Novel point mutation in the splice donor site of exon-intron junction 6 of the androgen receptor gene in a patient with partial androgen insensitivity syndrome

Innocenzo Sammarco, Paola Grimaldi, Pellegrino Rossi, Marco Cappa, Costanzo Moretti, Gaetano Frajese, Raffaele Geremia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Androgen receptor (AR) gene mutations have been shown to cause androgen insensitivity syndrome with altered sexual differentiation in XY individuals, ranging from a partial insensitivity with male phenotype and azoospermia to a complete insensitivity with female phenotype and the absence of pubic and axillary sexual hair after puberty. In this study we present an 11-yr-old XY girl, with clinical manifestations peculiar for impaired androgen biological action, including female phenotype, blind-ending vagina, small degree of posterior labial fusion, and absence of uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. At the time of the diagnosis the patient had a FSH/LH ratio according to the puberal stage, undetectable 17β-estradiol, and high levels of testosterone (80.1 ng/mL). After bilateral gonadectomy, performed at the age of 11 yr, histological examination showed small embryonic seminiferous tubules containing prevalently Sertoli cells and occasional spermatogonia together with abundant fibrous tissue. Molecular study of the patient showed a guanine to thymine transversion in position +5 of the donor splice site in the junction between exon 6 and intron 6 of the AR gene. The result of RT-PCR amplification of the AR messenger ribonucleic acid from cultured genital skin fibroblasts of the patient suggests that splicing is defective, and intron 6 is retained in most of the receptor messenger ribonucleic acid molecules. We show by immunoblotting that most of the expressed protein lacks part of the C-terminal hormone-binding domain, and a small amount of normal receptor is observed. This is probably responsible for the reduced binding capacity in genital skin fibroblasts of the patient. The molecular basis of the alteration in this case is a novel, uncommon mutation, leading to a phenotype indicative of a partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, Quigley's grade 5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3256-3261
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume85
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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