Skeletal muscle pathology in Costello and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndromes: Developmental consequences of germline Ras/MAPK activation on myogenesis
Katherine A. Rauen, William E. Tidyman, Han S. Lee
University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome (CFC) and Costello syndrome (CS) are two of the more rare RASopathies caused by alterated signal transduction of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. All of the RASopathies exhibit some degree of hypotonia, but CS and CFC are more severe. To determine if individuals with CS and CFC have an underlying skeletal myopathy, we systematically evaluated skeletal muscle pathology in both conditions. We reviewed pathology reports from 6 individuals who had undergone a skeletal muscle biopsy, and we reviewed histology slides on 2 cases with CS and 1 case with CFC. All patients in the cohort had histopathologic findings, and two consistent abnormalities were identified. The first was the presence of abnormal muscle fiber size and variability, and the second was the presence of type 2 fiber predominance.
Given the degree of hypotonia typically present in these patients, the overall architecture of the muscle was relatively normal, without showing indications of severe structural histopathology or metabolic abnormalities. Because the Ras/MAPK pathway is vital for skeletal myogenesis, we evaluated the effects of CS and CFC mutations on myogenesis using C2C12 myoblasts. All CS/CFC mutations inhibited myoblast differentiation as indicated by diminished myosin heavy chain expressing cells and a decrease in the number of myotubes as compared to controls. These findings indicate that CS and CFC may have a true myopathy related to an inherent dysregulation of skeletal myogenesis, which further expands our understanding of the consequences of germline Ras/MAPK mutations.