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Clin Genet. 1998 Sep;54(3):185-92.

Analysis of the transactivation domain of the androgen receptor in patients with male infertility.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Genetic defects of the human androgen receptor (AR) can cause a wide spectrum of androgen insensitivity syndromes (AIS) in XY individuals ranging from phenotypic females, to defective spermatogenesis in otherwise normal males. We screened the non-polymorphic regions of exon 1, transactivation domain (TAD), of the AR gene in 153 subjects with varying degrees of defective spermatogenesis of unknown aetiology, and compared them to 100 healthy fertile controls. Three different single-strand conformation polymorphisms were detected and sequencing of the mutant fragments revealed three G-->A transitions in codons 210, 211 and 214. The first two mutations were polymorphisms and the transition in codon 211 was related to ethnic origin occurring in 10-15% of Indian or Middle-Eastern subjects, but not in the majority of Chinese. The third mutation resulted in a non-conservative glycine to arginine substitution at codon 214 (G214R) and was associated with approximately 20% lower transactivation capacity compared to the wild-type (WT). This study, the first screening of the AR TAD for subtle mutations, in a large group of males with defective spermatogenesis, has uncovered novel polymorphisms which may be useful in ethnic studies. Although a possible pathogenic mutation was uncovered, mutations of the nonpolymorphic portions of the TAD of the AR do not appear to have a major role in the aetiology of idiopathic male infertility.

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