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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Feb;83(2):476-80.

A mutation in the first transmembrane domain of the lutropin receptor causes male precocious puberty.

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  • 1Institute of Reproductive Medicine, University of M√ľnster, Germany.


We describe a patient with onset of puberty at the age of 5 yr. characterized by accelerated growth, enlargement of genitalia, pubarche, and serum hormone levels compatible with noncentral precocious puberty. Exon 11 of the LH receptor gene was amplified from genomic DNA by PCR and directly sequenced. We identified a heterozygous C to T base change at nucleotide position 1126, exchanging codon 373 from Ala to Val in the first transmembrane domain. The LH receptor sequence of the parents was normal. The mutated receptor displayed an up to 7.5-fold increase in basal cAMP production compared to that of the wild-type receptor in transiently transfected COS-7 cells. Treatment of the patient with ketoconazole resulted in inconsistent suppression of serum testosterone levels. At the age of 9.1 yr, central activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis occurred. Additional treatment with a GnRH agonist led to complete suppression of testosterone secretion. This is the first description of constitutive activation of the LH receptor in the first transmembrane segment. It suggests the involvement of the first transmembrane helix in signal transduction and provides further insight into the structural organization of the seven transmembrane domains of the glycoprotein hormone receptor proteins.

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