PTPN4 germline variants result in aberrant neurodevelopment and growth

HGG Adv. 2021 Jul 8;2(3):100033. doi: 10.1016/j.xhgg.2021.100033. Epub 2021 Apr 5.


Protein-tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are pleomorphic regulators of eukaryotic cellular responses to extracellular signals that function by modulating the phosphotyrosine of specific proteins. A handful of PTPs have been implicated in germline and somatic human disease. Using exome sequencing, we identified missense and truncating variants in PTPN4 in six unrelated individuals with varying degrees of intellectual disability or developmental delay. The variants occurred de novo in all five subjects in whom segregation analysis was possible. Recurring features include postnatal growth deficiency or excess, seizures, and, less commonly, structural CNS, heart, or skeletal anomalies. PTPN4 is a widely expressed protein tyrosine phosphatase that regulates neuronal cell homeostasis by protecting neurons against apoptosis. We suggest that pathogenic variants in PTPN4 confer risk for growth and cognitive abnormalities in humans.