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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996 May;81(5):1827-31.

A (R80Q) mutation in 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 gene among Arabs of Israel is associated with pseudohermaphroditism in males and normal asymptomatic females.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital-Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel.


Four isozymes of steroid 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17 beta HSD) encoded by different loci catalyze the reversible conversion of androstenedione to testosterone and that of estrone to estradiol. The 17 beta HSD type 3 (17 beta HSD3) isozyme is encoded by the 17 beta HSD3 gene on chromosome 9q22 and expressed only in testes. Inherited defects in the 17 beta HSD3 isozyme cause a form of male pseudohermaphroditism that is rare within the general population, but frequent among a highly inbred Arab population in the Gaza strip. A point mutation in exon 3, codon 80 of the 17 beta HSD3 gene, R80Q, caused by a single base substitution from CGG to CAG was identified in both alleles of 24 individuals from 9 extended Arab families from Gaza, Jerusalem, and Lod-Ramle. Twenty-one homozygotes were male pseudohermaphrodites (46,XY) with testicular 17 beta HSD3 deficiency, born with either female-looking external genitalia or various degrees of genital ambiguity. If not reassigned in infancy, they were reared as females until puberty, when marked virilization occurred, often leading to the spontaneous adoption of a male gender role. In contrast, the 3 homozygote females (46,XX) were asymptomatic, had normal internal and external genitalia and normal sexual development, and revealed no biochemical evidence of 17 beta HSD3 deficiency. The molecular pattern in these families is compatible with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance that is sex dependent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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