A Mutational Hot Spot in the Prop-1 Gene in Russian Children with Combined Pituitary Hormone Deficiency

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Combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD), including growth hormone (GH), prolactin (Prl) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in children is now considered a heterogeneous syndrome. Recent findings on expression of mouse pituitary-specific homeodomain factors demonstrate dependence of adenopituitary ontogeny on interactive expression of these factors, suggesting their involvement in etiology of CPHD. Prophet of Pit-1 (Prop-1) gene, a novel pituitary-specific homeodomain factor, was analyzed in 14 Russian children with CPHD, in whom Pit-1 gene was intact. We found a mutational hot spot in three patients from two families in homeodomain part of the second exon of Prop-1 gene. The common 2- base pair deletion (GA296) in the homozygous state resulted in a Serine to Stop codon (S109X) substitution and generated a truncated Prop-1 protein. Parents were phenotypically normal and heterozygous for GA296 deletion, indicating an autosomal recessive inheritance. These results demonstrate a novel type of Prop-1 gene mutation as one of the causes of CPHD in Russian patients.

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