"Hot spot" in the PROP1 gene responsible for combined pituitary hormone deficiency

Deladoey J., Fluck C., Buyukgebiz A., Kuhlmann B., Eble A., Hindmarsh P., ...More

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, vol.84, no.5, pp.1645-1650, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


As pituitary function depends on the integrity of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, any defect in the development and organogenesis of this gland may account for a form of combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD). Although pit-1 was 1 of the first factors identified as a cause of CPHD in mice, many other homeodomain and transcription factors have been characterized as being involved in differ ent developmental stages of pituitary gland development, such as prophet of pit-1 (prop-1), P-Lim, ETS-1, and Brn 4. The aims of the present study were first to screen families and patients suffering from different forms of CPHD for PROP1 gene alterations, and second to define possible hot spots and the frequency of the different gene alterations found. Of 73 subjects (36 families) analyzed, we found 35 patients, belonging to 18 unrelated families, with CPHD caused by a PROP1 gene defect. The PROP1 gene alterations included 3 missense mutations, 2 frameshift mutations, and 1 splice site mutation. The 2 reported frameshift mutations could be caused by any 2-bp GA or AG deletion at either the 148-GGA-GGG-153 or 295-CGA-GAG-AGT-303 position. As any combination of a GA or AG deletion yields the same sequencing data, the frameshift mutations were called 149delGA and 296delGA, respectively. All but 1 mutation were located in the PROP1 gene encoding the homeodomain. Importantly, 3 tandem repeats of the dinucleotides GA at location 296-302 in the PROP1 gene represent a hot spot for CPHD. In conclusion, the PROP1 gene seems to be a major candidate gene for CPHD; however, further studies are needed to evaluate other genetic defects involved in pituitary development.