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Endometriosis is a complex trait, which means that multiple susceptibility genes interact with one another and the environment to produce the phenotype. One of the genes previously implicated in the disease is CYP17; this encodes the enzyme P450c17alpha, which plays a vital role in steroid biosynthesis in the ovary. The presence of a single nucleotide polymorphism (T-->C) in the 5'-promoter region of the gene creates a new recognition site for the restriction enzyme MspA1 producing a mutant allele (A2), which affects circulating estrogen levels. In this study, we compared the frequency of the CYP17 MspA1 polymorphism in two different ethnic populations. DNA was obtained from (1) 94 women with revised American Fertility Society (rAFS) stage III-IV endometriosis and 97 male blood donors in the UK, and (2) 130 women with rAFS stage III-IV endometriosis and 179 female newborn infants in Japan. No significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies were seen in either population. The genotype distribution in the UK population was 33/94 [35.1%] (cases) and 39/97 [40.2%] (controls) for A1A1 (homozygous wild-type); 43/94 [45.7%] (cases) and 44/97 [45.4%] (controls) for A1A2; and 18/94 [19.1%] (cases) and 14/97 [14.4%] (controls) for A2A2. The genotype distribution in the Japanese population was 31/130 [23.9%] (cases) and 57/179 [31.8%] (controls) for A1A1; 73/130 [56.2%] (cases) and 89/179 [49.7%] (controls) for A1A2; and 26/130 [20.0%] (cases) and 33/179 [18.4%] (controls) for A2A2. The CYP17 MspA1 polymorphism is probably not associated with endometriosis in either the UK or the Japanese population.

Original publication




Journal article


Gynecol Endocrinol

Publication Date





59 - 63


Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Case-Control Studies, DNA, DNA Primers, Endometriosis, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Great Britain, Humans, Japan, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Severity of Illness Index, Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase