We mapped crossover sites in chimeric, recombinant CYP21 genes from six patients with salt-losing congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Nucleotide sequences unique to the CYP21A pseudogene or to the active CYP21B gene were mapped using gene-specific restriction sites and oligonucleotide hybridizations. Each chimeric CYP21 gene in the CYP21-deletion linked haplotypes contained sequences near the 5′ end that were characteristic of CYP21A and only a single transition from sequences of CYP21A to those of CYP21B at the 3′ end. The transitions all occurred within either of two discrete regions (+470 to +999 and +1375 to +1993). All eight chimeric CYP21 genes coupled with HLA-Bw47 in five unrelated patients had the CYP21A-CYP21B sequence transition within the same gene region (+1375 to +1993). One of the three other "CYP21B deletion" haplotypes (HLA-B7) had a sequence transition within this same region, while in the other two haplotypes (HLA-B61 and HLA-B18) the transition occurred between base pairs +470 and +999. By contrast, both CYP21 genes in a haplotype containing a gene conversion of CYP21B to CYP21A contained apparent transitions between sequences of CYP21A and CYP21B. We conclude that a single, unequal crossingover between the CYP21A and the CYP21B genes yields deletion of the active CYP21 gene and salt-losing CAH and that these crossingovers do not occur randomly within the CYP21 genes of our patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas