Hypogonadism, alopecia, diabetes mellitus, mental retardation, and extrapyramidal syndrome (also referenced as Woodhouse-Sakati syndrome) is a rare autosomal recessive multisystemic disorder. We have identified a founder mutation consisting of a single base-pair deletion in C2orf37 in eight families of Saudi origin. Three other loss-of-function mutations were subsequently discovered in patients of different ethnicities. The gene encodes a nucleolar protein of unknown function, and the cellular phenotype observed in patient lymphoblasts implicates a role for the nucleolus in the pathogenesis of this disease. Our findings expand the list of human disorders linked to the nucleolus and further highlight the developmental and/or maintenance functions of this organelle.
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