Background: C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP)/natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (NPR2) signaling is essential for long bone growth. Enhanced CNP production caused by chromosomal translocations results in tall stature, a Marfanoid phenotype, and skeletal abnormalities. A similar phenotype was described in a family with an activating NPR2 mutation within the guanylyl cyclase domain.
Case: Here we describe an extremely tall male without skeletal deformities, with a novel NPR2 mutation (p.Arg655Cys) located in the kinase homology domain.
Objectives: The objective of the study was to investigate the functional and structural effects of the NPR2 mutation.
Methods: Guanylyl cyclase activities of wild-type vs mutant NPR2 were analyzed in transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells and in skin fibroblasts. The former were also used to study possible interactions between both isoforms. Homology modeling was performed to understand the molecular impact of the mutation.
Results: CNP-stimulated cGMP production by the mutant NPR2 was markedly increased in patient skin fibroblasts and transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells. The stimulatory effects of ATP on CNP-dependent guanylyl cyclase activity were augmented, suggesting that this novel mutation enhances both the responsiveness of NPR2 to CNP and its allosteric modulation/stabilization by ATP. Coimmunoprecipitation showed that wild-type and mutant NPR2 can form stable heterodimers, suggesting a dominant-positive effect. In accordance with augmented endogenous receptor activity, plasma N-terminal pro-CNP (a marker of CNP production in tissues) was reduced in the proband.
Conclusions: We report the first activating mutation within the kinase homology domain of NPR2, resulting in extremely tall stature. Our observations emphasize the important role of this domain in the regulation of guanylyl cyclase activity and bone growth in response to CNP.