In a patient with partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), we identified a single inherited presumably silent nucleotide variation (AGC -> AGT) in exon 8 (codon 888) of the AR gene. However, in the patient's genital skin fibroblasts, a considerably shortened transcript of 5.5 kb (normal: 10.5 kb) was detected, which misses a part of exon 8 and a prominent portion of the 3′-untranslated region. The translation product includes eight missense amino acids from codon 886 onward followed by a premature stop codon. As shown by in vitro expression analysis, the mutant protein lacks any residual function. However, reverse transcribed PCRs and sequence data indicate the existence of two additional splicing variants of 6.4 kb and 7.8-kb length both in patient and normal control genital skin fibroblasts. These splicing variants comprise the complete coding region but a shortened 3′-untranslated region. Thus, a distinct alternative premessegner RNA-processing event leading to two additional transcripts occurs generally in genital skin fibroblasts. In addition, this process partially prevents aberrant splicing in the patient and produces a small fraction of normal, functionally intact AR-protein that could explain the partial masculinization in this patient. This first report of an exonic splicing mutation in the AR-gene indicates a physiologic relevance of the regular AR-messenger RNA variants with shortened 3′-untranslated regions and their functional translation products in human genital development.
Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren
- Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)