The importance of considering monogenic causes of autoimmunity: A somatic mutation in KRAS causing pediatric Rosai-Dorfman syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus

Clin Immunol. 2017 Feb;175:143-146. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2016.12.006. Epub 2016 Dec 31.


Objectives: Clinicians need to be aware of the growing list of defined monogenic etiologies of autoimmune diseases. This is particularly relevant when evaluating children, as these rare monogenic forms of autoimmunity tend to present very early in life.

Methods and results: By harnessing the transformative power of next generation sequencing, we made the unifying diagnosis of RAS-associated autoimmune leukoproliferative disease (RALD), caused by the somatic gain-of-function p.G13C KRAS mutation, in a boy with the seemingly unrelated immune dysregulatory conditions of Rosai-Dorfman and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Conclusions: This case expands our understanding of the clinical phenotypes associated with the extremely rare condition of RALD, and emphasizes the importance of always considering the possibility of a monogenic cause for autoimmunity, particularly when the disease manifestations begin early in life and do not follow a typical clinical course.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoimmunity / genetics*
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / genetics*
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Mutation / immunology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics*
  • Syndrome


  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)