Genetic defects attributable to the genes involved in the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) gland axis can cause abnormal thyroid hormone function and mental retardation (MR). Pit-1, encoded by the POU1F1 gene on human chromosome 3p11, is a pituitary-specific transcription factor responsible for the expression of several pituitary hormones. Thyrotropin is one of these hormones and is an important regulator in the HPT axis. One of the symptoms of patients with POU1F1 mutations is hypothyroidism and abnormalities of the nervous system early in the period after birth. We performed a case-control association study and a quantitative analysis of IQ to investigate the possible genetic contribution of POU1F1 in the Chinese Han population. Pairwise linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis showed that rs300996, snp-7057 and rs300977 were in strong LD. There were significant differences of allele, genotype and haplotype frequencies of these three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between cases and controls. When we conducted a breakdown comparison between cases and controls within different gender groups, no positive results in males were found. In females, however, we found significant differences between cases and controls in allele frequency distribution of rs300996 (P = 0.0003), snp-7057 (P = 0.0001) and rs300977 (P = 0.0005) and in the distributions of common haplotypes combined by these SNPs (global P = 0.0050). The P-value was 0.0301 for rs300996 and 0.0397 for the haplotype combination of rs300996-snp-7057-rs300977 in the analysis of the quantitative effects of the alleles and haplotypes on IQ in females. Our data suggest that POU1F1 may affect MR through a gender-specific mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology