We previously identified a nonsense mutation (Cys545Stop) in the paternal human LH/CG receptor (hLHR) allele in a family with two 46,XY children afflicted with Leydig cell hypoplasia. This mutation abolished the signal transduction capability of the affected hLHR. We have now examined all coding exons and the transcript of both alleles of the hLHR gene of the affected children. A 33-bp in-frame insertion was found in the maternal hLHR allele. This insertion occurred between nucleotide 54 and 55 and might be the result of a partial gene duplication. Genomic DNA-PCR showed that this defective maternal hLHR allele was inherited by the two affected children. However, examination of the inheritance of the 935-A/G polymorphism of the hLHR by genomic-and RT-PCR indicated that the maternal hLHR allele was not expressed in cultured fibroblasts of the patients. The effect of the in- frame insertion on the biological activity of the hLHR was examined by expressing the mutated hLHR construct, generated by site-directed mutagenesis, in HEK 293 cells. The expression of the mRNA for the mutant hLHR in HEK 293 cells was not affected. Response of cells expressing the mutated hLHR to hCG stimulation was impaired as demonstrated by reduced intracellular cAMP biosynthesis. This change in signal transduction was the result of a profound reduction in hormone binding at the cell surface due to altered expression and processing of the mutated receptor. We conclude that Leydig cell hypoplasia in this family is the result of compound heterozygous loss- of-function mutations of the hLHR gene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology