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J Mol Med (Berl). 2002 Dec;80(12):782-90. Epub 2002 Oct 1.

Novel mutations affecting SRY DNA-binding activity: the HMG box N65H associated with 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis and the familial non-HMG box R30I associated with variable phenotypes.

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Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil.


The SRY gene (sex-determining region of the Y chromosome) initiates the process of male sex differentiation in mammalians. In humans mutations in the SRY gene have been reported to account for 10-15% of the XY sex reversal cases. We describe here two novel missense mutations in the SRY gene after the screening of 17 patients, including 3 siblings, with 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis and 4 true hermaphrodites. One of the mutations, an A to C transversion within the HMG box, causes the N65H substitution and it was found in a patient presenting 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis. The Escherichia coli expressed SRY(N65H) protein did not present DNA-binding activity in vitro. The other mutation, a G to T transversion, causes the R30I substitution. This mutation was found in affected and nonaffected members of a family, including the father, two siblings with partial gonadal dysgenesis, a phenotypic female with pure gonadal dysgenesis, and three nonaffected male siblings. The G to T base change was not found in the SRY sequence of 100 normal males screened by ASO-PCR. The R30I mutation is located upstream to the HMG box, within the (29)RRSSS(33) phosphorylation site. The E. coli expressed SRY(R30I) protein was poorly phosphorylated and consequently showed reduced DNA-binding capacity in vitro.

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