Expanding DSD Phenotypes Associated with Variants in the DEAH-Box RNA Helicase DHX37

Sex Dev. 2021;15(4):244-252. doi: 10.1159/000515924. Epub 2021 Jul 22.


Missense variants in the RNA-helicase DHX37 are associated with either 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis or 46,XY testicular regression syndrome (TRS). DHX37 is required for ribosome biogenesis, and this subgroup of XY DSD is a new human ribosomopathy. In a cohort of 140 individuals with 46,XY DSD, we identified 7 children with either 46,XY complete gonadal dysgenesis or 46,XY TRS carrying rare or novel DHX37 variants. A novel p.R390H variant within the RecA1 domain was identified in a girl with complete gonadal dysgenesis. A paternally inherited p.R487H variant, previously associated with a recessive congenital developmental syndrome, was carried by a boy with a syndromic form of 46,XY DSD. His phenotype may be explained in part by a novel homozygous loss-of-function variant in the NGLY1 gene, which causes a congenital disorder of deglycosylation. Remarkably, a homozygous p.T477H variant was identified in a boy with TRS. His fertile father had unilateral testicular regression with typical male genital development. This expands the DSD phenotypes associated with DHX37. Structural analysis of all variants predicted deleterious effects on helicase function. Similar to all other known ribosomopathies, the mechanism of pathogenesis is unknown.

Keywords: Ambiguous genitalia; DHX37; Disorders of sexual development; Genetic disease; Sex determination/differentiation; Testicular regression syndrome; XY DSD.

MeSH terms

  • Gonadal Dysgenesis*
  • Gonadal Dysgenesis, 46,XY* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • RNA Helicases / genetics*
  • Testis / abnormalities


  • DHX37 protein, human
  • RNA Helicases