Background: The 5α-reductase type 2 (5α-RD2) deficiency caused by mutations in the steroid 5α-reductase 2 (SRD5A2) gene results in variable degrees of undervirilisation in patients with 46,XY disorders of sex development. This study aims to profile the regional distribution and phenotype-genotype characteristics of SRD5A2 in a large Chinese 5α-RD2 deficiency cohort through multi-centre analysis.
Methods: 190 subjects diagnosed with 5α-RD2 deficiency were consecutively enrolled from eight medical centres in China. Their clinical manifestations and genetic variants were analysed.
Results: Hypospadias (isolated or combined with microphallus and/or cryptorchidism) was fairly common in the enrolled subjects (66.32%). 42 variants, including 13 novel variants, were identified in SRD5A2. Homozygous and compound heterozygous mutations presented in 38.42% and 61.58% of subjects, respectively, and predominated in exons 1, 4 and 5. The most prevalent variant was c.680G > A (52.37%), followed by c.16C > T, (10.79%), c.607G > A, (9.21%) and c.737G > A, (8.95%). However, their distributions were different: c.680G > A was more common in South China than in North China (62.62% vs 39.16%, p < 0.001), whereas the regional prevalence of c.16C > T was reversed (6.07% vs 16.87%, p = 0.001). Furthermore, c.680G > A prevailed in cases with normal meatus (68.75%) or distal hypospadias (66.28%), compared with those with proximal hypospadias (35.54%, p < 0.001). However, cases with proximal hypospadias showed a higher frequency of c.16C > T (20.48%) than those with normal meatus (3.13%) or distal hypospadias (3.49%, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: This study profiled variable phenotypic presentation and wide mutational spectrum of SRD5A2, revealing its distinctive regional distribution in Chinese patients and further shaping the founder effect and genotype-phenotype correlation of SRD5A2.
Keywords: 5α-reductase type 2 deficiency; distribution; founder effect; genotype–phenotype correlation; steroid 5α-reductase 2 gene.
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