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      A Novel Nonsense Mutation of the KAL Gene in Two Brothers withKallmann Syndrome

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          Kallmann syndrome (KS), defined by the association of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and anosmia or hyposmia, can be caused by mutations in the KAL gene on Xp 22.3. This gene encodes an extracellular matrix glycoprotein called anosmin-1, which belongs to the class of cell adhesion molecules. In the absence of a functional KAL protein, migration of both olfactory and gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons is arrested. A defective anosmin-1 molecule may also play a role in the development of synkinesia and renal agenesis, which are exclusively seen in the X-linked form of KS. We describe the clinical presentation and molecular diagnosis of the defect in two brothers with KS. An X-linked mode of transmission was assumed on the basis of synkinesia and the presence of oligomenorrhoea in the mother. A novel nonsense mutation was found in exon 13 of the KAL gene, encoding the region of the fourth fibronectin type III repeat of anosmin-1, which results in an apparently nonfunctional truncated protein.

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          Most cited references 4

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          A gene deleted in Kallmann's syndrome shares homology with neural cell adhesion and axonal path-finding molecules.

          Kallmann's syndrome (clinically characterized by hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and inability to smell) is caused by a defect in the migration of olfactory neurons, and neurons producing hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone. A gene has now been isolated from the critical region on Xp22.3 to which the syndrome locus has been assigned: this gene escapes X inactivation, has a homologue on the Y chromosome, and shows an unusual pattern of conservation across species. The predicted protein has significant similarities with proteins involved in neural cell adhesion and axonal pathfinding, as well as with protein kinases and phosphatases, which suggests that this gene could have a specific role in neuronal migration.
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            Mutations in the homeobox gene HESX1/Hesx1 associated with septo-optic dysplasia in human and mouse.

            During early mouse development the homeobox gene Hesx1 is expressed in prospective forebrain tissue, but later becomes restricted to Rathke's pouch, the primordium of the anterior pituitary gland. Mice lacking Hesx1 exhibit variable anterior CNS defects and pituitary dysplasia. Mutants have a reduced prosencephalon, anopthalmia or micropthalmia, defective olfactory development and bifurcations in Rathke's pouch. Neonates exhibit abnormalities in the corpus callosum, the anterior and hippocampal commissures, and the septum pellucidum. A comparable and equally variable phenotype in humans is septo-optic dysplasia (SOD). We have cloned human HESX1 and screened for mutations in affected individuals. Two siblings with SOD were homozygous for an Arg53Cys missense mutation within the HESX1 homeodomain which destroyed its ability to bind target DNA. These data suggest an important role for Hesx1/HESX1 in forebrain, midline and pituitary development in mouse and human.
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              The candidate gene for the X-linked Kallmann syndrome encodes a protein related to adhesion molecules.

              Kallmann syndrome associates hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and anosmia and is probably due to a defect in the embryonic migration of olfactory and GnRH-synthesizing neurons. The Kallmann gene had been localized to Xp22.3. In this study 67 kb of genomic DNA, corresponding to a deletion interval containing at least part of the Kallmann gene, were sequenced. Two candidate exons, identified by multiparameter computer programs, were found in a cDNA encoding a protein of 679 amino acids. This candidate gene (ADMLX) is interrupted in its 3' coding region in the Kallmann patient, in which the proximal end of the KAL deletion interval was previously defined. A 5' end deletion was detected in another Kallmann patient. The predicted protein sequence shows homologies with the fibronectin type III repeat. ADMLX thus encodes a putative adhesion molecule, consistent with the defect of embryonic neuronal migration.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                12 October 2000
                : 53
                : 4
                : 207-212
                Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
                23568 Horm Res 2000;53:207–212
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 4, References: 30, Pages: 6
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