Costello Syndrome


Costello Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder with multiple anomalies; characterised by dysmorphic craniofacial features, musculoskeletal abnormalities, neurocognitive delay, and increased risk of cancers; particularly rhabdomyosarcoma, with occasional reports of other cancers including neuroblastoma and childhood onset bladder carcinoma.

Literature Analysis

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  • RAS Genes
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Risk Factors
  • Neurofibromatosis 1
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic
  • Skin Abnormalities
  • Adolescents
  • Dwarfism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • ras Proteins
  • RNA Splicing
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Signal Transduction
  • Growth Disorders
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • raf Kinases
  • Costello Syndrome
  • Mutation
  • HRAS
  • Infant
  • Facies
  • Face
  • Multiple Abnormalities
  • Selection, Genetic
  • LEOPARD Syndrome
  • Uniparental Disomy
  • Young Adult
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities
  • Papilloma
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia
  • Genotype
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Phenotype
  • Noonan Syndrome
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Newborns
Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Mutated Genes and Abnormal Protein Expression (1)

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HRAS 11p15.5 CTLO, HAMSV, HRAS1, RASH1, p21ras, C-H-RAS, H-RASIDX, C-BAS/HAS, C-HA-RAS1 -HRAS germline mutation in Costello Syndrome

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Useful Links (3 links)


Publications related to Costello Syndrome and cancer.
Bizaoui V, Gage J, Brar R, et al.
RASopathies are associated with a distinct personality profile.
Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2018; 177(4):434-446 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Personality is a complex, yet partially heritable, trait. Although some Mendelian diseases like Williams-Beuren syndrome are associated with a particular personality profile, studies have failed to assign the personality features to a single gene or pathway. As a family of monogenic disorders caused by mutations in the Ras/MAPK pathway known to influence social behavior, RASopathies are likely to provide insight into the genetic basis of personality. Eighty subjects diagnosed with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, Costello syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, and Noonan syndrome were assessed using a parent-report BFQ-C (Big Five Questionnaire for Children) evaluating agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, intellect/openness, and neuroticism, along with 55 unaffected sibling controls. A short questionnaire was added to assess sense of humor. RASopathy subjects and sibling controls were compared for individual components of personality, multidimensional personality profiles, and individual questions using Student tests, analysis of variance, and principal component analysis. RASopathy subjects were given lower scores on average compared to sibling controls in agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and sense of humor, and similar scores in neuroticism. When comparing the multidimensional personality profile between groups, RASopathies showed a distinct profile from unaffected siblings, but no difference in this global profile was found within RASopathies, revealing a common profile for the Ras/MAPK-related disorders. In addition, several syndrome-specific strengths or weaknesses were observed in individual domains. We describe for the first time an association between a single pathway and a specific personality profile, providing a better understanding of the genetics underlying personality, and new tools for tailoring educational and behavioral approaches for individuals with RASopathies.

Leung GKC, Luk HM, Tang VHM, et al.
Integrating Functional Analysis in the Next-Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Pipeline of RASopathies.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):2421 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RASopathies are a group of heterogeneous conditions caused by germline mutations in RAS/MAPK signalling pathway genes. With next-generation sequencing (NGS), sequencing capacity is no longer a limitation to molecular diagnosis. Instead, the rising number of variants of unknown significance (VUSs) poses challenges to clinical interpretation and genetic counselling. We investigated the potential of an integrated pipeline combining NGS and the functional assessment of variants for the diagnosis of RASopathies. We included 63 Chinese patients with RASopathies that had previously tested negative for PTPN11 and HRAS mutations. In these patients, we performed a genetic analysis of genes associated with RASopathies using a multigene NGS panel and Sanger sequencing. For the VUSs, we evaluated evidence from genetic, bioinformatic and functional data. Twenty disease-causing mutations were identified in the 63 patients, providing a primary diagnostic yield of 31.7%. Four VUSs were identified in five patients. The functional assessment supported the pathogenicity of the RAF1 and RIT1 VUSs, while the significance of two VUSs in A2ML1 remained unclear. In summary, functional analysis improved the diagnostic yield from 31.7% to 36.5%. Although technically demanding and time-consuming, a functional genetic diagnostic analysis can ease the clinical translation of these findings to aid bedside interpretation.

Cao H, Alrejaye N, Klein OD, et al.
A review of craniofacial and dental findings of the RASopathies.
Orthod Craniofac Res. 2017; 20 Suppl 1:32-38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The RASopathies are a group of syndromes that have in common germline mutations in genes that encode components of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and have been a focus of study to understand the role of this pathway in development and disease. These syndromes include Noonan syndrome (NS), Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines (NSML or LEOPARD syndrome), neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), Costello syndrome (CS), cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1-like syndrome (NFLS or Legius syndrome) and capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation syndrome (CM-AVM). These disorders affect multiple systems, including the craniofacial complex. Although the craniofacial features have been well described and can aid in clinical diagnosis, the dental phenotypes have not been analysed in detail for each of the RASopathies. In this review, we summarize the clinical features of the RASopathies, highlighting the reported craniofacial and dental findings.
METHODS: Review of the literature.
RESULTS: Each of the RASopathies reviewed, caused by mutations in genes that encode different proteins in the Ras pathway, have unique and overlapping craniofacial and dental characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS: Careful description of craniofacial and dental features of the RASopathies can provide information for dental clinicians treating these individuals and can also give insight into the role of Ras signalling in craniofacial development.

