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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2000 Jan;52(1):67-75.

Mutations in the type II 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B2) gene can cause premature pubarche in girls.

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Unidade de Endocrinologia do Desenvolvimento, Laboratorio de Hormonios e Genetica Molecular LIM 42, Disciplina de Endocrinologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Erratum in

  • Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2004 Apr;60(4):527.



Most previous studies have failed to demonstrate any mutations in the type II 3beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B2) gene in patients satisfying the hormonal criteria of nonclassic 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency, suggesting that a mutant 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase protein is not the cause of this disorder. We screened the HSD3B2 gene for mutations in girls with premature pubarche and a hormonal diagnosis of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency.


From 30 girls with premature pubarche, we selected 9 whose ACTH-stimulated 17-hydroxypregnenolone levels were elevated (> or =6 SD) and screened the HSD3B2 gene for mutations.


All patients were submitted to a standard ACTH stimulation test. Serum steroids were measured and compared to the mean level of pubertal stage matched control subjects. The four exons and exon-intron boundaries of the HSD3B2 gene were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and screened for mutations by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The fragments with abnormal migration on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis were directly sequenced.


A homozygous T259M mutation was identified in one girl and a new compound heterozygous G129R/P222H mutation was identified in two sisters. The highest ACTH-stimulated 17-hydroxypregnenolone levels, 147, 339 and 351 nmol/l, were found in those patients with mutations in the HSD3B2 gene. In the patients without mutations, ACTH-stimulated 17-hydroxypregnenolone ranged from 48 to 111 nmol/l. ACTH-stimulated dehydroepiandrosterone levels had an overlap among the girls with and without mutations and the normal controls.


Premature pubarche can be caused by mutations in the type II 3beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase gene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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