The clinical significance of A2ML1 variants in Noonan syndrome has to be reconsidered

Eur J Hum Genet. 2021 Mar;29(3):524-527. doi: 10.1038/s41431-020-00743-3. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


The RASopathies are a group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous developmental disorders caused by dysregulation of the RAS/MAPK signalling pathway. Variants in several components and regulators of this pathway have been identified as the pathogenetic cause. In 2015, missense variants in A2ML1 were reported in three unrelated families with clinical diagnosis of Noonan syndrome (NS) and a zebrafish model was presented showing heart and craniofacial defects similar to those caused by a NS-associated Shp2 variant. However, a causal role of A2ML1 variants in NS has not been confirmed since. Herein, we report on 15 individuals who underwent screening of RASopathy-associated genes and were found to carry rare variants in A2ML1, including variants previously proposed to be causative for NS. In cases where parental DNA was available, the respective A2ML1 variant was found to be inherited from an unaffected parent. Seven index patients carrying an A2ML1 variant presented with an alternate disease-causing genetic aberration. These findings underscore that current evidence is insufficient to support a causal relation between variants in A2ML1 and NS, questioning the inclusion of A2ML1 screening in diagnostic RASopathy testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Testing / standards
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Noonan Syndrome / genetics*
  • Noonan Syndrome / pathology
  • Phenotype*
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / genetics*


  • A2ML1 protein, human
  • alpha-Macroglobulins