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

Molecular basis of nonclassical steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency detected by neonatal mass screening in Japan.

Since 1989, neonatal mass screening for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) has been performed in Japan, and the frequency of the classical form of 21-hydroxylase deficiency was found to be nearly identical to that in other countries. However, it has not yet been determined whether our mass screening program can detect the nonclassical (NC) form. From 1991 to 1994, about 4,500,000 infants underwent CAH mass screening in Japan. During this period, we identified by screening 2 siblings and 2 unrelated patients who had mild elevation of serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone levels at 5 days of age, but who revealed no symptoms of CAH. They were diagnosed as having probable NC steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency. To clarify the molecular basis of NC CAH detectable by neonatal screening in Japan, the steroid 21-hydroxylase (CYP21) genes from these cases were analyzed. The 2 siblings (patients 1 and 2) had I172N and R356W mutations in 1 allele and in the other allele had local gene conversion, including the P30L mutation in exon 1. Patient 3, who was unrelated, had gene conversion encoding the same P30L mutation in 1 allele and in the other allele had an intron 2 mutation (668-12 A-->G), causing aberrant ribonucleic acid splicing, and the R356W mutation. Patient 4, also a compound heterozygote, had the R356W and 707del8 mutations. The estimated rate of detection of the NC form by mass screening (1:1,100,000) seemed low compare to the established detection rate for the classical form (1:18,000). As all of our 4 patients were compound heterozygotes with at least 1 allele bearing 1 or more mutations associated with classic CAH, it may be difficult to detect NC cases carrying only NC-associated alleles using our current neonatal mass screening methods.[1]


  1. Molecular basis of nonclassical steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency detected by neonatal mass screening in Japan. Tajima, T., Fujieda, K., Nakae, J., Toyoura, T., Shimozawa, K., Kusuda, S., Goji, K., Nagashima, T., Cutler, G.B. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1997) [Pubmed]
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