RSK2 is a growth factor-regulated serine-threonine protein kinase, acting in the Ras-Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Mutations in the RSK2 gene (RPS6KA3) on chromosome Xp22.2, have been found to cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS), an X-linked disorder characterized by psychomotor retardation, characteristic facial and digital abnormalities, and progressive skeletal deformations. By screening of 250 patients with clinical features suggestive of Coffin-Lowry syndrome, 71 distinct disease-associated RSK2 mutations have been identified in 86 unrelated families. Thirty-eight percent of mutations are missense mutations, 20% are nonsense mutations, 18% are splicing errors, and 21% are short deletion or insertion events. About 57% of mutations result in premature translation termination, and the vast majority are predicted to cause loss of function of the mutant allele. These changes are distributed throughout the RSK2 gene and show no obvious clustering or phenotypic association. However, some missense mutations are associated with milder phenotypes. In one family, one such mutation was associated solely with mild mental retardation. It is noteworthy that nine mutations were found in female probands, with no affected male relatives, ascertained through learning disability and mild but suggestive facial and digital dysmorphisms.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.