Identification of Gene Variants in 130 Han Chinese Patients With Hypospadias by Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing

Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2019 Aug;7(8):e827. doi: 10.1002/mgg3.827. Epub 2019 Jun 20.


Background: Hypospadias is a common congenital malformation of male external genitalia, which mainly manifests as an abnormal urethral opening on the ventral side of the penis. The etiology and clinical phenotype of hypospadias is highly heterogeneous, and its clinical diagnosis is challenging. Currently, over 70% of patients have an unknown etiology. Here, we performed a targeted analysis of gene mutations in 130 patients with hypospadias of unknown etiology to find the precise genetic cause.

Methods: We developed a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel, encompassing the exon coding regions of 105 genes involved in external genitalia and urogenital tract development and performed sequencing analysis on 130 children with hypospadias of unknown etiology.

Results: In total, 25 patients with hypospadias (19.2%) were found to have 20 mutations among the nine genes involved in external genitalia and urogenital tract development, including 16 reported and four novel mutation sites. Twenty-two patients (16.9%) had diagnostic variants. Multiple genetic mutations were identified in three of the 25 patients. Hypospadias combined with micropenis was the most common phenotype (68%) in 25 patients.

Conclusions: Higher frequency mutations were identified in SRD5A2 (52%) and AR (24%) in our patient cohort. Middle or posterior hypospadias with micropenis may be significant indicators of genetic variations. Polygenic inheritance may be a rare genetic cause of hypospadias.

Keywords: candidate gene; hypospadias; next-generation sequencing; pathogenic genes.

MeSH terms

  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Exons / genetics
  • Genital Diseases, Male / genetics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Hypospadias / genetics*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • Mutation
  • Penis / abnormalities*
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics*


  • AR protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase
  • SRD5A2 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Penis agenesis