Analysis of Activating GCM2 Sequence Variants in Sporadic Parathyroid Adenomas

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Jun 1;104(6):1948-1952. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-02517.


Context: Sporadic, solitary parathyroid adenoma is the most common cause of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). Apart from germline variants in certain cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor genes and occasionally in MEN1, CASR, or CDC73, little is known about possible genetic variants in the population that may confer increased risk for development of typical sporadic adenoma. Transcriptionally activating germline variants, especially within in the C-terminal conserved inhibitory domain (CCID) of glial cells missing 2 (GCM2), encoding a transcription factor required for parathyroid gland development, have recently been reported in association with familial and sporadic PHPT.

Objective: To evaluate the potential role of specific GCM2 activating variants in sporadic parathyroid adenoma.

Design and patients: Regions encoding hyperparathyroidism-associated, activating GCM2 variants were PCR amplified and sequenced in genomic DNA from 396, otherwise unselected, cases of sporadic parathyroid adenoma.

Results: Activating GCM2 CCID variants (p.V382M and p.Y394S) were identified in six of 396 adenomas (1.52%), and a hyperparathyroidism-associated GCM2 non-CCID activating variant (p.Y282D) was found in 20 adenomas (5.05%). The overall frequency of tested activating GCM2 variants in this study was 6.57%, approximately threefold greater than their frequency in the general population.

Conclusions: The examined, rare CCID variants in GCM2 were enriched in our cohort of patients and appear to confer a moderately increased risk of developing sporadic solitary parathyroid adenoma compared with the general population. However, penetrance of these variants is low, suggesting that the large majority of individuals with such variants will not develop a sporadic parathyroid adenoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Gain of Function Mutation
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / genetics*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / surgery
  • Male
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Parathyroid Glands / pathology
  • Parathyroid Glands / surgery
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / complications
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Protein Domains / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • GCM2 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors