mRNA analysis revealed a novel pathogenic EIF2S3 variant causing MEHMO syndrome

Eur J Med Genet. 2022 Feb;65(2):104421. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2022.104421. Epub 2022 Jan 7.


EIF2S3 pathogenic variants have been shown to cause MEHMO syndrome - a rare X-linked intellectual disability syndrome. In most cases, DNA diagnostics of MEHMO syndrome is performed using exome sequencing. We describe two cousins with profound intellectual disability, severe microcephaly, microgenitalism, hypoglycemia, epileptic seizures, and hypertrichosis, whose clinical symptoms allowed us to suspect MEHMO syndrome. To confirm this diagnosis, we designed an mRNA analysis for the EIF2S3 gene. It is a cost-effective method to detect coding sequence variants in multi-exonic genes, as well as splicing defects and allelic imbalance. Our mRNA sequence analysis revealed a novel EIF2S3 variant c.820C>G in both cousins. We also found the same variant in female family members in the heterozygous state. To investigate the pathogenicity of the c.820C>G variant, we performed expression analysis, which showed that the DDIT3 transcript level was significantly increased in the patient relative to the controls. We, thus, demonstrate that mRNA analysis is an efficient tool for performing genetic testing in patients with distinct phenotypic features.

Keywords: EIF2S3; EIF2gamma protein; MEHMO syndrome; XLID; mRNA analysis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Allelic Imbalance
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / genetics*
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / genetics*
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / metabolism
  • Genitalia / abnormalities*
  • Genitalia / pathology
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / genetics*
  • Hypogonadism / pathology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mental Retardation, X-Linked / genetics*
  • Mental Retardation, X-Linked / pathology
  • Microcephaly / genetics*
  • Microcephaly / pathology
  • Mutation
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Pedigree
  • RNA Splicing


  • EIF2S3 protein, human
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2

Supplementary concepts

  • MEHMO syndrome