Protein-protein interaction network analysis applied to DNA copy number profiling suggests new perspectives on the aetiology of Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome

Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 11;11(1):448. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79827-5.


Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is a rare disease, characterised by the aplasia of vagina and uterus in women with a 46,XX karyotype. Most cases are sporadic, but familial recurrence has also been described. Herein, we investigated an Italian cohort of 36 unrelated MRKH patients to explore the presence of pathogenic copy number variations (CNVs) by array-CGH and MLPA assays. On the whole, aberrations were found in 9/36 (25%) patients. Interestingly, one patient showed a novel heterozygous microduplication at Xp22.33, not yet described in MRKH patients, containing the PRKX gene. Moreover, a novel duplication of a specific SHOX enhancer was highlighted by MLPA. To predict the potential significance of CNVs in MRKH pathogenesis, we provided a network analysis for protein-coding genes found in the altered genomic regions. Although not all of these genes taken individually showed a clear clinical significance, their combination in a computational network highlighted that the most relevant biological connections are related to the anatomical structure development. In conclusion, the results described in the present study identified novel genetic alterations and interactions that may be likely involved in MRKH phenotype determination, so adding new insights into the complex puzzle of MRKH disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 46, XX Disorders of Sex Development / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Cohort Studies
  • Congenital Abnormalities / genetics*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Middle Aged
  • Mullerian Ducts / abnormalities*
  • Protein Interaction Maps / genetics*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Rare Diseases
  • Short Stature Homeobox Protein / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • SHOX protein, human
  • Short Stature Homeobox Protein
  • PRKX protein, human
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases

Supplementary concepts

  • Mullerian aplasia