Villani A, Greer MC, Kalish JM, et al.
Recommendations for Cancer Surveillance in Individuals with RASopathies and Other Rare Genetic Conditions with Increased Cancer Risk.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(12):e83-e90 [PubMed] Related Publications
In October 2016, the American Association for Cancer Research held a meeting of international childhood cancer predisposition syndrome experts to evaluate the current knowledge of these syndromes and to propose consensus surveillance recommendations. Herein, we summarize clinical and genetic aspects of RASopathies and Sotos, Weaver, Rubinstein-Taybi, Schinzel-Giedion, and NKX2-1 syndromes as well as specific metabolic disorders known to be associated with increased childhood cancer risk. In addition, the expert panel reviewed whether sufficient data exist to make a recommendation that all patients with these disorders be offered cancer surveillance. For all syndromes, the panel recommends increased awareness and prompt assessment of clinical symptoms. Patients with Costello syndrome have the highest cancer risk, and cancer surveillance should be considered. Regular physical examinations and complete blood counts can be performed in infants with Noonan syndrome if specific

Bertola D, Buscarilli M, Stabley DL, et al.
Phenotypic spectrum of Costello syndrome individuals harboring the rare HRAS mutation p.Gly13Asp.
Am J Med Genet A. 2017; 173(5):1309-1318 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Costello syndrome is part of the RASopathies, a group of neurocardiofaciocutaneous syndromes caused by deregulation of the RAS mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Heterozygous mutations in HRAS are responsible for Costello syndrome, with more than 80% of the patients harboring the specific p.Gly12Ser variant. These individuals show a homogeneous phenotype. The clinical characteristics of the Costello syndrome individuals harboring rarer HRAS mutations are less understood, due to the small number of reported cases. Here, we describe the phenotypic spectrum of five additional individuals with HRAS c.38G>A; p.Gly13Asp, including one with somatic mosaicism, and review five previously described cases. The facial and hair abnormalities of the HRAS p.Gly13Asp individuals differ from the typical pattern observed in those showing the common HRAS (p.Gly12Ser) mutation, with less coarse facial features and slow growing, sparse hair with abnormal texture, the latter resembling the pattern observed in Noonan syndrome-like disorder with loose anagen hair and individuals harboring another amino acid substitution in HRAS (p.Gly13Cys). Although some individuals with HRAS p.Gly13Asp developed papillomata and vascular proliferation lesions, no malignant tumors occurred, similar to what was reported for individuals harboring the HRAS p.Gly13Cys. The fact that no malignant tumors were described in these individuals does not allow definitive conclusions about the risk for cancer development. It remains to be determined if substitutions of amino acid 13 in HRAS (p.Gly13Asp and p.Gly13Cys) increase the risk of tumor development.

Robbins KM, Stabley DL, Holbrook J, et al.
Paternal uniparental disomy with segmental loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 11 are hallmark characteristics of syndromic and sporadic embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
Am J Med Genet A. 2016; 170(12):3197-3206 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Costello syndrome (CS) arises from a typically paternally derived germline mutation in the proto-oncogene HRAS, and is considered a rasopathy. CS results in failure-to-thrive, intellectual disabilities, short stature, coarse facial features, skeletal abnormalities, congenital heart disease, and a predisposition for cancer, most commonly embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS). The goal of this study was to characterize CS ERMS at the molecular level and to determine how divergent it is from sporadic ERMS. We characterized eleven ERMS tumors from eight unrelated CS patients, carrying paternally derived HRAS c.34G>A (p.Gly12Ser; 6) or c.35G>C (p.Gly12Ala; 2) mutations. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was evaluated in all CS ERMS by microarray and/or short tandem repeat (STR) markers spanning the entire chromosome 11. Eight CS ERMS tumors displayed complete paternal uniparental disomy of chromosome 11 (pUPD11), whereas two displayed UPD only at 11p and a second primary ERMS tumor showed UPD limited to 11p15.5, the classical hallmark for ERMS. Three sporadic ERMS cell lines (RD, Rh36, Rh18) and eight formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) ERMS tumors were also analyzed for RAS mutations and LOH status. We found a higher than anticipated frequency of RAS mutations (HRAS or NRAS; 50%) in sporadic ERMS cell lines/tumors. Unexpectedly, complete uniparental disomy (UPD11) was observed in five specimens, while the other six showed LOH extending across the p and q arms of chromosome 11. In this study, we are able to clearly demonstrate complete UPD11 in both syndromic and sporadic ERMS. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Hartung AM, Swensen J, Uriz IE, et al.
The Splicing Efficiency of Activating HRAS Mutations Can Determine Costello Syndrome Phenotype and Frequency in Cancer.
PLoS Genet. 2016; 12(5):e1006039 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Costello syndrome (CS) may be caused by activating mutations in codon 12/13 of the HRAS proto-oncogene. HRAS p.Gly12Val mutations have the highest transforming activity, are very frequent in cancers, but very rare in CS, where they are reported to cause a severe, early lethal, phenotype. We identified an unusual, new germline p.Gly12Val mutation, c.35_36GC>TG, in a 12-year-old boy with attenuated CS. Analysis of his HRAS cDNA showed high levels of exon 2 skipping. Using wild type and mutant HRAS minigenes, we confirmed that c.35_36GC>TG results in exon 2 skipping by simultaneously disrupting the function of a critical Exonic Splicing Enhancer (ESE) and creation of an Exonic Splicing Silencer (ESS). We show that this vulnerability of HRAS exon 2 is caused by a weak 3' splice site, which makes exon 2 inclusion dependent on binding of splicing stimulatory proteins, like SRSF2, to the critical ESE. Because the majority of cancer- and CS- causing mutations are located here, they affect splicing differently. Therefore, our results also demonstrate that the phenotype in CS and somatic cancers is not only determined by the different transforming potentials of mutant HRAS proteins, but also by the efficiency of exon 2 inclusion resulting from the different HRAS mutations. Finally, we show that a splice switching oligonucleotide (SSO) that blocks access to the critical ESE causes exon 2 skipping and halts proliferation of cancer cells. This unravels a potential for development of new anti-cancer therapies based on SSO-mediated HRAS exon 2 skipping.

