Phenotypic variability in familial combined pituitary hormone deficiency caused by a PROP1 gene mutation resulting in the substitution of Arg-->Cys at codon 120 (R120C)

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Oct;83(10):3727-34. doi: 10.1210/jcem.83.10.5172.


As pituitary function depends on the integrity of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, any defect in the development and organogenesis of this gland may account for a form of combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD). A mutation in a novel, tissue-specific, paired-like homeodomain transcription factor, termed Prophet of Pit-1 (PROP1), has been identified as causing the Ames dwarf (df) mouse phenotype, and thereafter, different PROP1 gene alterations have been found in humans with CPHD. We report on the follow-up of two consanguineous families (n = 12), with five subjects affected with CPHD (three males and two females) caused by the same nucleotide C to T transition, resulting in the substitution of Arg-->Cys in PROP1 at codon 120. Importantly, there is a variability of phenotype, even among patients with the same mutation. The age at diagnosis was dependent on the severity of symptoms, ranging from 9 months to 8 yr. Although in one patient TSH deficiency was the first symptom of the disorder, all patients became symptomatic by exhibiting severe growth retardation and failure to thrive, which was mainly caused by GH deficiency (n = 4). The secretion of the pituitary-derived hormones (GH, PRL, TSH, LH, and FSH) declined gradually with age, following a different pattern in each individual; therefore, the deficiencies developed over a variable period of time. All of the subjects entered puberty spontaneously, and the two females also experienced menarche and periods before a replacement therapy was necessary.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Substitution*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Codon / genetics
  • Female
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Pituitary Hormones / deficiency*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Codon
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Prophet of Pit-1 protein
  • Transcription Factors
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone