A tyrosine kinase-activating variant Asn666Ser in PDGFRB causes a progeria-like condition in the severe end of Penttinen syndrome
Missense variants located to the "molecular brake" in the tyrosine kinase hinge region of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β, encoded by PFGFRB, can cause Penttinen-type (Val665Ala) and Penttinen-like (Asn666His) premature ageing syndromes, as well as infantile myofibromatosis (Asn666Lys and Pro660Thr). We have found the same de novo PDGFRB c.1997A>G p.(Asn666Ser) variants in two patients with lipodystrophy, acro-osteolysis and severely reduced vision due to corneal neovascularisation, reminiscent of a severe form of Penttinen syndrome with more pronounced connective tissue destruction. In line with this phenotype, patient skin fibroblasts were prone to apoptosis. Both in patient fibroblasts and stably transduced HeLa and HEK293 cells, autophosphorylation of PDGFRβ was observed, as well as increased phosphorylation of downstream signalling proteins such as STAT1, PLCγ1, PTPN11/SHP2-Tyr580 and AKT. Phosphorylation of MAPK3 (ERK1) and PTPN11/SHP2-Tyr542 appeared unaffected. This suggests that this missense change not only weakens tyrosine kinase autoinhibition, but also influences substrate binding, as both PTPN11 tyrosines (Tyr542 and Tyr580) usually are phosphorylated upon PDGFR activation. Imatinib was a strong inhibitor of phosphorylation of all these targets, suggesting an option for precision medicine based treatment.