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Fertil Steril. 2005 Mar;83(3):567-72.

Estrogen receptor alpha dinucleotide repeat and cytochrome P450c17alpha gene polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to endometriosis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.



To investigate the association of endometriosis with estrogen receptor alpha (ER alpha) and cytochrome P450c17alpha (CYP17) gene polymorphisms in light of the fact that estrogen plays a role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis and the CYP17 enzyme is involved with estrogen biosynthesis.


Prospective study.


Genetics and gynecology units.


All patients were divided into two groups: group 1, women with endometriosis (n = 119); group 2, normal controls (n = 108).


A dinucleotide (thymine-adenine [TA]) repeat polymorphism lying upstream of the ER alpha gene and A1/A2 polymorphism of the CYP17 gene were amplified by polymerase chain reaction, enzyme restriction, and electrophoresis.


The ER genotypes were classified into A through T (TA repeats, 10-29). The CYP17 genotypes included indigestible (A1 homozygote), heterozygote, and digestible (A2 homozygote). We compared these polymorphism distributions in both groups.


The percentage of genotypes D-G (TA, 13-16) in both groups were 10.5%, 29.4%, 13.0%, and 11.3% in group 1 and 7.9%, 16.7%, 19.9%, and 17.6% in group 2. The genotype E (14 TA repeats) is associated with a higher risk of endometriosis. Proportions of A1 homozygote/heterozygote/A2 homozygote for CYP17 were 26.1%/46.2%/27.7% for group 1 and 14.8%/44.5%/40.7% for group 2, respectively. The A1 homozygote and allele were associated with a higher susceptibility of endometriosis.


ER alpha* 14 TA repeats and the CYP17* A1 allele are associated with an increased risk of endometriosis. Both polymorphisms are useful markers for predicting endometriosis susceptibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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