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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión impresa ISSN 0025-7680versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106


PEPE, Carolina M. et al. Exon 5 alternative splicing of the cytochrome P450 aromatase could be a regulatory mechanism for estrogen production in humans. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2007, vol.67, n.4, pp.369-373. ISSN 0025-7680.

P450 aromatase (P450Aro), involved in androgen to estrogen conversion, is encoded by the CYP19 gene. P450Aro c655G>A mutation described in heterozygous form in a girl and in homozygous form in an adult male with P450Aro deficiency results in an aberrant splicing due to disruption of a donor splice site. A truncated inactive protein would be expected if intron5 is retained. Surprisingly, the girl described with this mutation showed spontaneous breast development and pubertal estradiol (E2) levels suggesting residual P450Aro activity (AA). Formerly, we postulate the in frame E5 skipping as a consequence of this mutation generating a protein with some degree of activity. When P450Aro mRNA expression was analysed from patient's lymphocytes, an aberrant spliced mRNA lacking E5 (-E5mRNA) was detected, suggesting an association between E5 skipping and the presence of the mutation. Splicing assays in Y1 cells confirmed this association. -Ex5 cDNA expression in Y1 cells resulted in an inactive protein that could not explain patient's phenotype. Exon 5 might be predicted as a poorly defined exon suggesting a susceptibility to splicing mutations and physiological alternative splicing (AS) events. Therefore, -Ex5mRNA was assessed as a natural occurring alternative transcript in normal human steroidogenic tissues. As P450Aro -E5mRNA expression was detected in human term placenta, prepubertal testis and prepubertal adrenal, we might speculate that AS of P450Aro coding region would occur in humans and would be involved in the complex AA regulation. Furthermore, tissue specific regulation of AS might suggest low expression of +E5mRNA from the c655G>A allele explaining residual AA evidenced in the affected girl.

Palabras clave : Partial aromatase deficiency; CYP19 mutations; CYP19 alternative splicing.

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