A Novel Nonsense Mutation in HSD17B3 Gene in a Tunisian Patient with Sexual Ambiguity


Bochra Ben Rhouma, PhD student, Human Molecular Genetic Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax 3030, Tunisia. Tel: 00 216 24 61 61 63; Fax: 00 216 74 461 403; E-mail: bochra.benrhouma@gmail.com


Introduction.  17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 (HSD17B3) isoenzyme is present almost exclusively in the testes and converts delta 4 androstenedione to testosterone. Mutations in the HSD17B3 gene cause HSD17B3 deficiency and result in 46,XY Disorders of Sex Development (46,XY DSD).

Aim.  This study aimed to present the clinical and biochemical features of a Tunisian patient who presented a sexual ambiguity orienting to HSD17B3 deficiency and to search for a mutation in the HSD17B3 gene by DNA sequencing.

Methods.  Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and subsequent sequencing of all the coding exons of HSD17B3 gene were performed on genomic DNA from the patient, her family, and 50 controls.

Results.  Genetic mutation analysis of the HSD17B3 gene revealed the presence of a novel homozygous nonsense mutation in the exon 9 (c.618 C > A) leading to the substitution p.C206X. The mutation p.C206X in the coding exons supports the hypothesis of HSD17B3 deficiency in our patient.

Conclusion.  The patient described in this study represented a new case of a rare form of 46,XY DSD, associated to a novel gene mutation of HSD17B3 gene. The screening of this mutation is useful for confirming the diagnosis of HSD17B3 deficiency and for prenatal diagnosis. Ben Rhouma B, Belguith N, Mnif MF, Kamoun T, Charfi N, Kamoun M, Abdelhedi F, Hachicha M, Kamoun H, Abid M, and Fakhfakh F. A novel nonsense mutation in HSD17B3 gene in a Tunisian patient with sexual ambiguity. J Sex Med 2013;10:2586–2589.