Paternal uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 20q--and the resulting changes in GNAS1 methylation--as a plausible cause of pseudohypoparathyroidism

Am J Hum Genet. 2001 May;68(5):1283-9. doi: 10.1086/320117. Epub 2001 Apr 9.


Heterozygous inactivating mutations in the GNAS1 exons (20q13.3) that encode the alpha-subunit of the stimulatory G protein (Gsalpha) are found in patients with pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ia (PHP-Ia) and in patients with pseudo-pseudohypoparathyroidism (pPHP). However, because of paternal imprinting, resistance to parathyroid hormone (PTH)-and, sometimes, to other hormones that require Gsalpha signaling-develops only if the defect is inherited from a female carrier of the disease gene. An identical mode of inheritance is observed in kindreds with pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ib (PHP-Ib), which is most likely caused by mutations in regulatory regions of the maternal GNAS1 gene that are predicted to interfere with the parent-specific methylation of this gene. We report a patient with PTH-resistant hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia but without evidence for Albright hereditary osteodystrophy who has paternal uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 20q and lacks the maternal-specific methylation pattern within GNAS1. Since studies in the patient's fibroblasts did not reveal any evidence of impaired Gsalpha protein or activity, it appears that the loss of the maternal GNAS1 gene and the resulting epigenetic changes alone can lead to PTH resistance in the proximal renal tubules and thus lead to impaired regulation of mineral-ion homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneuploidy*
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use
  • Calcium / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 20 / genetics*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / genetics*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / metabolism
  • Genomic Imprinting / genetics*
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Pedigree
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / drug therapy
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / genetics*
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / metabolism
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / physiopathology


  • Cyclic AMP
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium