Mutations in MAGEL2 and L1CAM Are Associated With Congenital Hypopituitarism and Arthrogryposis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Dec 1;104(12):5737-5750. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00631.


Context: Congenital hypopituitarism (CH) is rarely observed in combination with severe joint contractures (arthrogryposis). Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SHFYNG) phenotypically overlaps with Prader-Willi syndrome, with patients also manifesting arthrogryposis. L1 syndrome, a group of X-linked disorders that include hydrocephalus and lower limb spasticity, also rarely presents with arthrogryposis.

Objective: We investigated the molecular basis underlying the combination of CH and arthrogryposis in five patients.

Patients: The heterozygous p.Q666fs*47 mutation in the maternally imprinted MAGEL2 gene, previously described in multiple patients with SHFYNG, was identified in patients 1 to 4, all of whom manifested growth hormone deficiency and variable SHFYNG features, including dysmorphism, developmental delay, sleep apnea, and visual problems. Nonidentical twins (patients 2 and 3) had diabetes insipidus and macrocephaly, and patient 4 presented with ACTH insufficiency. The hemizygous L1CAM variant p.G452R, previously implicated in patients with L1 syndrome, was identified in patient 5, who presented with antenatal hydrocephalus.

Results: Human embryonic expression analysis revealed MAGEL2 transcripts in the developing hypothalamus and ventral diencephalon at Carnegie stages (CSs) 19, 20, and 23 and in the Rathke pouch at CS20 and CS23. L1CAM was expressed in the developing hypothalamus, ventral diencephalon, and hindbrain (CS19, CS20, CS23), but not in the Rathke pouch.

Conclusion: We report MAGEL2 and L1CAM mutations in four pedigrees with variable CH and arthrogryposis. Patients presenting early in life with this combined phenotype should be examined for features of SHFYNG and/or L1 syndrome. This study highlights the association of hypothalamo-pituitary disease with MAGEL2 and L1CAM mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthrogryposis / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diencephalon / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism / congenital*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1 / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Whole Exome Sequencing


  • L1CAM protein, human
  • MAGEL2 protein, human
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1
  • Proteins