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  • Adult mice expressing a Braf Q241R mutation on an ICR/CD-1 background exhibit a cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome phenotype.

Adult mice expressing a Braf Q241R mutation on an ICR/CD-1 background exhibit a cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome phenotype.

Human molecular genetics (2015-10-17)
Mitsuji Moriya, Shin-Ichi Inoue, Sachiko Miyagawa-Tomita, Yasumi Nakashima, Daiju Oba, Tetsuya Niihori, Misato Hashi, Hiroshi Ohnishi, Shigeo Kure, Yoichi Matsubara, Yoko Aoki
ABSTRACT

Activation of the RAS pathway has been implicated in oncogenesis and developmental disorders called RASopathies. Germline mutations in BRAF have been identified in 50-75% of patients with cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome, which is characterized by congenital heart defects, distinctive facial features, short stature and ectodermal abnormalities. We recently demonstrated that mice expressing a Braf Q241R mutation, which corresponds to the most frequent BRAF mutation (Q257R) in CFC syndrome, on a C57BL/6J background are embryonic/neonatal lethal, with multiple congenital defects, preventing us from analyzing the phenotypic consequences after birth. Here, to further explore the pathogenesis of CFC syndrome, we backcrossed these mice onto a BALB/c or ICR/CD-1 genetic background. On a mixed (BALB/c and C57BL/6J) background, all heterozygous Braf(Q241R/+) mice died between birth and 24 weeks and exhibited growth retardation, sparse and ruffled fur, liver necrosis and atrial septal defects (ASDs). In contrast, 31% of the heterozygous Braf(Q241R/+) ICR mice survived over 74 weeks. The surviving Braf(Q241R/+) ICR mice exhibited growth retardation, sparse and ruffled fur, a hunched appearance, craniofacial dysmorphism, long and/or dystrophic nails, extra digits and ovarian cysts. The Braf(Q241R/+) ICR mice also showed learning deficits in the contextual fear-conditioning test. Echocardiography indicated the presence of pulmonary stenosis and ASDs in the Braf(Q241R/+) ICR mice, which were confirmed by histological analysis. These data suggest that the heterozygous Braf(Q241R/+) ICR mice show similar phenotypes as CFC syndrome after birth and will be useful for elucidating the pathogenesis and potential therapeutic strategies for RASopathies.

MATERIALS
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