Genetic polymorphisms of ESR1 and ESR2 that may influence estrogen activity and the risk of hypospadias

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

The etiology of hypospadias is regarded as a complex disorder with both genetic and environmental contributions. Although alterations in androgen activity have been associated with hypospadias, few associations with estrogen activity have been documented. Here, we assessed genetic polymorphisms in estrogen receptor genes and their association with hypospadias.

METHODS

Using a case–control study of 59 cases with hypospadias and 286 controls, we examined the association of hypospadias with the following polymorphisms: PvuII and XbaI in ESR1, and 2681-4A>G in ESR2.

RESULTS

For the cases, we found a negative association with the G allele containing variants of ESR1 XbaI (OR=0.52, P < 0.05), and a negative association with the G allele containing variants of ESR2 2681-4A>G (OR=0.59, P < 0.05). For the cases, we also identified a negative association with the CG haplotype, and a positive association with the CA haplotype, defined by ESR1 PvuII and XbaI (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that the G allele containing variants of ESR1 XbaI and the G allele containing variants of ESR2 2681-4A>G may decrease the risk of hypospadias, whereas the ESR1 C-A haplotype may increase its risk.

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