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SHOX haploinsufficiency and overdosage: impact of gonadal function status
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Abstract

Since its discovery in 1997, knowledge about theSHOX gene has rapidly increased. In this review, we summarise clinical features and diagnostic and therapeutic implications in SHOX haploinsufficiency and overdosage. SHOX haploinsufficiency usually results in mesomelic short stature and Turner skeletal features, including Madelung deformity with puberty, in subjects with normal gonadal function. Thus, identification of early or mild signs of Madelung deformity is pivotal for the diagnosis, and gonadal suppression therapy may serve to mitigate the clinical features. By contrast, SHOX overdosage usually leads to long limbs and tall stature resulting from continued growth into the late teens in subjects with gonadal dysgenesis. Thus, the combination of tall stature and poor pubertal development is the key to diagnosis, and oestrogen therapy can help the prevention of unfavourably tall stature as well as the induction of sexual development. These findings, in conjunction with skeletal assessment in Turner syndrome and expression analysis during human embryogenesis, imply thatSHOX functions as a repressor for growth plate fusion and skeletal maturation in the distal limbs and, thus, counteracts the skeletal maturing effects of oestrogens.

  • SHOX
  • oestrogens
  • clinical features
  • practical implications

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