Activating Mutations of RRAS2 Are a Rare Cause of Noonan Syndrome

Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Jun 6;104(6):1223-1232. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.04.013. Epub 2019 May 23.


Aberrant signaling through pathways controlling cell response to extracellular stimuli constitutes a central theme in disorders affecting development. Signaling through RAS and the MAPK cascade controls a variety of cell decisions in response to cytokines, hormones, and growth factors, and its upregulation causes Noonan syndrome (NS), a developmental disorder whose major features include a distinctive facies, a wide spectrum of cardiac defects, short stature, variable cognitive impairment, and predisposition to malignancies. NS is genetically heterogeneous, and mutations in more than ten genes have been reported to underlie this disorder. Despite the large number of genes implicated, about 10%-20% of affected individuals with a clinical diagnosis of NS do not have mutations in known RASopathy-associated genes, indicating that additional unidentified genes contribute to the disease, when mutated. By using a mixed strategy of functional candidacy and exome sequencing, we identify RRAS2 as a gene implicated in NS in six unrelated subjects/families. We show that the NS-causing RRAS2 variants affect highly conserved residues localized around the nucleotide binding pocket of the GTPase and are predicted to variably affect diverse aspects of RRAS2 biochemical behavior, including nucleotide binding, GTP hydrolysis, and interaction with effectors. Additionally, all pathogenic variants increase activation of the MAPK cascade and variably impact cell morphology and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Finally, we provide a characterization of the clinical phenotype associated with RRAS2 mutations.

Keywords: MAPK; Noonan syndrome; RAS; RASopathies; RRAS2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gain of Function Mutation*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Noonan Syndrome / etiology*
  • Noonan Syndrome / pathology
  • Pedigree
  • Protein Conformation


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • RRAS2 protein, human
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins