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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Sep;84(9):3254-9.

Identification of two novel deletion mutations within the Gs alpha gene (GNAS1) in Albright hereditary osteodystrophy.

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  • 1Metabolic Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Albright hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO) is a genetic disorder characterized by short stature, skeletal defects, and obesity. Within AHO kindreds, some affected family members have only the somatic features of AHO [pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (PPHP)], whereas others have these features in association with resistance to multiple hormones that stimulate adenylyl cyclase within their target tissues [pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ia (PHP Ia)]. Affected members of most AHO kindreds (both those with PPHP and those with PHP Ia) have a partial deficiency of Gs alpha, the alpha-subunit of the G protein that couples receptors to adenylyl cyclase stimulation, and in a number of cases heterozygous loss of function mutations within the Gs alpha gene (GNAS1) have been identified. Using PCR with the attachment of a high melting domain (GC-clamp) and temperature gradient gel electrophoresis, two novel heterozygous frameshift mutations within GNAS1 were found in two AHO kindreds. In one kindred all affected members (both PHP Ia and PPHP) had a heterozygous 2-bp deletion in exon 8, whereas in the second kindred a heterozygous 2-bp deletion in exon 4 was identified in all affected members examined. In both cases the frameshift encoded a premature termination codon several codons downstream of the deletion. In the latter kindred affected members were previously shown to have decreased levels of GNAS1 messenger ribonucleic acid expression. These results further underscore the genetic heterogeneity of AHO and provides further evidence that PHP Ia and PPHP are two clinical presentations of a common genetic defect. Serial measurements of thyroid function in members of kindred 1 indicate that TSH resistance progresses with age and becomes more evident after the first year of life.

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