Lack of GNAS Remethylation During Oogenesis May Be a Cause of Sporadic Pseudohypoparathyroidism Type Ib

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Mar 24;107(4):e1610-e1619. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab830.


Context: Pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ib (PHP1B) is characterized by hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia due to parathyroid hormone resistance in the proximal renal tubules. Maternal pathogenic STX16/GNAS variants leading to maternal epigenetic GNAS changes impair expression of the stimulatory G protein alpha-subunit (Gsα) thereby causing autosomal dominant PHP1B. In contrast, genetic defects responsible for sporadic PHP1B (sporPHP1B) remain mostly unknown.

Objective: Determine whether PHP1B encountered after in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) causes GNAS remethylation defects similar to those in sporPHP1B.

Design: Retrospective analysis.

Results: Nine among 36 sporPHP1B patients investigated since 2000, all with loss of methylation (LOM) at the 3 maternal GNAS differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and gain of methylation at the paternal NESP DMR, had been conceived through IVF or ICSI. Besides abnormal GNAS methylation, IVF/ICSI PHP1B cases revealed no additional imprinting defects. Three of these PHP1B patients have dizygotic twins, and 4 have IVF/ICSI-conceived siblings, all with normal GNAS methylation; 2 unaffected younger siblings were conceived naturally.

Conclusion: Sporadic and IVF/ICSI-conceived PHP1B patients revealed indistinguishable epigenetic changes at all 4 GNAS DMRs, thus suggesting a similar underlying disease mechanism. Given that remethylation at the 3 maternal DMRs occurs during oogenesis, male factors are unlikely to cause LOM postfertilization. Instead, at least some of the sporPHP1B variants could be caused by a defect or defects in an oocyte-expressed gene that is required for fertility and for re-establishing maternal GNAS methylation imprints. It remains uncertain, however, whether the lack of GNAS remethylation alone and the resulting reduction in Gsα expression is sufficient to impair oocyte maturation.

Keywords: GNAS methylation; Gs-alpha; Gsα; ICSI; IVF; PHP1B; PTH; STX16-GNAS; calcium; epigenetics; in vitro fertilization; intracytoplasmic sperm injection; phosphate; pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ib.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromogranins* / genetics
  • DNA Methylation
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oogenesis
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism* / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Chromogranins
  • GNAS protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs