SOX9 haploinsufficiency underlies campomelic dysplasia (CD) with or without testicular dysgenesis. Current understanding of the phenotypic variability and mutation spectrum of SOX9 abnormalities remains fragmentary. Here, we report three patients with hitherto unreported SOX9 abnormalities. These patients were identified through molecular analysis of 33 patients with 46,XY disorders of sex development (DSD). Patients 1–3 manifested testicular dysgenesis or regression without CD. Patients 1 and 2 carried probable damaging mutations p.Arg394Gly and p.Arg437Cys, respectively, in the SOX9 C-terminal domain but not in other known 46,XY DSD causative genes. These substitutions were absent from ~120,000 alleles in the exome database. These mutations retained normal transactivating activity for the Col2a1 enhancer, but showed impaired activity for the Amh promoter. Patient 3 harbored a maternally inherited ~491 kb SOX9 upstream deletion that encompassed the known 32.5 kb XY sex reversal region. Breakpoints of the deletion resided within nonrepeat sequences and were accompanied by a short-nucleotide insertion. The results imply that testicular dysgenesis and regression without skeletal dysplasia may be rare manifestations of SOX9 abnormalities. Furthermore, our data broaden pathogenic SOX9 abnormalities to include C-terminal missense substitutions which lead to target-gene-specific protein dysfunction, and enhancer-containing upstream microdeletions mediated by nonhomologous end-joining.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology