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A variable degree of intrauterine and postnatal growth retardation in a family with a missense mutation in the insulin-like growth factor I receptor.

CONTEXT: The type 1 IGF-I receptor (IGF1R) mediates the biological functions of IGF-I. Binding of IGF-I to the IGF1R results in autophosphorylation of the intracellular beta-subunit and activation of intracellular signaling.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the functional characteristics of a novel IGF1R mutation and describe the phenotypic features of two patients with this mutation.

DESIGN: The study was performed in a university hospital.

PATIENTS: We describe a 35-yr-old female with mild intrauterine growth failure, progressive postnatal growth retardation, severe failure to thrive, and microcephaly. Her daughter was born with severe intrauterine growth retardation and also showed postnatal failure to thrive and microcephaly.

RESULTS: We found a heterozygous G3148-->A nucleotide substitution in the IGF1R gene, changing a negatively charged glutamic acid at position 1050 into a positively charged lysine residue (E1050K). E1050 is a conserved residue in the intracellular kinase domain. Dermal fibroblasts of the mother showed normal binding of iodinated IGF-I, but autophosphorylation and activation of downstream signaling cascades upon challenging with IGF-I was markedly reduced. Consequently, the maximal [(3)H]thymidine incorporation upon challenge with a dose range of IGF-I was reduced compared with a panel of control cells (3.65 +/- 1.79-fold vs. 6.75 +/- 4.7-fold stimulation; P < 0.01). These data suggest that the mutation results in the inactivation of one copy of the IGF1R gene.

CONCLUSIONS: These two patients support the key role for IGF-I in intrauterine and postnatal growth. The different phenotypes of these and earlier described patients may be associated with variability in IGF-I signaling. The degree of intrauterine growth retardation may be partially determined by the presence or absence of maternal IGF-I resistance.

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