García-Cruz R, Camats M, Calin GA, et al.
The role of p19 and p21 H-Ras proteins and mutants in miRNA expression in cancer and a Costello syndrome cell model.
BMC Med Genet. 2015; 16:46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: P19 H-Ras, a second product derived from the H-Ras gene by alternative splicing, induces a G1/S phase delay, thereby maintaining cells in a reversible quiescence state. When P21 H-Ras is mutated in tumour cells, the alternative protein P19 H-Ras is also mutated. The H-Ras mutation Q61L is frequently detected in different tumours, which acts as constitutive activator of Ras functions and is considered to be a strong activating mutant. Additionally, a rare congenital disorder named Costello Syndrome, is described as a H-Ras disorder in children, mainly due to mutation G12S in p19 and p21 H-Ras proteins, which is present in 90 % of the Costello Syndrome patients. Our aim is to better understand the role of p19 and p21 H-Ras proteins in the cancer and Costello Syndrome development, concerning the miRNAs expression.
METHODS: Total miRNAs expression regulated by H-Ras proteins were first analyzed in human miRNA microarrays assays. Previously selected miRNAs, were further analyzed in developed cell lines containing H-Ras protein mutants, that included the G12S Costello Syndrome mutant, with PCR Real-Time Taq Man miRNA Assays primers.
RESULTS: This study describes how p19 affects the RNA world and shows that: i) miR-342, miR-206, miR-330, miR-138 and miR-99b are upregulated by p19 but not by p19W164A mutant; ii) anti-miR-206 can restore the G2 phase in the presence of p19; iii) p19 and p21Q61L regulate their own alternative splicing; iv) miR-206 and miR-138 are differentially regulated by p19 and p21 H-Ras and v) P19G12S Costello mutants show a clear upregulation of miR-374, miR-126, miR-342, miR-330, miR-335 and let-7.
CONCLUSIONS: These results allow us to conclude that the H-Ras G12S mutation plays an important role in miRNA expression and open up a new line of study to understand the consequences of this mutation on Costello syndrome. Furthermore, they suggest that oncogenes may have a sufficiently important impact on miRNA expression to promote the development of numerous cancers.

Kratz CP, Franke L, Peters H, et al.
Cancer spectrum and frequency among children with Noonan, Costello, and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndromes.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(8):1392-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Somatic mutations affecting components of the Ras-MAPK pathway are a common feature of cancer, whereas germline Ras pathway mutations cause developmental disorders including Noonan, Costello, and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndromes. These 'RASopathies' also represent cancer-prone syndromes, but the quantitative cancer risks remain unknown.
METHODS: We investigated the occurrence of childhood cancer including benign and malignant tumours of the central nervous system in a group of 735 individuals with germline mutations in Ras signalling pathway genes by matching their information with the German Childhood Cancer Registry.
RESULTS: We observed 12 cases of cancer in the entire RASopathy cohort vs 1.12 expected (based on German population-based incidence rates). This corresponds to a 10.5-fold increased risk of all childhood cancers combined (standardised incidence ratio (SIR)=10.5, 95% confidence interval=5.4-18.3). The specific cancers included juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia=4; brain tumour=3; acute lymphoblastic leukaemia=2; rhabdomyosarcoma=2; and neuroblastoma=1. The childhood cancer SIR in Noonan syndrome patients was 8.1, whereas that for Costello syndrome patients was 42.4.
CONCLUSIONS: These data comprise the first quantitative evidence documenting that the germline mutations in Ras signalling pathway genes are associated with increased risks of both childhood leukaemia and solid tumours.

Anichini C, Lotti F, Longini M, et al.
Antioxidant strategies in genetic syndromes with high neoplastic risk in infant age.
Tumori. 2014 Nov-Dec; 100(6):590-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oxidative stress plays a key role in carcinogenesis. Oxidative damage to cell components can lead to the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer. Oxidative stress is also a distinctive sign in several genetic disorders characterized by a cancer predisposition such as ataxia-telangiectasia, Fanconi anemia, Down syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Costello syndrome. Taking into account the link between oxidative stress and cancer, the capacity of antioxidant agents to prevent or delay neoplastic development has been tested in various studies, both in vitro and in vivo, with interesting and promising results. In recent years, research has been conducted into the molecular mechanisms linking oxidative stress to the pathogenesis of the genetic syndromes we consider in this review, with the resulting identification of possible new therapeutic targets. The aim of this review is to focus on the oxidative mechanisms intervening in carcinogenesis in cancer-prone genetic disorders and to analyze the current status and future prospects of antioxidants.

