*Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Catholic University†Department of Endocrinology, II Faculty of Medicine, University “La Sapienza,” S. Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy
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More than 90% of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) cases are associated with mutations in the 21-hydroxylase gene (CYP21A2) in the HLA class III area on the short arm of chromosome 6p21.3. The major part of disease-causing mutations in CYP21A2 alleles are CYP21A1P-derived sequence transferred to the active gene by macroconversion or microconversion events. Only around 5% of all disease-causing CYP21A2 alleles harbor rare mutations that do not originate from the pseudogene. A complete list of all reported CYP21A2 mutations can be found in the CYP21A2 database created by the Human Cytochrome P450 (CYP) Allele Nomenclature Committee (http://www.imm.Ki.se/CYPalleles/cyp21.htm). In this report, we describe clinical and genetic findings regarding an Italian woman suffering from a classic salt-wasting form of CAH due to a severe 21-hydroxylase deficiency. A complex genetic family study was performed including a prenatal diagnosis. The patient was found to be heterozygous for p.I172N (exon 4), p.E238del (exon 6), p.M239K (exon 6), and p.F306insT (exon 7) mutations and homozygous for p.I236N (exon 6) and p.V237E (exon 6) mutations. The deletion of glutamic acid 238 is a new mutation not reported before in the literature. CYP21A2 genotyping has become a valuable complement to biochemical CAH investigation. We highlight the contribution of molecular genetic advancements to the clinical management of patients with 21-hydroxylase deficiency.