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Eur J Med Genet. 2010 May-Jun;53(3):117-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2010.03.001. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

Investigation of gene dosage imbalances in patients with Noonan syndrome using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis.

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Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.


The RAS-MAPK syndromes are a group of clinically and genetically related disorders caused by dysregulation of the RAS-MAPK pathway. A member of this group of disorders, Noonan syndrome (NS), is associated with several different genes within the RAS-MAPK pathway. To date, mutations in PTPN11, SOS1, KRAS, RAF1 and SHOC2 are known to cause NS and a small group of patients harbour mutations in BRAF, MEK1 or NRAS. The majority of the mutations are predicted to cause an up-regulation of the pathway; hence they are gain-of-function mutations. Despite recent advances in gene identification in NS, the genetic aetiology is still unknown in about 1/4 of patients. To investigate the contribution of gene dosage imbalances of RAS-MAPK-related genes to the pathogenesis of NS, a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay was developed. Two probe sets were designed for seven RAS-MAPK-syndrome-related candidate genes: PTPN11, SOS1, RAF1, KRAS, BRAF, MEK1 and MEK2. The probe sets were validated in 15 healthy control individuals and in glioma tumour cell lines. Subsequently, 44 NS patients negative for mutations in known NS-associated genes were screened using the two probe sets. The MLPA results for the patients revealed no gene dosage imbalances. In conclusion, the present results exclude copy number variation of PTPN11, SOS1, RAF1, KRAS, BRAF, MEK1 and MEK2 as a common pathogenic mechanism of NS. The validated and optimised RAS-MAPK probe sets presented here enable rapid high throughput screening of further patients with RAS-MAPK syndromes.

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