Bezniakow N, Gos M, Obersztyn E
The RASopathies as an example of RAS/MAPK pathway disturbances - clinical presentation and molecular pathogenesis of selected syndromes.
Dev Period Med. 2014 Jul-Sep; 18(3):285-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
The RASopathies are a class of developmental syndromes. Each of them exhibits distinctive phenotypic features, although there are numerous overlapping clinical manifestations that include: dysmorphic craniofacial features, congenital cardiac defects, skin abnormalities, varying degrees of intellectual disability and increased risk of malignancies. These disorders include: Noonan syndrome, Costello syndrome, LEOPARD syndrome, cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome (CFC), capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation syndrome (CM-AVM), Legius syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The RASopathies are associated with the presence of germline mutation in genes encoding specific proteins of the RAS/mitogen - activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway that plays a crucial role in embryonic and postnatal development. In this review, we present the clinical and molecular features of selected syndromes from the RASopathies group.

Giannoulatou E, McVean G, Taylor IB, et al.
Contributions of intrinsic mutation rate and selfish selection to levels of de novo HRAS mutations in the paternal germline.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(50):20152-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The RAS proto-oncogene Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (HRAS) encodes a small GTPase that transduces signals from cell surface receptors to intracellular effectors to control cellular behavior. Although somatic HRAS mutations have been described in many cancers, germline mutations cause Costello syndrome (CS), a congenital disorder associated with predisposition to malignancy. Based on the epidemiology of CS and the occurrence of HRAS mutations in spermatocytic seminoma, we proposed that activating HRAS mutations become enriched in sperm through a process akin to tumorigenesis, termed selfish spermatogonial selection. To test this hypothesis, we quantified the levels, in blood and sperm samples, of HRAS mutations at the p.G12 codon and compared the results to changes at the p.A11 codon, at which activating mutations do not occur. The data strongly support the role of selection in determining HRAS mutation levels in sperm, and hence the occurrence of CS, but we also found differences from the mutation pattern in tumorigenesis. First, the relative prevalence of mutations in sperm correlates weakly with their in vitro activating properties and occurrence in cancers. Second, specific tandem base substitutions (predominantly GC>TT/AA) occur in sperm but not in cancers; genomewide analysis showed that this same mutation is also overrepresented in constitutional pathogenic and polymorphic variants, suggesting a heightened vulnerability to these mutations in the germline. We developed a statistical model to show how both intrinsic mutation rate and selfish selection contribute to the mutational burden borne by the paternal germline.

Beukers W, Hercegovac A, Zwarthoff EC
HRAS mutations in bladder cancer at an early age and the possible association with the Costello Syndrome.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2014; 22(6):837-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bladder tumours of patients <20 years have a low incidence of genetic aberrations typically found in tumours in older patients. In this study, we investigated oncogene mutations in patients with bladder cancer (BC) <20 years and compared them to older age groups. Interestingly, we observed a relatively high number of HRAS mutations in tumour from young patients. These mutations were also highly uncommon in BCs of older patients, ie, p.(Gly12Ser) and p.(Gly12Ala). Germline mutations in the HRAS gene, especially p.(Gly12Ser/Ala), cause Costello Syndrome (CS), a severe congenital disorder. Indeed, one of the patients had been diagnosed with CS. We hypothesized that some of the other patients might be mosaic for the HRAS mutation and therefore could express some of the clinical features of CS, like tumour predisposition. Hence, we isolated DNA from microdissected stroma and analysed it for HRAS mutations. In the CS patient and in patient X, the mutation was also highly expressed in normal stroma. We conclude that patient X is possibly mosaic for the HRAS mutation. These results suggest that mosaicism for oncogenic HRAS mutations may increase the risk for developing BC at a young age.

Cizmarova M, Kostalova L, Pribilincova Z, et al.
Rasopathies - dysmorphic syndromes with short stature and risk of malignancy.
Endocr Regul. 2013; 47(4):217-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The term ´Rasopathies´ represents a group of five neurodevelopmental syndromes (Noonan, LEOPARD, Costello, Cardio-facio-cutaneous, and Neurofibromatose-Noonan syndrome) caused by germline mutation in genes encoding proteins involved in RAS/MAPK (rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase) signaling pathway. The RAS/MAPK signaling pathway participates in regulation of cell determination, proliferation, differentiation, migration, and senescence and dysregulation of this pathway can lead to the risk of tumorigenesis. In this review, we aim to summarize the current clinical and molecular genetic knowledge on Rasopathies with special attention for the risk of cancer. We propose also clinical and therapeutic approach for patients with malignancy.
METHODS: We are reviewing the clinical and molecular basis of Rasopathies based on recent studies, clinical examination, and molecular diagnostics (mutation analysis of causal genes for Rasopathies) in Slovak pediatric patients.
RESULTS: Some clinical features, such as short stature, a specific facial dysmorphology and cardiac abnormalities are common to all of Rasopathy syndromes. However, there are unique signs by which the syndromes can differ from each other, especially multiple lentigo in LEOPARD syndrome, increased risk of malignancy in Costello syndrome, dry hyperkeratotic skin in patients with cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome, and neurofibromas and cafe-au-lait spots in neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome.
CONCLUSION: Despite the overlapping clinical features, Rasopathy syndromes exhibit unique fenotypical features and the precise molecular diagnostics may lead to confirmation of each syndrome. The molecular diagnostics may allow the detection of pathogenic mutation associated with tumorigenesis.

