Congenital hypothyroidism is the most common neonatal endocrine disorder and is primarily caused by developmental abnormalities otherwise known as thyroid dysgenesis (TD). We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) in a consanguineous family with TD and subsequently sequenced a cohort of 134 probands with TD to identify genetic factors predisposing to the disease. We identified the novel missense mutations p.S148F, p.R114Q and p.L177W in the BOREALIN gene in TD-affected families. Borealin is a major component of the Chromosomal Passenger Complex (CPC) with well-known functions in mitosis. Further analysis of the missense mutations showed no apparent effects on mitosis. In contrast, expression of the mutants in human thyrocytes resulted in defects in adhesion and migration with corresponding changes in gene expression suggesting others functions for this mitotic protein. These results were well correlated with the same gene expression pattern analysed in the thyroid tissue of the patient with BOREALIN-p.R114W. These studies open new avenues in the genetics of TD in humans.

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