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Parthenogenetic mosaicism: generation via second polar body retention and unmasking of a likely causative PER2 variant for hypersomnia

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Background: Parthenogenetic mosaicism is an extremely rare condition identified only in five subjects to date. The previous studies indicate that this condition is mediated by parthenogenetic activation and is free from a specific phenotype ascribed to unmaking of a maternally inherited recessive variant in the parthenogenetic cell lineage.

Results: We examined a 28-year-old Japanese 46,XX female with Silver-Russell syndrome and idiopathic hypersomnia. The results revealed (1) predominance of maternally derived alleles for all the differentially methylated regions examined; (2) no disease-related copy-number variant; (3) two types of regions for all chromosomes, i.e., four BAF (B-allele frequency) band regions with single major microsatellite peaks of maternal origin and single minor microsatellite peaks of non-maternal (paternal) origin, and six BAF band regions with single major microsatellite peaks of maternal origin and two minor microsatellite peaks of maternal and non-maternal (paternal) origin; (4) an unmasked extremely rare PER2 variant (c.1403G>A:p.(Arg468Gln)) with high predicted pathogenicity; (5) mildly affected local structure with altered hydrogen bonds of the p.Arg468Gln-PER2 protein; and (6) nucleus-dominant subcellular distribution of the p.Arg468Gln-PER2 protein.

Conclusions: The above findings imply that the second polar body retention occurred around fertilization, resulting in the generation of the parthenogenetic cell lineage by endoreplication of a female pronucleus and the normal cell lineage by fusion of male and female pronuclei, and that the homozygous PER2 variant in the parthenogenetic cells is the likely causative factor for idiopathic hypersomnia.

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