Aytekin S, Alyamac G
Two new cases with Costello syndrome.
Dermatol Online J. 2013; 19(8):19267 [PubMed] Related Publications
Costello syndrome (CS) was described in 1977 by Costello who reported two unrelated children with a new syndrome comprising short stature, redundant skin of the neck, palms, soles, and fingers, curly hair, papillomata around the mouth and nares, and mental retardation. Several additional cases have been reported since then. Herein we report two patients with Costello syndrome; one of these patients had associated mesenteric cyst.

Stevenson DA, Allen S, Tidyman WE, et al.
Peripheral muscle weakness in RASopathies.
Muscle Nerve. 2012; 46(3):394-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: RASopathies are a group of genetic conditions due to alterations of the Ras/MAPK pathway. Neurocutaneous findings are hallmark features of the RASopathies, but musculoskeletal abnormalities are also frequent. The objective was to evaluate handgrip strength in the RASopathies.
METHODS: Individuals with RASopathies (e.g., Noonan syndrome, Costello syndrome, cardio-facio-cutaneous [CFC] syndrome, and neurofibromatosis type 1 [NF1]) and healthy controls were evaluated. Two methods of handgrip strength were tested: GRIP-D Takei Hand Grip Dynamometer and the Martin vigorimeter. A general linear model was fitted to compare average strength among the groups, controlling for confounders such as age, gender, height, and weight.
RESULTS: Takei dynamometer: handgrip strength was decreased in each of the syndromes compared with controls. Decreased handgrip strength compared with sibling controls was also seen with the Martin vigorimeter (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Handgrip strength is decreased in the RASopathies. The etiology of the reduced muscle force is unknown, but likely multifactorial.

Shen Z, Hoffman JD, Hao F, Pier E
More than just skin deep: faciocutaneous clues to genetic syndromes with malignancies.
Oncologist. 2012; 17(7):930-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic syndromes with dermatologic findings and multisystemic involvement (e.g., visceral cancer predisposition) are underrecognized. Patients may have incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity; some patients may solely exhibit subtle skin signs, which create a diagnostic challenge for physicians. Interdisciplinary diagnostic knowledge is required for the early diagnosis and monitoring of patients with these syndromes. Cutaneous changes in the face-one of the most highly exposed areas-can be easily noticed by patients themselves, their families and friends, and physicians; these changes may serve as early indicators of genetic syndromes with malignancies. In this article, we present examples of genetic syndromes with malignancies for which a thorough faciocutaneous examination is helpful in establishing a diagnosis. These examples include lentiginosis-related syndromes (e.g., Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Carney complex), photosensitivity-related syndromes (Bloom syndrome, Rothmund-Thomson syndrome), and hamartoma-related syndromes (Cowden syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, Gardner syndrome, Muir-Torre syndrome). The characteristics of these faciocutaneous clues are summarized and discussed. Objective evaluation of these faciocutaneous clues in combination with other clinical information (e.g., family history, histopathological findings, combination with other concomitant faciocutaneous lesions) is emphasized to narrow the diagnosis. The list of genetic syndromes with faciocutaneous manifestations is still expanding. Increased awareness of faciocutaneous markers can alert physicians to underlying syndromes and malignancies, render earlier screening and detection of associated medical issues, and allow for genetic counseling of family members.

Abe Y, Aoki Y, Kuriyama S, et al.
Prevalence and clinical features of Costello syndrome and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome in Japan: findings from a nationwide epidemiological survey.
Am J Med Genet A. 2012; 158A(5):1083-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Costello syndrome and cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome are congenital anomaly syndromes characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, heart defects, and intellectual disability. Germline mutations in HRAS cause Costello syndrome, and mutations in KRAS, BRAF, and MAP2K1/2 (MEK1/2) cause CFC syndrome. Since the discovery of the causative genes, approximately 150 new patients with each syndrome have been reported. However, the clinico-epidemiological features of these disorders remain to be identified. In order to assess the prevalence, natural history, prognosis, and tumor incidence associated with these diseases, we conducted a nationwide prevalence study of patients with Costello and CFC syndromes in Japan. Based on the result of our survey, we estimated a total number of patients with either Costello syndrome or CFC syndrome in Japan of 99 (95% confidence interval, 77-120) and 157 (95% confidence interval, 86-229), respectively. The prevalences of Costello and CFC syndromes are estimated to be 1 in 1,290,000 and 1 in 810,000 individuals, respectively. An evaluation of 15 adult patients 18-32 years of age revealed that 12 had moderate to severe intellectual disability and most live at home without constant medical care. These results suggested that the number of adult patients is likely underestimated and our results represent a minimum prevalence. This is the first epidemiological study of Costello syndrome and CFC syndrome. Identifying patients older than 32 years of age and following up on the patients reported here is important to estimate the precise prevalence and the natural history of these disorders.

