The human luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) plays a fundamental role in male and female reproduction. In males, loss-of-function mutations in LHCGR have been associated with distinct degrees of impairment in preand postnatal testosterone secretion resulting in a variable phenotypic spectrum, classified as Leydig cell hypoplasia (LCH) type 1 (complete LH resistance and disorder of sex differentiation) and type 2 (partial LH resistance with impaired masculinization and fertility). Here, we report the case of an adolescent who came to the pediatric endocrinologist at the age of 12 years old for micropenis and cryptorchidism. Testis biopsy showed profound LCH and absent germinal line elements (Sertoli-only syndrome). The sequence analysis of the LHCGR gene showed the presence of a compound heterozygosity, being one variation, c.1847C>Ap. S616Y, already described in association to Hypergonadotropic Hypogonadism, and the other, c.29 C>T p. L10P, a new identified variant in the putative signal peptide (SP) of LHCGR. Functional and structural studies provide first evidence that LHCGR have a functional and cleavable SP required for receptor biogenesis. Moreover, we demonstrate the pathogenic role of the novel p. L10P allelic variant, which has to be considered a loss-of-function mutation significantly contributing, in compound heterozygosity with p. S616Y, to the LCH type 2 observed in our patient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology