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Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 26;7(1):14153. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14190-6.

Mutation-Specific Mechanisms of Hyperactivation of Noonan Syndrome SOS Molecules Detected with Single-molecule Imaging in Living Cells.

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Cellular Informatics Laboratory, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, 351-0198, Japan.
Cellular Informatics Laboratory, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, 351-0198, Japan.


Noonan syndrome (NS) is a congenital hereditary disorder associated with developmental and cardiac defects. Some patients with NS carry mutations in SOS, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for the small GTPase RAS. NS mutations have been identified not only in the GEF domain, but also in various domains of SOS, suggesting that multiple mechanisms disrupt SOS function. In this study, we examined three NS mutations in different domains of SOS to clarify the abnormality in its translocation to the plasma membrane, where SOS activates RAS. The association and dissociation kinetics between SOS tagged with a fluorescent protein and the living cell surface were observed in single molecules. All three mutants showed increased affinity for the plasma membrane, inducing excessive RAS signalling. However, the mechanisms by which their affinity was increased were specific to each mutant. Conformational disorder in the resting state, increased probability of a conformational change on the plasma membrane, and an increased association rate constant with the membrane receptor are the suggested mechanisms. These different properties cause the specific phenotypes of the mutants, which should be rescuable with different therapeutic strategies. Therefore, single-molecule kinetic analyses of living cells are useful for the pathological analysis of genetic diseases.

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