Siegel DH, Mann JA, Krol AL, Rauen KA
Dermatological phenotype in Costello syndrome: consequences of Ras dysregulation in development.
Br J Dermatol. 2012; 166(3):601-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The RASopathies are a class of human genetic syndromes caused by germline mutations in genes that encode protein components of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Costello syndrome (CS) is a RASopathy caused by mutations in the HRAS gene, a key regulator of signal transduction.
OBJECTIVE: To quantify the specific cutaneous phenotype observed in 46 individuals with Costello syndrome with confirmed HRAS mutations.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study. Dermatological surveys were designed by the authors and were completed by parents of mutation-positive individuals with CS at the Costello Syndrome Family Network (CSFN) conferences in 2007 and 2009. Dermatological examinations were performed by the authors at the CSFN conferences.
RESULTS: Cutaneous papillomas were reported in 33 of the 46 (72%) participants, with age of onset ranging from infancy to 22years. Individuals with CS are more likely than patients with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFC) to present with cutaneous papillomas (72% vs. 5%, P<0·001) and palmoplantar keratoderma (76% vs. 36%, P<0·001). Individuals with CS are less likely than individuals with CFC to present with sparse or absent eyebrows (9% vs. 90%, P<0·001) or keratosis pilaris (33% vs. 80%, P=0·001). This study also identified that loose, redundant skin on the hands and feet, 'stippled' dermatoglyphs (pachydermatoglyphia) on the fingertips (eight of 26, 31%) and acanthosis nigricans (17 of 46, 37%) are frequent features of CS.
CONCLUSIONS: While there is significant phenotypic overlap among syndromes of the Ras/MAPK pathway, individuals with CS are more likely than individuals with CFC syndrome to present with cutaneous papillomas, palmoplantar keratoderma and full eyebrows, and are less likely to present with ulerythema ophryogenes, keratosis pilaris or multiple naevi. The dermatological features of CS, a Ras dysregulation syndrome, share many features with cutaneous paraneoplastic syndromes. This may provide further insight into the role of Ras signalling in cutaneous paraneoplastic syndromes.

Zenker M
Clinical manifestations of mutations in RAS and related intracellular signal transduction factors.
Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011; 23(4):443-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent advances in molecular genetic research have led to the definition of the new group of genetic syndromes, the RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway disorders or 'RASopathies'. They comprise Noonan syndrome and related disorders (cardio-facio-cutaneous and Costello syndromes), as well as neurofibromatosis type 1. This review summarizes the recent literature with a special focus on genotype-phenotype correlations.
RECENT FINDINGS: Although the picture is still incomplete, and additional genes are likely to exist, the underlying genetic alteration can now be found in a large majority of patients with a RASopathy phenotype. The most recently discovered novel genes for Noonan syndrome or Noonan syndrome-like disorders, NRAS, SHOC2, and CBL, account for small fractions of the patient population. The increasing knowledge about the spectrum of gene mutations and associated clinical manifestations has led to a refinement of genotype-phenotype correlations. Recent studies have added new insights into tumor predisposition and prenatal manifestations. Model systems are being developed to investigate innovative treatment approaches.
SUMMARY: Constitutional overactivation at various levels of the RAS-MAPK pathway causes overlapping syndromes, comprising characteristic facial features, cardiac defects, cutaneous abnormalities, growth deficit, neurocognitive delay, and predisposition to malignancies. Each syndrome also exhibits unique features that probably reflect genotype-related specific biological effects.

Kratz CP, Rapisuwon S, Reed H, et al.
Cancer in Noonan, Costello, cardiofaciocutaneous and LEOPARD syndromes.
Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2011; 157C(2):83-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Noonan syndrome (NS), Costello syndrome (CS), cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFCS), and LEOPARD syndrome (now also referred to as Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines or NSML) are clinically overlapping dominant disorders that are caused by mutations in RAS signaling pathway genes. The spectrum of cancer susceptibility in this group of disorders has not been studied in detail. We identified more than 1900 cases of NS, CS, CFCS, or NSML reported in the literature between 1937 and 2010; 88 cancers were reported. The most common cancers reported in 1051 NS subjects were neuroblastoma (n = 8), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (n = 8), low grade glioma (n = 6), and rhabdomyosarcoma (n = 6). These associations are biologically plausible, given that somatic RAS pathway mutations are known to occur in these specific cancers. In addition, 40 childhood cases of myeloproliferative disease were described in individuals with NS, several of whom experienced a benign course of this hematologic condition. We confirmed the previously described association between CS and cancer in 268 reported individuals: 19 had rhabdomyosarcoma, 4 had bladder cancer, and 5 had neuroblastoma. By age 20, the cumulative incidence of cancer was approximately 4% for NS and 15% for CS; both syndromes had a cancer incidence peak in childhood. The cancers described in CFCS and NSML overlapped with those reported in NS and CS. Future epidemiologic studies will be required to confirm the described cancer spectrum and to estimate precise cancer risks.

