A recessive PRDM13 mutation results in congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and cerebellar hypoplasia

J Clin Invest. 2021 Dec 15;131(24):e141587. doi: 10.1172/JCI141587.


The positive regulatory (PR) domain containing 13 (PRDM13) putative chromatin modifier and transcriptional regulator functions downstream of the transcription factor PTF1A, which controls GABAergic fate in the spinal cord and neurogenesis in the hypothalamus. Here, we report a recessive syndrome associated with PRDM13 mutation. Patients exhibited intellectual disability, ataxia with cerebellar hypoplasia, scoliosis, and delayed puberty with congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH). Expression studies revealed Prdm13/PRDM13 transcripts in the developing hypothalamus and cerebellum in mouse and human. An analysis of hypothalamus and cerebellum development in mice homozygous for a Prdm13 mutant allele revealed a significant reduction in the number of Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons in the hypothalamus and PAX2+ progenitors emerging from the cerebellar ventricular zone. The latter was accompanied by ectopic expression of the glutamatergic lineage marker TLX3. Prdm13-deficient mice displayed cerebellar hypoplasia and normal gonadal structure, but delayed pubertal onset. Together, these findings identify PRDM13 as a critical regulator of GABAergic cell fate in the cerebellum and of hypothalamic kisspeptin neuron development, providing a mechanistic explanation for the cooccurrence of CHH and cerebellar hypoplasia in this syndrome. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence linking disrupted PRDM13-mediated regulation of Kiss1 neurons to CHH in humans.

Keywords: Development; Endocrinology; Genetic diseases; Neurodevelopment; Neuroendocrine regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / abnormalities*
  • Cerebellum / enzymology
  • Developmental Disabilities / enzymology
  • Developmental Disabilities / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase* / genetics
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism* / enzymology
  • Hypogonadism* / genetics
  • Hypothalamus / enzymology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mutation*
  • Nervous System Malformations* / enzymology
  • Nervous System Malformations* / genetics
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors* / metabolism


  • Transcription Factors
  • PRDM13 protein, human
  • Prdm13 protein, mouse
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase

Supplementary concepts

  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia