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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 72-79

Phenotypic variability of hyperandrogenemia in females heterozygous for CYP21A2 mutations

1 Department of Molecular Genetics, Function and Therapy, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus
2 Department of Molecular Genetics, Function and Therapy, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics; Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Paedi Center for Specialized Pediatrics; St. George's University of London Medical School at the University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

Correspondence Address:
Nicos Skordis
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Paedi Center for Specialized Pediatrics. 178 Athalassas Avenue, 2025 Nicosia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.145077

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Objectives: The objective was to seek evidence on the prevalence and consequences of heterozygous CYP21A2 mutations in girls, adolescent, and adult females with clinical manifestation of androgen excess. Patients and Methods: The study included 64 girls diagnosed with premature adrenarche (PA) in childhood and 141 females with clinical hyperandrogenemia manifested in adolescence or adulthood. Direct DNA sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis were used to identify mutations in the CYP21A2 gene. Results: (1) Thirty-four patients were diagnosed with nonclassical-congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NC-CAH) based on the 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) levels and the presence of two mutations in CYP21A2 and therefore were excluded from the study, 66 were found to be heterozygotes and finally 105 had no identifiable mutations. The most frequent mutations among the carriers were the mild p.Val281 Leu and p.Qln318stop. Higher levels of mean stimulated 17-OHP were found in the carriers of the p.Val281 Leu. (2) A notable increased allelic frequency for the known p.Asn493 Ser polymorphism was observed in the pool of females with hyperandrogenemia in whom no mutation was identified. (3) In girls, who presented early with PA, 26.6% were diagnosed with NC-CAH and carried two mutations, 28.7% were identified as heterozygotes 43.7% had no identifiable genetic defect in the translated region of the CYP21A2 gene. On the contrary, in the group of 141 females with late onset hyperandrogenemia, the presence of 2 mutations was detected in 12%, 1 mutation in 33.4% and no mutation in 54.6%. Conclusions: The carrier status for 21-OHD, may be an important factor in the variable phenotype of hyperandrogenism and may be a contributing factor for the early manifestation of the disease.

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