Rauen KA, Banerjee A, Bishop WR, et al.
Costello and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndromes: Moving toward clinical trials in RASopathies.
Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2011; 157C(2):136-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The RASopathies, one of the largest groups of multiple congenital anomaly syndromes known, are caused by germline mutations in various genes encoding components of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The RASopathies have many overlapping characteristics, including craniofacial manifestations, cardiac malformations, cutaneous, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and ocular abnormalities, neurocognitive impairment, hypotonia, and an increased risk of developing cancer. Costello syndrome (CS) and cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome are two of the more rare RASopathies. CS is caused by activating mutations in HRAS, and CFC is caused by dysregulation of signaling in the Ras/MAPK pathway due to mutations in BRAF, MEK1, or MEK2. The Ras/MAPK pathway, which has been well-studied in cancer, is an attractive target for inhibition in the treatment of various malignancies utilizing small molecule therapeutics that specifically inhibit the pathway. With many inhibitors of the Ras/MAPK pathway in clinical trials, the notion of using these molecules to ameliorate developmental defects in CS and CFC is under consideration. CS and CFC, like other syndromes in their class, have a progressive phenotype and may be amenable to inhibition or normalization of signaling.

Gripp KW, Hopkins E, Sol-Church K, et al.
Phenotypic analysis of individuals with Costello syndrome due to HRAS p.G13C.
Am J Med Genet A. 2011; 155A(4):706-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Costello syndrome is characterized by severe failure-to-thrive, short stature, cardiac abnormalities (heart defects, tachyarrhythmia, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)), distinctive facial features, a predisposition to papillomata and malignant tumors, postnatal cerebellar overgrowth resulting in Chiari 1 malformation, and cognitive disabilities. De novo germline mutations in the proto-oncogene HRAS cause Costello syndrome. Most mutations affect the glycine residues in position 12 or 13, and more than 80% of patients share p.G12S. To test the hypothesis that subtle genotype-phenotype differences exist, we report the first cohort comparison between 12 Costello syndrome individuals with p.G13C and individuals with p.G12S. The individuals with p.G13C had many typical findings including polyhydramnios, failure-to-thrive, HCM, macrocephaly with posterior fossa crowding, and developmental delay. Subjectively, their facial features were less coarse. Statistically significant differences included the absence of multifocal atrial tachycardia (P-value = 0.033), ulnar deviation of the wrist (P < 0.001) and papillomata (P = 0.003), and fewer neurosurgical procedures (P = 0.024). Fewer individuals with p.G13C had short stature (height below -2 SD) without use of growth hormone (P < 0.001). The noteworthy absence of malignant tumors did not reach statistical significance. Novel ectodermal findings were noted in individuals with p.G13C, including loose anagen hair resulting in easily pluckable hair with a matted appearance, different from the tight curls typical for most Costello syndrome individuals. Unusually long eye lashes requiring trimming are a novel finding we termed dolichocilia. These distinctive ectodermal findings suggest a cell type specific effect of this particular mutation. Additional patients are needed to validate these findings.

Tartaglia M, Gelb BD, Zenker M
Noonan syndrome and clinically related disorders.
Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 25(1):161-79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Noonan syndrome is a relatively common, clinically variable developmental disorder. Cardinal features include postnatally reduced growth, distinctive facial dysmorphism, congenital heart defects and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, variable cognitive deficit and skeletal, ectodermal and hematologic anomalies. Noonan syndrome is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait, and is genetically heterogeneous. So far, heterozygous mutations in nine genes (PTPN11, SOS1, KRAS, NRAS, RAF1, BRAF, SHOC2, MEK1 and CBL) have been documented to underlie this disorder or clinically related phenotypes. Based on these recent discoveries, the diagnosis can now be confirmed molecularly in approximately 75% of affected individuals. Affected genes encode for proteins participating in the RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signal transduction pathway, which is implicated in several developmental processes controlling morphology determination, organogenesis, synaptic plasticity and growth. Here, we provide an overview of clinical aspects of this disorder and closely related conditions, the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis, and major genotype-phenotype correlations.

Zenker M
Genetic and pathogenetic aspects of Noonan syndrome and related disorders.
Horm Res. 2009; 72 Suppl 2:57-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Noonan syndrome (NS) and the clinically overlapping disorders cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome, LEOPARD syndrome, Costello syndrome and Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome share the clinical features of short stature, the same spectrum of congenital heart defects, and a similar pattern of craniofacial anomalies. It is now known that all these disorders are caused by mutations in components of the RAS-MAPK signaling pathway. This pathway was previously known for its involvement in tumorigenesis. This article reviews the current knowledge on underlying genetic alterations and possible pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for NS and related disorders. It discusses the relationship between a group of developmental disorders and oncogenes. Potential future treatment prospects are based on the possibility of inhibiting RAS-MAPK signaling by pharmaceuticals.

