PROKR2 and PROK2 mutations cause isolated congenital anosmia without gonadotropic deficiency
Moya-Plana A, Villanueva C, Laccourreye O, Bonfils P, De Roux N. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Oct 18. [Epub ahead of print]


A Moya-Plana, ORL department, Hopital European Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.



Isolated congenital anosmia (ICA) is a rare phenotype defined as absent recall of any olfactory sensations since birth in the absence of any disease known to cause anosmia. Although most cases of ICA are sporadic, reports of familial cases suggest a genetic cause. ICA due to olfactory bulb agenesis and associated to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism defines Kallmann syndrome (KS), in which several gene defects have been described. In KS families, the phenotype may be restricted to ICA. We therefore hypothesized that mutations in KS genes cause ICA in patients even in absence of family history of reproduction disorders.


In 25 patients with ICA and olfactory bulb agenesis, a detailed phenotype analysis was conducted and the coding sequences of KAL1, FGFR1, FGF8, PROKR2, and PROK2 were sequenced.


Three PROKR2 mutations previously described in Kallmann syndrome and one new PROK2 mutation were found. Investigation of the families showed incomplete penetrance of these mutations.


This study is the first to report genetic causes of ICA and indicates that KS genes must be screened in patients with ICA. It also confirms the considerable complexity of GnRH neuron development in humans.