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R-spondin1 is essential in sex determination, skin differentiation and malignancy

Nature Geneticsvolume 38pages13041309 (2006) | Download Citation



R-spondins are a recently characterized small family of growth factors. Here we show that human R-spondin1 (RSPO1) is the gene disrupted in a recessive syndrome characterized by XX sex reversal, palmoplantar hyperkeratosis and predisposition to squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Our data show, for the first time, that disruption of a single gene can lead to complete female-to-male sex reversal in the absence of the testis-determining gene, SRY.

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We are indebted to patients and clinicians for active collaboration in the research and with S. Bondanza and S. Pezzaia for technical help. We also thank M. Magliano for help in the in situ experiments. This work was supported by grants from Coperativa Est Ticino, Telethon, the European Community, the Ministero Italiano dell'Università e della Ricerca and the Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche.

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Author notes

  1. Pietro Parma and Orietta Radi: These authors contributed equally to this work.


  1. Dipartimento di Patologia Umana ed Ereditaria, Sezione di Biologia Generale e Genetica Medica, Università di Pavia, Via Forlanini 14, Pavia, 27100, Italy

    • Pietro Parma
    • , Orietta Radi
    • , Stella Valentini
    •  & Giovanna Camerino
  2. INSERM U636, Centre de Biochimie, Faculté des Sciences, Parc Valrose, Nice, 06108, France

    • Valerie Vidal
    • , Marie Christine Chaboissier
    •  & Andreas Schedl
  3. Laboratorio di Ingegneria dei Tessuti e Fisiopatologia Cutanea, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata-IRCCS, Via dei Monti di Creta 104, Roma, 00167, Italy

    • Elena Dellambra
    •  & Liliana Guerra


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Giovanna Camerino.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Fig. 1

    Haplotype analysis in patients and genome-wide SNP analysis. (PDF 21 kb)

  2. Supplementary Fig. 2

    Hypothetical RSPO1 proteins produced in patients. (PDF 40 kb)

  3. Supplementary Fig. 3

    Real-time PCR analysis on staged embryos. (PDF 90 kb)

  4. Supplementary Table 1

    Oligonucleotide sequences. (PDF 10 kb)

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