The role of the sex-determining region Y gene in the etiology of 46,XX maleness

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Mar;76(3):690-5. doi: 10.1210/jcem.76.3.8383144.


The condition of 46,XX maleness is characterized by testicular development in subjects who have two X chromosomes but who lack a normal Y chromosome. Several etiologies have been proposed to explain 46,XX maleness: 1) translocation of the testis-determining factor from the Y to the X chromosome, 2) mutation in an autosomal or X chromosome gene which permits testicular determination in the absence of TDF, and 3) undetected mosaicism with a Y-bearing cell line. We evaluated 10 affected subjects who were ascertained for different reasons and who had several distinct phenotypes. Six subjects had inherited sequences from the short arm of the Y chromosome including the sex-determining region Y gene (SRY). Five of the subjects were pubertal at the time of evaluation and had a phenotype similar to that of Klinefelter syndrome with evidence of Sertoli cell and Leydig cell dysfunction. One subject had evidence from Southern blot analysis and in situ hybridization for the presence of an intact Y chromosome in approximately 1% of cells. Three subjects lacked Y sequences by Southern blot analysis and by polymerase chain reaction amplification of SRY. These subjects were ascertained in the newborn period because of congenital anomalies. One had multiple anomalies including cardiac abnormalities; one had cardiac anomalies alone; and one had ambiguous genitalia. Our data confirm the genetic heterogeneity of 46,XX maleness, in which some subjects have SRY while other subjects lack it. In addition, there is phenotypic heterogeneity among subjects who lack SRY suggesting that there is also genetic heterogeneity within this subgroup.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Genes*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Infant
  • Infertility, Male / genetics
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Sex Determination Analysis*
  • X Chromosome*
  • Y Chromosome*


  • DNA Restriction Enzymes