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Hum Mol Genet. 2002 Aug 15;11(17):2051-9.

A novel loss-of-function mutation in TTF-2 is associated with congenital hypothyroidism, thyroid agenesis and cleft palate.

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Paediatric Endocrinology Unit and INSERM U457, Paris, France.


Thyroid dysgenesis is the most common cause of congenital hypothyroidism (CH) and its genetic basis is largely unknown. Here, we describe the second homozygous missense mutation in TTF-2 (or FOXE1), a transcription factor that has been implicated in thyroid development. Two male siblings, born to consanguineous parents, presented with CH, athyreosis and cleft palate and were found to be homozygous for a mutation corresponding to a serine to asparagine substitution at codon 57 (S57N) in the forkhead DNA binding domain of TTF-2. Their heterozygous parents were unaffected and this mutation was not found in 31 unrelated cases of athyreosis or normal controls. Consistent with its location, the S57N TTF-2 mutant protein showed impaired DNA binding and partial loss of transcriptional function. Such incomplete loss of TTF-2 function may account for the absence of choanal atresia and bifid epiglottis in our patients, anomalies which were present together with CH and cleft palate in two other individuals with the only other, more deleterious, TTF-2 mutation (A65V) described previously. Our observations support the role of TTF-2 in both thyroid and palate development but suggest phenotypic heterogeneity of this syndromic form of CH.

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