Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21220346
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Jan;108(4):1597-602
Approximately 1 of every 250 newborns has some abnormality of genital and/or gonadal development. However, a specific molecular cause is identified in only 20% of these cases of disorder of sex development (DSD). We identified a family of French origin presenting with 46,XY DSD and congenital heart disease. Sequencing of the ORF of GATA4 identified a heterozygous missense mutation (p.Gly221Arg) in the conserved N-terminal zinc finger of GATA4. This mutation was not observed in 450 ancestry-matched control individuals. The mutation compromised the ability of the protein to bind to and transactivate the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) promoter. The mutation does not interfere with the direct protein-protein interaction, but it disrupts synergistic activation of the AMH promoter by GATA4 and NR5A1. The p.Gly221Arg mutant protein also failed to bind to a known protein partner FOG2 that is essential for gonad formation. Our data demonstrate the key role of GATA4 in human testicular development.