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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996 May;81(5):1984-8.

A novel substitution (Leu707Arg) in exon 4 of the androgen receptor gene causes complete androgen resistance.

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  • 1Institute National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Hôpital Lapeyronie, Montpellier, France.


A wide spectrum of androgen receptor (AR) gene mutations has been reported in complete androgen insensitivity syndromes. The molecular basis of androgen resistance was investigated in a female newborn with complete testicular feminization. Sequencing identified a point mutation in exon 4 responsible for a leucine (CTG) to arginine (CGG) replacement at codon 707. This novel mutation is located in the amino-terminal part of the ligand-binding domain of the AR. To determine the functional properties of the mutated AR and to establish the correlation with the clinical phenotype of androgen resistance, the mutation was reproduced in AR wild-type complementary DNA, and the plasmid was transfected into AR-free mammalian cells. In vitro studies showed that the mutant AR was functionally defective as an androgen-binding molecule. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that the binding of mutated AR to DNA was reduced. Finally, the mutant was unable to induce the transcriptional activation of androgen-responsive reporter gene. This amino acid defect in the primary sequence probably involves the rupture of hydropathicity in a region that is conserved among members of the steroid receptor subfamily. Our data substantiate the major contribution of leucine 707 to normal AR function and demonstrate that its substitution by an arginine caused the complete androgen insensitivity in this patient. Our findings also contribute to the elaboration of the structure-function map of the AR based on naturally occurring mutations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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