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Nat Genet. 1992 Jul;1(4):239-45.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to point mutations in the type II 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase gene.

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CHUL Research Center, Québec, Canada.


Classical 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/delta 5-delta 4-isomerase (3 beta-HSD) deficiency is an autosomal recessive form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia characterized by a severe impairment of steroid biosynthesis in both the adrenals and the gonads. We describe the nucleotide sequence of the two highly homologous genes encoding 3 beta-HSD isoenzymes in three classic 3 beta-HSD deficient patients belonging to two apparently unrelated pedigrees. No mutation was detected in the type I 3 beta-HSD gene, which is mainly expressed in the placenta and peripheral tissues. Both nonsense and frameshift mutations, however, were found in the type II 3 beta-HSD gene, which is the predominant 3 beta-HSD gene expressed in the adrenals and gonads, thus providing the first elucidation of the molecular basis of this disorder.

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