A novel mutation of estrogen receptor gene detected in girls with precocious puberty

Yi Chuan Xue Bao. 2005 Oct;32(10):1011-7.


Female precocious puberty is caused by premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, exposure to exogenous sex steroid hormones, and the presence of endogenous sex steroids caused by various factors. Estrogen is the final key factor to start onset of puberty. However,in some cases of precocious puberty in girls estrogen elevation could not be detected. The raised sensitivity of estrogen receptor, which may caused by ESR1 mutation or polymorphism, has been frequently mentioned for interpreting the etiology of sporadic low estrogen type cases. But no case evidence has been found in clinical practice. For the purpose of screening possible mutations in estrogen receptor gene, leukocyte genomic DNA were collected from 16 girls with precocious puberty of sporadic low estrogen,and exons of ESR1 were amplified and analysized using PCR-SSCP/silver staining method. A single strand conformation change in exon 8 was found in one of the patients (No. 14). The suspected fragment were cloned to a T vector and sequenced for analysis. Sequencing of these clones revealed that this conformation change is caused by a C to T transition. This mutation results in the replacement of arginine by cystine at position 548 of ESR1 protein. The mutation created an extra Btsl digest site and made it can be readily identified by PCR-PFLP method. Further detection using this method, and sequencing of cloned exon8 colonies from patients proved that the patient No. 14 is Arg548/Cys548 heterozagous in genotype. This mutation increased hydrophobility of the area dramatically. The position and the conservative of this residue in vertebrates suggested Arg548 may play an important role in ESR1 function. For study the role of this mutation in the onset of precocious puberty, a firefly luciferase reporter plasmid pGL3-promoter-ERE was constructed,and a pCR3. 1-hermut pisimid expressing Cys548 ER was constructed based on wild type pCR3. 1her. Co-transfection of reporter and pCR3. 1 -hermut in CMF-7 cell strain proved that Cys548 mutant can significantly increase the transcription activity over the Arg548 wild type.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Puberty, Precocious / genetics*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Transfection


  • ESR1 protein, human
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Luciferases