The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the DMRT gene family, sharing a DM DNA-binding domain with Drosophila 'doublesex' (dsx) and C. elegans mab3, genes involved in sex determination in these organisms. Also, this gene is located in a region of the human genome (chromosome 9p24.3) associated with gonadal dysgenesis and XY sex reversal. Hence this gene is one of the candidates for sex-determining gene(s) on chr 9. Transcriptional activator that directly regulates early activation of the myogenic determination gene MYF5 by binding in a sequence-specific manner to the early epaxial enhancer element of it. Involved in somitogenesis during embryogenesis and somite development and differentiation into sclerotome and dermomyotome. Required for the initiation and/or maintenance of proper organization of the sclerotome, dermomyotome and myotome (By similarity).