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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jan;91(1):300-6. Epub 2005 Nov 1.

Noonan syndrome: relationships between genotype, growth, and growth factors.

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Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, 49933 Angers, France.



Half of the patients with Noonan syndrome (NS) carry mutation of the PTPN11 gene, which plays a role in many hormonal signaling pathways. The mechanism of stunted growth in NS is not clear.


The objective of the study was to compare growth and hormonal growth factors before and during recombinant human GH therapy in patients with and without PTPN11 mutations (M+ and M-).


This was a prospective multicenter study in 35 NS patients with growth retardation. Auxological data and growth before and during 2 yr of GH therapy are shown. GH, IGF-I, IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3, and acid-labile subunit (ALS) levels were evaluated before and during therapy.


Molecular investigation of the PTPN11 coding sequence revealed 12 different heterozygous missense mutations in 20 of 35 (57%). Birth length was reduced [mean -1.2 sd score (SDS); six m+ and two m- were < -2 SDS] but not birth weight. M+ vs. M- patients were shorter at 6 yr (P = 0.04). In the prepubertal group (n = 25), GH therapy resulted in a catch-up height SDS, which was lower after 2 yr in M+ vs. M- patients (P < 0.03). The mean peak GH level (n = 35) was 15.4 +/- 6.5 ng/ml. Mean blood IGF-I concentration in 19 patients (11 m+, eight m-) was low (especially in M+) for age, sex, and puberty (-1.6 +/- 1.0 SDS) and was normalized after 1 yr of GH therapy (P < 0.001), without difference in M+ vs. M- patients. ALS levels (n = 10) were also very low. By contrast, the mean basal IGFBP-3 value (n = 19) was normal.


In NS patients with short stature, some neonates have birth length less than -2 SDS. Growth of M+ is reduced and responds less efficiently to GH than M- patients. The association of low IGF-I and ALS with normal IGFBP-3 levels could explain growth impairment of M+ children and could suggest a GH resistance by a late postreceptor signaling defect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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