Point mutations in the androgen receptor gene cause androgen insensitivity syndromes, clinically characterized by masculinization defects in karyotypic males due to endrogan resistance to androgenic steroids. Characterization of these mutations with single strand conformation polymorphism analysis utilizing radio-active PCR can serve as a diagnostic tool for molecular subclassification of these syndromes. It is the basis for genetic counseling and for therapeutic decisions. Here we report an improved non-radioactive single strand polymorphism analysis for rapid detection of androgen receptor gene mutations in affected individuals. In addition to previously reported mutations, 10 patients with clinical features of androgen resistance were studied. DNA was isolated from peripheral blood leucocytes and exons 1 to 8 of the coding region of the androgen receptor gene amplified by PCR. Amplification products were denatured and run on non-denaturing gels. These were subjected to fixation and silver staining. Variations were directly sequenced. In all patients a different point mutation in one of the exons was detected. While one insertion mutation was found in a patient with complete androgen insensitivity, all other mutations cause amino acid substitutions. These data suggest that the described non-radioactive single strand polymorphism analysis is a useful tool for the characterization of androgen receptor gene mutations. The omission of radioisotopes is advantagous in a clinical setting. The mutations described emphasize the clinical and molecular heterogeneity of this disease.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)