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Am J Hum Genet. 1994 Apr;54(4):609-17.

Differential splicing of human androgen receptor pre-mRNA in X-linked Reifenstein syndrome, because of a deletion involving a putative branch site.

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Department of Endocrinology and Reproduction, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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  • Am J Hum Genet 1994 Aug;55(2):419.


The analysis of the androgen receptor (AR) gene, mRNA, and protein in a subject with X-linked Reifenstein syndrome (partial androgen insensitivity) is reported. The presence of two mature AR transcripts in genital skin fibroblasts of the patient is established, and, by reverse transcriptase-PCR and RNase transcription analysis, the wild-type transcript and a transcript in which exon 3 sequences are absent without disruption of the translational reading frame are identified. Sequencing and hybridization analysis show a deletion of > 6 kb in intron 2 of the human AR gene, starting 18 bp upstream of exon 3. The deletion includes the putative branch-point sequence (BPS) but not the acceptor splice site on the intron 2/exon 3 boundary. The deletion of the putative intron 2 BPS results in 90% inhibition of wild-type splicing. The mutant transcript encodes an AR protein lacking the second zinc finger of the DNA-binding domain. Western/immunoblotting analysis is used to show that the mutant AR protein is expressed in genital skin fibroblasts of the patient. The residual 10% wild-type transcript can be the result of the use of a cryptic BPS located 63 bp upstream of the intron 2/exon 3 boundary of the mutant AR gene. The mutated AR protein has no transcription-activating potential and does not influence the transactivating properties of the wild-type AR, as tested in cotransfection studies. It is concluded that the partial androgen-insensitivity syndrome of this patient is the consequence of the limited amount of wild-type AR protein expressed in androgen target cells, resulting from the deletion of the intron 2 putative BPS.

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