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Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is an ovarian defect characterized by primary or secondary amenorrhea, hypergonadotropism and hypoestrogenism which occurs before the age of 40 years with a major genetic component. In this study we performed clinical evaluation and genetic analysis of a group of 18 patients with POI. The study involved 18 consecutive women with POI. Karyotiping and genetic analysis for research of mutations in GDF9 (Growth Differentation Factor 9) and BMP15 (Bone morphogentic protein 15) genes and FMR1 (Fragile X Mental Retardation 1) premutation were carried out. In vitro functional study of the novel BMP15 mutation was performed using COV434 (Human ovarian granulosa tumour cells 434) cells of ovarian granulosa, which consistently express BMP responsive element, and luciferase reporter assay. Three patients (17%) had a family history of POI. Ten patients (56%) had a family history of autoimmune diseases and nine patients (50%) showed a personal history of one or more autoimmune diseases. Of patients for whom morphological assessment was available, almost half (44%) had poor follicle assets or small ovaries's size at pelvic US. Two patients (13%) showed reduced bone density at DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry). All the women had normal female kariotype and no mutations in the GDF-9 gene or FMR1 premutations were found. A novel heterozygous mutation c.406G > C (V136L) of BMP15 gene was identified in one patient. After transfection in COV434 cells, BMP15 variant showed a significantly reduced luciferase activity compared to wild type. POI is a multifactorial disease with several health implications. Autoimmunity and genetics represent the most common aetiology. We identified and characterized a novel BMP15 mutation, providing an additional elucidation of molecular basis of this complex disorder.


Eleonora Ferrarini, Giuseppina De Marco, Francesca Orsolini, Elena Gianetti, Elena Benelli, Franca Fruzzetti, Tommaso Simoncini, Patrizia Agretti, Massimo Tonacchera. Characterization of a novel mutation V136L in bone morphogenetic protein 15 identified in a woman affected by POI. Journal of ovarian research. 2021 Jun 29;14(1):85

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PMID: 34187539

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