Recently, a series of recurrent missense variants in the RNA-helicase DHX37 have been reported associated with either 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis, 46,XY testicular regression syndrome (TRS), or anorchia. All affected children have non-syndromic forms of disorders/differences of sex development (DSD). These variants, which involve highly conserved amino acids within known functional domains of the protein, are predicted by in silico tools to have a deleterious effect on helicase function. DHX37 is required for ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes, and how these variants cause DSD is unclear. The relationship between DHX37 and human congenital disorders is complex as compound heterozygous as well as de novo heterozygous missense variants in DHX37 are also associated with a complex congenital developmental syndrome (NEDBAVC, neurodevelopmental disorder with brain anomalies and with or without vertebral or cardiac anomalies; OMIM 618731), consisting of microcephaly, global developmental delay, seizures, facial dysmorphia, and kidney and cardiac anomalies. Here, we will give a brief overview of ribosome biogenesis and the role of DHX37 in this process. We will discuss variants in DHX37, their contribution to human disease in the general context of human ribosomopathies, and the possible disease mechanisms that may be involved.
Keywords: DHX37; Disorders/differences of sex development; RNA helicase; Ribosome biogenesis; Ribosomopathy.
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