the goat model and, as in the mouse model, an agenesis of eyelids. Both developmental defects were reproduced in two newborn animals cloned from the XX FOXL2(-/-) fibroblasts. These results therefore identify FOXL2 as a bona fide female sex-determining gene in the goat. They also highlight a stage-dependent role of FOXL2 in the ovary, different between goats and mice, being important for fetal development in the former but for postnatal maintenance in the latter.

Dates and versions

hal-02638689 , version 1 (28-05-2020)



Laurent Boulanger, Maëlle Pannetier, Laurence Gall Pouget Gall, Aurélie Allais-Bonnet, Maeva M. El Zaiat, et al.. FOXL2 is a female sex-determining gene in the goat. Current Biology - CB, 2014, 24 (4), pp.404-408. ⟨10.1016/j.cub.2013.12.039⟩. ⟨hal-02638689⟩
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