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Liu, R. SRY Gene. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 20 June 2024).
Liu R. SRY Gene. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 20, 2024.
Liu, Rui. "SRY Gene" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 20, 2024).
Liu, R. (2020, December 22). SRY Gene. In Encyclopedia.
Liu, Rui. "SRY Gene." Encyclopedia. Web. 22 December, 2020.
SRY Gene

SRY: Sex determining region Y. The SRY gene provides instructions for making a protein called the sex-determining region Y protein.


1. Normal Function

The SRY gene provides instructions for making a protein called the sex-determining region Y protein. This protein is involved in male sexual development, which is usually determined by the chromosomes an individual has. People usually have 46 chromosomes in each cell. Two of the 46 chromosomes, known as X and Y, are called sex chromosomes because they help determine whether a person will develop male or female sex characteristics. Girls and women typically have two X chromosomes (46,XX karyotype), while boys and men usually have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (46,XY karyotype).

The SRY gene is found on the Y chromosome. The sex-determining region Y protein produced from this gene acts as a transcription factor, which means it attaches (binds) to specific regions of DNA and helps control the activity of particular genes. This protein starts processes that cause a fetus to develop male gonads (testes) and prevent the development of female reproductive structures (uterus and fallopian tubes).

2. Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

2.1. Swyer syndrome

Mutations in the SRY gene have been identified in approximately 15 percent of individuals with Swyer syndrome, also known as 46,XY complete gonadal dysgenesis or 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis. SRY gene mutations that cause Swyer syndrome prevent production of the sex-determining region Y protein or result in the production of a nonfunctioning protein. A fetus whose cells do not produce functional sex-determining region Y protein will not develop testes but will develop a uterus and fallopian tubes, despite having a typically male karyotype.

2.2. 46,XX testicular disorder of sex development

In most individuals with 46,XX testicular disorder of sex development, the condition results from an abnormal exchange of genetic material between chromosomes (translocation). This exchange occurs as a random event during the formation of sperm cells in the affected person's father. The SRY gene is misplaced in this disorder, almost always onto an X chromosome. A fetus with an X chromosome that carries the SRY gene will develop male characteristics despite not having a Y chromosome.

2.3. Other disorders

SRY gene mutations that impair but do not eliminate the function of the sex-determining region Y protein have been identified in a small number of people with 46,XY disorder of sex development, or partial gonadal dysgenesis. Affected individuals may have external genitalia that do not look clearly male or clearly female (ambiguous genitalia) or other abnormalities of the genitals and reproductive organs.

About 10 percent of individuals who have both testicular and ovarian tissue, a condition called ovotesticular disorder of sex development, have two X chromosomes with one carrying a misplaced copy of the SRY gene.

3. Other Names for This Gene

  • essential protein for sex determination in human males

  • sex determining region protein

  • sex-determining region on Y


  • TDF

  • TDY

  • testis-determining factor


  1. Assumpção JG, Benedetti CE, Maciel-Guerra AT, Guerra G Jr, Baptista MT,Scolfaro MR, de Mello MP. Novel mutations affecting SRY DNA-binding activity: theHMG box N65H associated with 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis and the familialnon-HMG box R30I associated with variable phenotypes. J Mol Med (Berl). 2002Dec;80(12):782-90.
  2. Gimelli G, Gimelli S, Dimasi N, Bocciardi R, Di Battista E, Pramparo T,Zuffardi O. Identification and molecular modelling of a novel familial mutationin the SRY gene implicated in the pure gonadal dysgenesis. Eur J Hum Genet. 2007 Jan;15(1):76-80.
  3. Kellermayer R, Halvax L, Czakó M, Shahid M, Dhillon VS, Husain SA, Süle N,Gömöri E, Mammel M, Kosztolányi G. A novel frame shift mutation in the HMG box ofthe SRY gene in a patient with complete 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis. Diagn Mol Pathol. 2005 Sep;14(3):159-63.
  4. King TF, Conway GS. Swyer syndrome. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014Dec;21(6):504-10. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000113. Review.
  5. Phillips NB, Jancso-Radek A, Ittah V, Singh R, Chan G, Haas E, Weiss MA. SRYand human sex determination: the basic tail of the HMG box functions as a kineticclamp to augment DNA bending. J Mol Biol. 2006 Apr 21;358(1):172-92.
  6. Queralt R, Madrigal I, Vallecillos MA, Morales C, Ballescá JL, Oliva R, Soler A, Sánchez A, Margarit E. Atypical XX male with the SRY gene located at the long arm of chromosome 1 and a 1qter microdeletion. Am J Med Genet A. 2008 May15;146A(10):1335-40. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.32284.
  7. Racca JD, Chen YS, Maloy JD, Wickramasinghe N, Phillips NB, Weiss MA.Structure-function relationships in human testis-determining factor SRY: anaromatic buttress underlies the specific DNA-bending surface of a high mobilitygroup (HMG) box. J Biol Chem. 2014 Nov 21;289(47):32410-29. doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.597526.
  8. Rizvi AA. 46, XX man with SRY gene translocation: cytogenetic characteristics,clinical features and management. Am J Med Sci. 2008 Apr;335(4):307-9. doi:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31811ec1b4.
  9. Shahid M, Dhillion VS, Jain N, Hedau S, Diwakar S, Sachdeva P, Batra S, DasBC, Husain SA. Two new novel point mutations localized upstream and downstream ofthe HMG box region of the SRY gene in three Indian 46,XY females with sexreversal and gonadal tumour formation. Mol Hum Reprod. 2004 Jul;10(7):521-6.
  10. Waters PD, Wallis MC, Marshall Graves JA. Mammalian sex--Origin and evolution of the Y chromosome and SRY. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2007 Jun;18(3):389-400.
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Update Date: 22 Dec 2020
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