A novel COMP mutation in a Chinese family with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia

BMC Med Genet. 2020 May 27;21(1):115. doi: 10.1186/s12881-020-01040-y.


Background: Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) is a skeletal disorder characterized by delayed and irregular ossification of the epiphyses and early-onset osteoarthritis. At least 66% of the reported autosomal dominant MED (AD-MED) cases are caused by COMP mutations.

Methods: We recruited a four-generation Chinese family with early-onset hip osteoarthritis, flatfoot, brachydactyly, and mild short stature. An assessment of the family history, detailed physical examinations, and radiographic evaluations were performed on the proband and other family members, followed by the performance of whole-exome sequencing (WES). The pathogenicity of the candidate mutation was also analyzed.

Results: An AD-MED family with 10 affected members and 17 unaffected members was recruited. The main radiographic findings were symmetrical changes in the dysplastic acetabulum and femoral heads, irregular contours of the epiphyses, a shortened femoral neck, and flatfoot. Lower bone density was also observed in the ankle joints, wrist joints, and knees, as well as irregular vertebral end plates. In the proband, we identified the missense mutation c.1153G > T (p. Asp385Tyr), located in exon 11 of the COMP gene. This mutation was assessed as 'pathogenic' because of its low allele frequency and its high likelihood of co-segregation with disease in the reported family. Sanger sequencing validated the novel heterozygous mutation c.1153G > T (p. Asp385Tyr) in exon 11 of COMP in all affected individuals in the family.

Conclusions: Our results underlined a key role of the Asp385 amino acid in the protein function of COMP and confirmed the pathogenicity of the COMP (c.1153G > T; p. Asp385Tyr) mutation in AD-MED disease. We have therefore expanded the known mutational spectrum of COMP and revealed new phenotypic information for AD-MED.

Keywords: Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP); Femoral head necrosis; Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia; Whole-exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein / chemistry
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein / genetics*
  • Child
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies* / methods
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation*
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / diagnosis*
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Conformation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Young Adult


  • COMP protein, human
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein