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J Hum Genet. 2006;51(2):129-36. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Androgen receptor CAG and GGC polymorphisms in Mediterraneans: repeat dynamics and population relationships.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biology-Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal, 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


Microsatellite variation (CAG and GGC repeats) of the androgen receptor (AR) gene shows remarkable differences among African and non-African populations. In vitro studies have demonstrated an inverse relationship between the length of both microsatellites and AR activity. This fact may explain the observed association of the AR gene with prostate cancer and the strong ethnic differences in the incidence of this cancer. CAG and GGC genetic variation has been tested in a large set of populations from the Ivory Coast as well as 12 Mediterranean samples whose variation is described for the first time. The pattern of frequencies observed in the Ivory Coast agrees with data previously reported for other Sub-Saharan populations. Concerning the Mediterranean variation, Sardinian samples are characterised by low genetic diversities, and Egyptian Siwa Berbers by a particular pattern of GGC frequencies. High and Middle Atlas Moroccan Berbers are the most closely related to the Sub-Saharan variation. For both the CAG and GGC repeats, the Ivory Coast and some Moroccan samples exhibit high frequencies of low size alleles (CAG under 18 repeats, and GGC under 15 repeats) that have been associated with prostate cancer.

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