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      No Association between T222P/LGR8 Mutation and Cryptorchidism in the Moroccan Population

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          Background: Cryptorchidism is the most common genital anomaly in men. The INSL3/LGR8 system is involved in testicular descent via gubernacular development. INSL3 binds with high affinity to its receptor LGR8 and receptor activation is associated with cAMP signaling. Analysis of human INSL3 and LGR8 mutations confirms that some cases of cryptorchidism are caused by mutations in these genes. The T222P mutation is the only one within the LGR8 gene associated with the cryptorchidism phenotype. A strong association of the T222P mutation with cryptorchidism was found in an Italian population. Due to the same mutation being found in patients within the Mediterranean area, a possible founder effect of this mutation is supposed. Methods: We screened 109 patients with cryptorchidism and 250 controls in a Moroccan population. Results: We found that 3 of the 109 patients tested carry the T222P mutation and 4 individuals in the control group also carry the mutation. Conclusions: Our results show in fact that the same mutation is present in the Moroccan population, but an association between cryptorchidism and the T222P mutation was not found.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Activation of orphan receptors by the hormone relaxin.

          Relaxin is a hormone important for the growth and remodeling of reproductive and other tissues during pregnancy. Although binding sites for relaxin are widely distributed, the nature of its receptor has been elusive. Here, we demonstrate that two orphan heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors, LGR7 and LGR8, are capable of mediating the action of relaxin through an adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent pathway distinct from that of the structurally related insulin and insulin-like growth factor family ligand. Treatment of antepartum mice with the soluble ligand-binding region of LGR7 caused parturition delay. The wide and divergent distribution of the two relaxin receptors implicates their roles in reproductive, brain, renal, cardiovascular, and other functions.
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            INSL3/Leydig insulin-like peptide activates the LGR8 receptor important in testis descent.

            Several orphan G protein-coupled receptors homologous to gonadotropin and thyrotropin receptors have recently been identified and named as LGR4-8. INSL3, also known as Leydig insulin-like peptide or relaxin-like factor, is a relaxin family member expressed in testis Leydig cells and ovarian theca and luteal cells. Male mice mutant for INSL3 exhibit cryptorchidism or defects in testis descent due to abnormal gubernaculum development whereas overexpression of INSL3 induces ovary descent in transgenic females. Because transgenic mice missing the LGR8 gene are also cryptorchid, INSL3 was tested as the ligand for LGR8. Here, we show that treatment with INSL3 stimulated cAMP production in cells expressing recombinant LGR8 but not LGR7. In addition, interactions between INSL3 and LGR8 were demonstrated following ligand receptor cross-linking. Northern blot analysis indicated that the LGR8 transcripts are expressed in gubernaculum whereas treatment of cultured gubernacular cells with INSL3 stimulated cAMP production and thymidine incorporation. The present study identified the ligand for an orphan G protein-coupled receptor based on common phenotypes of ligand and receptor null mice. Demonstration of INSL3 as the ligand for LGR8 facilitates understanding of the mechanism of testis descent and allows studies on the role of INSL3 in gonadal and other physiological processes.
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              Mutations of the GREAT gene cause cryptorchidism.

              In humans, failure of testicular descent (cryptorchidism) is one of the most frequent congenital malformations, affecting 1-3% of newborn boys. The clinical consequences of this abnormality are infertility in adulthood and a significantly increased risk of testicular malignancy. Recently, we described a mouse transgene insertional mutation, crsp, causing high intraabdominal cryptorchidism in homozygous males. A candidate gene Great (G-protein-coupled receptor affecting testis descent), was identified within the transgene integration site. Great encodes a seven-transmembrane receptor with a close similarity to the glycoprotein hormone receptors. The Great gene is highly expressed in the gubernaculum, the ligament that controls testicular movement during development, and therefore may be responsible for mediating hormonal signals that affect testicular descent. Here we show that genetic targeting of the Great gene in mice causes infertile bilateral intraabdominal cryptorchidism. The mutant gubernaculae fail to differentiate, indicating that the Great gene controls their development. Mutation screening of the human GREAT gene was performed using DHPLC analysis of the genomic DNA from 60 cryptorchid patients. Nucleotide variations in GREAT cDNA were found in both the patient and the control populations. A unique missense mutation (T222P) in the ectodomain of the GREAT receptor was identified in one of the patients. This mutant receptor fails to respond to ligand stimulation, implicating the GREAT gene in the etiology in some cases of cryptorchidism in humans.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                October 2008
                05 September 2008
                : 70
                : 4
                : 236-239
                aHuman Genetic Laboratory, Pasteur Institute of Morocco, Casablanca, bService of Visceral Surgery, CHU Ibn Rochd Morocco, Casablanca, cLaboratoire d’Anthropogénétique et Biostatistique, Université Chouaib Doukali Eljadida, Eljadida, Morocco; dReproduction, Fertility and Population, Pasteur Institute of Paris, Paris, France
                151596 Horm Res 2008;70:236–239
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 12, Pages: 4
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