Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is caused by defects in the androgen receptor (AR) that render the AR partially or completely inactive. As a result, embryonic sex differentiation is impaired. Here, we describe a novel mutation in the AR found in a patient with partial AIS. The mutation results in a substitution of a glutamine (Q) by a lysine (K) residue at position 902, Q902K. The AR Q902K mutation was investigated in vitro with respect to its functional properties. The equilibrium dissociation constants (K(d)s) of AR Q902K in the presence of either the synthetic androgen R1881 or the natural ligand DHT were slightly elevated. The R1881 dissociation rate (t(1/2)) was increased 3-fold for AR Q902K compared with wild type. Transcriptional activity was decreased to 85% of wild type, and the dose-response curve revealed that the sensitivity to hormone was decreased due to the mutation. Furthermore, the 114-kDa androgen-induced phosphorylated AR protein band was not detectable in genital skin fibroblasts. However, it could be detected in transfected CHO cells expressing the mutant receptor in the presence of 10 and 100 nm R1881. Functional interaction assays and a GST pull-down assay showed that the interaction between the NH2 and COOH terminus of AR Q902K was reduced to 50% of wild type. Furthermore, the transactivation by the coactivator TIF2 (transcriptional intermediary factor 2) was decreased 2- to 3-fold. The half-maximal response in both assays was shifted to a higher hormone concentration compared with wild type. These results indicate that residue Q902 is involved in TIF2 and NH2/COOH interaction and that the Q to K mutation results in a mild impairment of AR function, which can explain the partial AIS phenotype of the patient.

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Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Umar, A., Berrevoets, C., Van, M., van Leeuwen, M., Verbiest, M., Kleijer, W., … Brinkmann, A. (2005). Functional analysis of a novel androgen receptor mutation, Q902K, in an individual with partial androgen insensitivity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 90(1), 507–515. doi:10.1210/jc.2004-0057