A heterozygous mutation in the desert hedgehog gene in patients with mixed gonadal dysgenesis.
ABSTRACT Aetiology of mixed gonadal dysgenesis (MGD) has not been completely elucidated. Molecular analyses have failed to demonstrate the presence of mutations in sex-determining region on Y chromosome (SRY); it has been suggested that these individuals may bear mutations in other genes involved in the testis-determining pathway. Desert hedgehog's (DHH) importance regarding male sex differentiation has been demonstrated in various studies we describe here, for the first time, two cases of MGD in which a monoallelic single base deletion in DHH is associated with the disorder. Genomic DNA was isolated from paraffin-embedded gonad tissue from 10 unrelated patients with MGD and three controls; in addition to, DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes in 100 controls. Coding sequence abnormalities in DHH were assessed by exon-specific PCR, single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and direct sequencing. In two patients, a heterozygous 1086delG in exon 3 was found. Comparing previously described mutations in DHH to the one observed in this study, we can affirm that the phenotypic spectrum of patients with gonadal dysgenesis due to mutations in DHH is variable. This study continues to demonstrate the importance that DHH has in mammalian male sexual differentiation, providing extended evidence that DHH constitutes a key gene in gonadal differentiation.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations of Desert hedgehog (DHH) have been associated to 46,XY pure gonadal dysgenesis (PGD) and to mixed gonadal dysgenesis (MGD); however, there have been no functional studies of mutations described in DHH. To determine if mutations p.L162P and Δ1086delG yield functional impairment, we performed in vitro and in silico analysis of both DHH mutants. In complementary DNA of DHH, we performed site-directed mutagenesis, which was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Protein extracts were obtained from HEK293cells transfected with different constructs and analyzed by Western blot; besides, densitometric analysis of chemiluminescent signals was performed. In addition, the structure of the wt-DHH and its two mutant proteins was inferred using in silico protein molecular modeling. In the Western blot analysis, we observed the absence of signal for p.L162P in DHH-N and a diminished signal for Δ1086delG in DHH-C, when compared to wt-DHH. Protein modeling showed notable conformational changes for the side chains of p.L162P, while the secondary structure was drastically modified in Δ1086delG, when compared to wt-DHH. To our knowledge, this is the first study focused to determine by in vitro studies, the effect of two specific mutations in DHH associated with 46,XY PGD and MGD. Our results suggest that both mutations have a deleterious effect on the expression of the DHH mutant proteins.DNA and cell biology 06/2013; DOI:10.1089/dna.2013.2052 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations within either the SHH gene or its related pathway components are the most common, and best understood, pathogenetic changes observed in holoprosencephaly patients; this fact is consistent with the essential functions of this gene during forebrain development and patterning. Here we summarize the nature and types of deleterious sequence alterations among over one hundred distinct mutations in the SHH gene (64 novel mutations) and compare these to over a dozen mutations in disease-related Hedgehog family members IHH and DHH. This combined structural analysis suggests that dysfunction of Hedgehog signaling in human forebrain development can occur through truncations or major structural changes to the signaling domain, SHH-N, as well as due to defects in the processing of the mature ligand from its pre-pro-precursor or defective post-translation bi-lipid modifications with palmitate and cholesterol.Human Mutation 10/2009; 30(10):E921-35. DOI:10.1002/humu.21090 · 5.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Primary cilia are sensory organelles that coordinate numerous cellular signalling pathways during development and adulthood. Defects in ciliary assembly or function lead to a series of developmental disorders and diseases commonly referred to as ciliopathies. Still, little is known about the formation and function of primary cilia in the mammalian testis. Here, we characterized primary cilia in adult human testis and report a constitutive expression of cilia in peritubular myoid cells and a dynamic expression of cilia in differentiating Leydig cells. Primary cilia are generally absent from cells of mature seminiferous epithelium, but present in Sertoli cell-only tubules in Klinefelter syndrome testis. Peritubular cells in atrophic testis produce overly long cilia. Furthermore cultures of growth-arrested immature mouse Leydig cells express primary cilia that are enriched in components of Hedgehog signalling, including Smoothened, Patched-1, and GLI2, which are involved in regulating Leydig cell differentiation. Stimulation of Hedgehog signalling increases the localization of Smoothened to the cilium, which is followed by transactivation of the Hedgehog target genes, Gli1 and Ptch1. Our findings provide new information on the spatiotemporal formation of primary cilia in the testis and show that primary cilia in immature Leydig cells mediate Hedgehog signalling.Scientific Reports 05/2015; 5:1-14. DOI:10.1038/srep10364 · 5.58 Impact Factor