Time and Place of Action of Sex-determining Factors in Ontogeny

  • Susumu Ohno
Part of the Monographs on Endocrinology book series (ENDOCRINOLOGY, volume 1)


In multicellular organisms there is a division of labor among the various cell types that constitute an individual. Although endowed with identical genetic constitutions, different somatic cell types in different parts of the body perform different functions. This is because many of the genes are turned on only in certain somatic cell types. The gene loci for component polypeptides of hemoglobin function only in erythropoietic cells. Skin cells and cells of liver parenchyma, no doubt, maintain these genes in their nuclei, yet these genes remain dormant. Similarly, the gene locus for the hormone, insulin, is activated only in Langhans islet cells of the pancreas. The above examples are given in order to demonstrate that every gene with a specialized function has a particular somatic cell type in which to express itself.


Germ Cell Corpus Luteum Interstitial Cell Follicular Cell Primordial Follicle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susumu Ohno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyCity of Hope MedicalDuarteUSA

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