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Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2013;14:355-69. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genom-091212-153523. Epub 2013 Jul 15.

The RASopathies.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics, and Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94115; email: rauenk@peds.ucsf.edu.

Abstract

The RASopathies are a clinically defined group of medical genetic syndromes caused by germline mutations in genes that encode components or regulators of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. These disorders include neurofibromatosis type 1, Noonan syndrome, Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines, capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation syndrome, Costello syndrome, cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome, and Legius syndrome. Because of the common underlying Ras/MAPK pathway dysregulation, the RASopathies exhibit numerous overlapping phenotypic features. The Ras/MAPK pathway plays an essential role in regulating the cell cycle and cellular growth, differentiation, and senescence, all of which are critical to normal development. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ras/MAPK pathway dysregulation has profound deleterious effects on both embryonic and later stages of development. The Ras/MAPK pathway has been well studied in cancer and is an attractive target for small-molecule inhibition to treat various malignancies. The use of these molecules to ameliorate developmental defects in the RASopathies is under consideration.

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