Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2023;12(2):71-77. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2023.01024)

Molecular genetics and general management of androgen insensitivity syndrome

Chen ZZ, Li P, Lyu YQ, Wang YP, Gao KX, Wang J, Lan FY, Chen F


Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is a rare genetic disorder that affects the development of the male reproductive system in individuals with a 46,XY karyotype. In addition to physical impacts, patients with AIS may face psychological distress and social challenges related to gender identity and acceptance. The major molecular etiology of AIS results from hormone resistance caused by mutations in the X-linked androgen receptor (AR) gene. Depending on the severity of androgen resistance, the wide spectrum of AIS can be divided into complete AIS (CAIS), partial AIS (PAIS), or mild AIS (MAIS). Open issues in the treatment and management of AIS include decisions about reconstructive surgery, genetic counseling, gender assignment, timing of gonadectomy, fertility and physiological outcomes. Although new genomic approaches have improved understanding of the molecular causes of AIS, identification of individuals with AIS can be challenging, and molecular genetic diagnosis is often not achievable. The relationship between AIS genotype and phenotype is not well established. Therefore, the optimal management remains uncertain. The objective of this review is to outline the recent progress and promote understanding of AIS related to the clinical manifestation, molecular genetics and expert multidisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on genetic etiology.

KEYWORDS: AIS, androgen receptor, disorders of sex development (DSD), genetics

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