Three genes, RBM1, DAZ and TSPY, map to a small region of the long arm of the human Y chromosome which is deleted in azoospermic men. RBM1, but not DAZ or TSPY, has a Y-linked homologue in marsupials which is transcribed in the testis. This suggests that RBM1 has been retained on the Y chromosome because of a critical male-specific function. Marsupial RBM1 is closely related to human RBM1, but, like the related autosomal gene hnRNPG, lacks the amplification of an exon. This suggests that RBM1 evolved from hnRNPG at least 130 million years ago and has undergone internal amplification in primates, as well as independent amplification in several therian [corrected] lineages.