Project I: Understanding the developmental biology of GnRH in the human is complex but critical to gaining insight into several human reproductive disorders. A few key genes/proteins have been identified in developmental pathways of GnRH neuronal migration, several of them using the unique human model of idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) or Kallmann Syndrome (KS). KAL1 was the first to be discovered 10 years ago through very careful clinical and genetic investigations. This gene has shed considerable light on the physiology of GnRH neuronal migration. Three new genes have now been discovered (2 by this Project's team) during the last cycle of this Center grant - GPR54 and its ligand, KISS1, and FGFR1. Project I will now focus on FGFR1. Having the largest IHH/KS population in the world, assembled a talented Core of well-trained individuals to obtain quantitative phenotyping and perform human genetic studies, and now having the laboratory capabilities to screen all of the genes in this area, we are now well positioned: 1) to use genetic techniques to discover new genes important for reproduction;2) to perform detailed genotype-phenotype correlations in a new gene FGFR1 causing IHH;and 3) to contrast the phentypes of FGFR1 and KAL1 mutations. The confluence of these resources will now allow us to develop clinical predictors for KAL1 and FGFR1 as well as define the clinical outcomes to treatment for each genotype. Finally, we will examine the biologic impact of the mutant receptors in vitro. This line of investigation has proven to be a fruitful area of research during our previous Grant cycle and will hopefully continue to elucidate what is increasingly clear as a 'GnRH neuronal migration pathway', all in the human.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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