The role of the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY) in the etiology of 46,XX true hermaphroditism

Gary D. Berkovitz, Patricia Y. Fechner, Sandra M. Marcantonio, Gail Bland, Gail Stetten, Peter N. Goodfellow, Kirby D. Smith, Claude J. Migeon

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Abstract

The syndrome of 46,XX true hermaphroditism is a clinical condition in which both ovarian and testicular tissue are found in one individual. Both Mullerian and Wolffian structures are usually present, and external genitalia are often ambiguous. Two alternative mechanisms have been proposed to explain the development of testicular tissue in these subjects: (1) translocation of chromosomal material encoding the testicular determination factor (TDF) from the Y to the X chromosome or to an autosome, or (2) an autosomal dominant mutation that permits testicular determination in the absence of TDF. We have investigated five subjects with 46,XX true hermaphroditism. Four individuals had a normal 46,XX karyotype; one subject (307) had an apparent terminal deletion of the short arm of one X chromosome. Genomic DNA was isolated from these individuals and subjected to Southern blot analysis. Only subject 307 had Y chromosomal sequences that included the pseudoautosomal boundary, SRY (sex-determining region of Y), ZFY (Y gene encoding a zinc finger protein), and DXYS5 (an anonymous locus on the distal short arm of Y) but lacked sequences for DYZ5 (proximal short arm of Y) and for the long arm probes DYZ1 and DYZ2. The genomic DNA of the other four subjects lacked detectable Y chromosomal sequences when assayed either by Southern blotting or after polymerase chain reaction amplification. Our data demonstrate that 46,XX true hermaphroditism is a genetically heterogeneous condition, some subjects having TDF sequences but most not. The 46,XX subjects without SRY may have a mutation of an autosomal gene that permits testicular determination in the absence of TDF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalHuman genetics
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1992

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Berkovitz, G. D., Fechner, P. Y., Marcantonio, S. M., Bland, G., Stetten, G., Goodfellow, P. N., Smith, K. D., & Migeon, C. J. (1992). The role of the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY) in the etiology of 46,XX true hermaphroditism. Human genetics, 88(4), 411-416. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00215675