Complete deletion of the androgen receptor gene: definition of the null phenotype of the androgen insensitivity syndrome and determination of carrier status.
The molecular basis of androgen insensitivity was investigated in a family with the complete form of the syndrome. Polymerase chain reaction amplification and Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA revealed a deletion of the entire androgen receptor (AR) gene in affected individuals. The carrier status of female members of this family was examined using a HindIII restriction fragment length polymorphism associated with the AR gene. Obligate carriers were hemizygous for one of the two alleles at this locus, while heterozygosity for the polymorphic alleles, implying the presence of two copies of the AR gene, indicated noncarrier status. This conclusion was supported by gene dosage studies using comparative densitometric analysis of Southern blots hybridized simultaneously with an AR cDNA probe and a control cDNA probe from an unrelated gene. Finally, the pattern of inheritance of another X-linked DNA polymorphism allowed us to conclude that the original mutation had occurred in the germ line of the maternal great-grandfather of the index patient. Although rare, complete deletion of the AR gene is of particular importance in terms of correlation between molecular defect and phenotype, as it represents the quintessential form of complete androgen insensitivity, the null phenotype.
Quigley, CA; Friedman, KJ; Johnson, A; Lafreniere, RG; Silverman, LM; Lubahn, DB; Brown, TR; Wilson, EM; Willard, HF; French, FS
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