A recurrent intragenic genomic duplication, other novel mutations in NLRP7 and imprinting defects in recurrent biparental hydatidiform moles

Mol Hum Reprod. 2008 Jan;14(1):33-40. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gam079. Epub 2007 Nov 26.


A complete hydatidiform mole (CHM) is an abnormal pregnancy with hyperproliferative vesicular trophoblast and no fetal development. Most CHM are sporadic and androgenetic, but recurrent HM have biparental inheritance (BiHM) with disrupted DNA methylation at differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of imprinted loci. Some women with recurrent BiHM have mutations in the NLRP7 gene on chromosome 19q13.42. Using bisulfite genomic sequencing at eight imprinted DMRs on DNA from two BiHMs, we found a pattern of failure to acquire or maintain DNA methylation at DMRs (PEG3, SNRPN, KCNQ1OT1, GNAS exon 1A) that normally acquire CpG methylation during oogenesis, but not at H19, which acquires CpG methylation during spermatogenesis. Secondary imprints at the GNAS locus showed variable abnormal patterns with both gain and loss of CpG methylation. We found novel missense and splice-site mutations in NLRP7 in women with non-familial recurrent BiHM. We identified and characterized a homozygous intragenic tandem duplication including exons 2 through 5 of NLRP7 that results in a predicted truncated protein in affected women of three unrelated Egyptian kindreds, suggesting a founder effect. Our findings firmly establish that NLRP7 mutations are a major cause of BiHM and confirm presence of a complex pattern of imprinting abnormalities in BiHM tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation
  • Egypt
  • Exons / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genomic Imprinting / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole / genetics*
  • Hydatidiform Mole / pathology
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Point Mutation
  • Pregnancy
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • NLRP7 protein, human