The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

Absence of mutations involving the LIM homeobox domain gene LHX9 in 46,XY gonadal agenesis and dysgenesis.

PMID 11397841


The etiology of most cases of 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis in the absence of extragenital anomalies is not accounted for by mutations in the genes known to date to be involved in sex determination. We have investigated the possibility that mutations in the gene LHX9, whose murine ortholog causes isolated gonadal agenesis when inactivated, might be responsible for gonadal dysgenesis and agenesis in humans. We isolated a human LHX9 complementary DNA (cDNA), mapped the gene to the long arm of human chromosome 1, and determined its genomic structure. We found that LHX9 is highly conserved between species, sharing in particular over 98% amino acid identity. A mutational screen was performed in a sample of patients with a range of gonadal maldevelopment, including bilateral gonadal agenesis in two sisters with an opposite sex karyotype. We did not detect mutations in the open reading frame of LHX9 in the patients studied. However, the extent of between-species structural conservation suggests that LHX9 deserves further consideration as a determinant of gonadal function in humans.