Familial glucocorticoid resistance caused by a splice site deletion in the human glucocorticoid receptor gene.

Article Details


Karl M, Lamberts SW, Detera-Wadleigh SD, Encio IJ, Stratakis CA, Hurley DM, Accili D, Chrousos GP

Familial glucocorticoid resistance caused by a splice site deletion in the human glucocorticoid receptor gene.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Mar;76(3):683-9.

PubMed ID
8445027 [ View in PubMed

The clinical syndrome of generalized, compensated glucocorticoid resistance is characterized by increased cortisol secretion without clinical evidence of hyper- or hypocortisolism, and manifestations of androgen and/or mineralocorticoid excess. This condition results from partial failure of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) to modulate transcription of its target genes. We studied the molecular mechanisms of this syndrome in a Dutch kindred, whose affected members had hypercortisolism and approximately half of normal GRs, and whose proband was a young woman with manifestations of hyperandrogenism. Using the polymerase chain reaction to amplify and sequence each of the nine exons of the GR gene alpha, along with their 5'- and 3'-flanking regions, we identified a 4-base deletion at the 3'-boundary of exon 6 in one GR allele (delta 4), which removed a donor splice site in all three affected members studied. In contrast, the sequence of exon 6 in the two unaffected siblings was normal. A single nucleotide substitution causing an amino acid substitution in the amino terminal domain of the GR (asparagine to serine, codon 363) was also discovered in exon 2 of the other allele (G1220) in the proband, in one of her affected brothers and in her unaffected sister. The functional importance of this mutation was tested in a cotransfection study using the recombinant expression vector pRShGR-Ser363 and the glucocorticoid responsive vector mouse mammary tumor virus-chloramphenicol transferase. This amino acid substitution did not alter the function of the glucocorticoid receptor. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction we could only identify messenger RNA transcripts of the G1220-allele but not of the delta 4-allele in the affected members of this family who were heterozygous for the G1220 mutation. This deletion in the glucocorticoid receptor gene was, thus, associated with the expression of only one allele and a decrease of GR protein by 50% in affected members of this glucocorticoid resistant family. The mutation identified in exon 2 did not segregate with the disease and appears to be of no functional significance. The presence of the null allele was apparently compensated for by increased cortisol production at the expense of concurrent hyperandrogenism.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Glucocorticoid receptorP04150Details