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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Different insulin-like 3 (INSL3) gene mutations not associated with human cryptorchidism.

Cryptorchidism is the most frequent congenital anomaly of the urogenital tract in the male, but its etiology is for the most part unknown. Evidence suggests that a possible genetic cause may be involved. Animal models support this hypothesis, and in particular INSL3 (Leydig insulin-like 3 hormone) has been proposed as putative gene for cryptorchidism, since male mice mutant for Insl3 exhibit bilateral abdominal cryptorchidism due to alteration of gubernaculum development. In this study, we analyzed whether mutations in INSL3 could be associated with human cryptorchidism. Heteroduplex analysis and sequencing of both exons of INSL3 in 65 ex-cryptorchid patients and a group of control subjects allowed us to find four nucleotide changes in the sequence of exon I. These mutations are all single base substitutions from G to A at position 27, 96, 126 and 178. Only the 178G-->A substitution changes codon 60 from alanine to threonine (A60T). All mutations were found in comparable distribution in ex-cryptorchid patients and non-cryptorchid men. Therefore, all mutations represent neutral polymorphisms not associated with phenotype. This study confirms previous observations and demonstrates a novel polymorphism in the INSL3 gene. In contrast to that described for the mutant mouse, these data indicate that mutations of INSL3 do not seem to represent a frequent cause of cryptorchidism.[1]


  1. Different insulin-like 3 (INSL3) gene mutations not associated with human cryptorchidism. Marin, P., Ferlin, A., Moro, E., Garolla, A., Foresta, C. J. Endocrinol. Invest. (2001) [Pubmed]
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