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Béatrice Mandon-Pépin, Philippe Touraine, Frédérique Kuttenn, Céline Derbois, Agnes Rouxel, Fumihiko Matsuda, Alain Nicolas, Corinne Cotinot, and Marc Fellous

Objective

The goal of this study was to determine whether mutations of meiotic genes, such as disrupted meiotic cDNA (DMC1), MutS homolog (MSH4), MSH5, and S. cerevisiae homolog (SPO11), were associated with premature ovarian failure (POF).

Design

Case–control study.

Methods

Blood sampling, karyotype, hormonal dosage, ultrasound, and ovarian biopsy were carried out on most patients. However, the main outcome measure was the sequencing of genomic DNA from peripheral blood samples of 41 women with POF and 36 fertile women (controls).

Results

A single heterozygous missense mutation, substitution of a cytosine residue with thymidine in exon 2 of MSH5, was found in two Caucasian women in whom POF developed at 18 and 36 years of age. This mutation resulted in replacement of a non-polar amino acid (proline) with a polar amino acid (serine) at position 29 (P29S). Neither 36 control women nor 39 other patients with POF possessed this genetic perturbation. Another POF patient of African origin showed a homozygous nucleotide change in the tenth of DMC1 gene that led to an alteration of the amino acid composition of the protein (M200V).

Conclusions

The symptoms of infertility observed in the DMC1 homozygote mutation carrier and in both patients with a heterozygous substitution in exon 2 of the MSH5 gene provide indirect evidence of the role of genes involved in meiotic recombination in the regulation of ovarian function. MSH5 and DMC1 mutations may be one explanation for POF, albeit uncommon.

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Maria Lytrivi, Valérie Senée, Paraskevi Salpea, Federica Fantuzzi, Anne Philippi, Baroj Abdulkarim, Toshiaki Sawatani, Sandra Marín-Cañas, Nathalie Pachera, Anne Degavre, Pratibha Singh, Céline Derbois, Doris Lechner, Laurence Ladrière, Mariana Igoillo-Esteve, Cristina Cosentino, Lorella Marselli, Jean-François Deleuze, Piero Marchetti, Décio L Eizirik, Marc Nicolino, Annabelle Chaussenot, Cécile Julier, and Miriam Cnop

Objective

DNAJC3, also known as P58IPK, is an Hsp40 family member that interacts with and inhibits PKR-like ER-localized eIF2α kinase (PERK). Dnajc3 deficiency in mice causes pancreatic β-cell loss and diabetes. Loss-of-function mutations in DNAJC3 cause early-onset diabetes and multisystemic neurodegeneration. The aim of our study was to investigate the genetic cause of early-onset syndromic diabetes in two unrelated patients, and elucidate the mechanisms of β-cell failure in this syndrome.

Methods

Whole exome sequencing was performed and identified variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. DNAJC3 was silenced by RNAi in INS-1E cells, primary rat β-cells, human islets, and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived β-cells. β-cell function and apoptosis were assessed, and potential mediators of apoptosis examined.

Results

The two patients presented with juvenile-onset diabetes, short stature, hypothyroidism, neurodegeneration, facial dysmorphism, hypoacusis, microcephaly and skeletal bone deformities. They were heterozygous compound and homozygous for novel loss-of-function mutations in DNAJC3. DNAJC3 silencing did not impair insulin content or secretion. Instead, the knockdown induced rat and human β-cell apoptosis and further sensitized cells to endoplasmic reticulum stress, triggering mitochondrial apoptosis via the pro-apoptototic Bcl-2 proteins BIM and PUMA.

Conclusions

This report confirms previously described features and expands the clinical spectrum of syndromic DNAJC3 diabetes, one of the five monogenic forms of diabetes pertaining to the PERK pathway of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response. DNAJC3 deficiency may lead to β-cell loss through BIM- and PUMA-dependent activation of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis.