Author(s): Lee HH, Niu DM, Lin RW, Chan P, Lin CY
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Abstract Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a common autosomal recessive disorder mainly caused by defects in the steroid 21-hydroxylase (CYP21) gene. More than 90\% of CAH cases are caused by mutations of the CYP21 gene. Approximately 75\% of the defective CYP21 genes are generated through intergenic recombination, termed "apparent gene conversion," from the neighboring CYP21Ppseudogene. A chimeric CYP21P/CYP21gene with its 5' end corresponding to CYP21P and 3' end corresponding to CYP21 has been identified. This type of gene is nonfunctional because it produces a truncated protein. We found two distinct chimeric genes in CAH patients. Both genes had a sequence with -300 nucleotides of the 5' head as the CYP21P gene. The coding region consisted of a fusion molecule with the CYP21P gene in two different regions. One of the junctions was located in the chi-like sequence of GCTGGGC in the third intron and the other was in the minisatellite consensus TGGCAGGAGG of exon 5 of the CYP21P gene. In addition, analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphism for these two 3.3-kb chimeric molecules showed that these sequences arose as a consequence of unequal crossover between the CYP21Pand CYP21 genes. It is plausible that both consensus sequences are responsible for the gene conversion of these two chimeric genes.
This article was published in J Hum Genet
and referenced in Human Genetics & Embryology