Hasle H
Malignant diseases in Noonan syndrome and related disorders.
Horm Res. 2009; 72 Suppl 2:8-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
The overall risk of cancer in children with Noonan (NS), cardio-facial-cutaneous, Costello or LEOPARD syndrome is high, although no precise estimates are available. There are few data on cancer in adults with NS, but the reported numbers of malignancies in adults do not seem excessive. Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a rare aggressive leukemia in young children. A JMML-like myeloproliferative disorder has been described in about 30 neonates with NS and the PTPN11 mutation. The disorder often regresses spontaneously, but fatal complications may occur. A review of the literature indicates an increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia in NS. Young children with Costello syndrome have an extremely high risk of rhabdomyosarcoma, and also an increased risk of neuroblastoma and bladder carcinoma. Registry-based studies of patients with NS and related disorders diagnosed with molecular genetics and a high-quality long-term follow-up are necessary to further estimate the incidence of malignancy.

Campus R, Di Rocco M, Sementa AR, et al.
[Gastric fibroid polyp in a 4-month-old girl with Costello syndrome].
Pediatr Med Chir. 2007 Sep-Oct; 29(5):267-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe the case of a 4-month-old girl with a gastric fibroid polyp. This was an occasional radiographic finding, confirmed by sonography and computerized tomography. This very rare benign tumor was surgically removed. The diagnosis of Costello syndrome was based on clinical appearance. This is the first report of a gastric fibroid polyp in Costello syndrome, a genetic disease with a high tumor frequency.

Quezada E, Gripp KW
Costello syndrome and related disorders.
Curr Opin Pediatr. 2007; 19(6):636-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Costello syndrome is a rare congenital disorder affecting multiple organ systems, encompassing severe failure to thrive, cardiac anomalies including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and atrial tachycardia, tumor predisposition, and cognitive impairment. Costello syndrome shares findings with cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome and the diagnosis can be challenging. The discovery of gene mutations underlying these and other closely related disorders allows for molecular confirmation of a clinical diagnosis.
RECENT FINDINGS: The identification of germline HRAS mutations in Costello syndrome, and mutations in BRAF, MEK1 and MEK2 in cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome, uncovered the biologic mechanism for the shared phenotypic findings based on the close interaction of the gene products within the Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Changes in other genes encoding mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway proteins are responsible for Noonan syndrome and the KRAS mutation phenotype.
SUMMARY: Costello syndrome is caused by heterozygous de-novo point mutations in HRAS, resulting in increased activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Despite their overlapping presentation, Costello syndrome and its related disorders are distinct, and the phenotypes become more distinctive with age. Molecular testing is available and a clinical diagnosis should be reconsidered if it is inconsistent with the molecular result.

Arpa E, Domínguez-Cunchillos F, Martínez-Montero I, et al.
[Intraductal breast papillomas in patients with Costello syndrome].
Cir Esp. 2007; 81(6):345-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Costello syndrome is a multisystemic congenital disorder with a very low prevalence. The pathogenesis remains unclear and predisposes to the development of tumors of ectodermal origin. Diagnosis is clinical, based on findings of mental and growth retardation and a characteristic phenotype. We report the case of a patient with Costello syndrome who was referred to our unit with a suspected diagnosis of intraductal papilloma based on the presence of various episodes of nipple discharge. Postoperative histopathological study confirmed the diagnosis of multiple intraductal papilloma. We review the literature on the topic and discuss the advisability of aggressive surgical therapy, given the predisposition of these patients to develop both benign and malignant tumors.

Rauen KA
HRAS and the Costello syndrome.
Clin Genet. 2007; 71(2):101-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Costello syndrome (CS) is a complex developmental disorder involving characteristic craniofacial features, failure to thrive, developmental delay, cardiac and skeletal anomalies and a predisposition to develop neoplasia, both benign and malignant. CS is caused by activating germline mutations in HRAS and belongs to an exciting class of genetic syndromes that are caused by perturbation of function through the Ras pathway. Some of these other syndromes include Noonan syndrome, LEOPARD syndrome, neurofibromatosis 1 and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome. Ras is a critical signaling hub in the cell and is activated by receptor tyrosine kinases, G-protein-coupled receptors, cytokine receptors and extracellular matrix receptors. The downstream effectors of Ras are many and control vital cellular functions including cell cycle progression, cell survival, motility, transcription, translation and membrane trafficking. Understanding the genetic etiology of CS is the first step in gaining insight to the role Ras plays in human development, cellular signaling and cancer pathogenesis.

Kerr B, Eden OB, Dandamudi R, et al.
Costello syndrome: two cases with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
J Med Genet. 1998; 35(12):1036-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Costello syndrome is a well delineated mental retardation syndrome of unknown aetiology in which the occurrence of benign tumours, especially papillomata, is recognised. We report two children in whom the diagnosis of Costello syndrome was made in the first months of life, who both developed a retroperitoneal embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. Although not previously reported, the occurrence of this relatively uncommon childhood tumour in two girls with Costello syndrome suggests that an increased risk of malignancy may be part of this condition. The genetic basis of this susceptibility requires further clarification.

Franceschini P, Licata D, Di Cara G, et al.
Bladder carcinoma in Costello syndrome: report on a patient born to consanguineous parents and review.
Am J Med Genet. 1999; 86(2):174-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report on a 12-year-old boy with Costello syndrome born to consanguineous (first cousins once removed) parents, supporting the hypothesis of recessive transmission of this syndrome. At age 11 years, the patient developed a bladder carcinoma, a rare pediatric tumor not previously described in Costello syndrome. This suggests that an increased risk of malignancy may be part of this condition.

Sigaudy S, Vittu G, David A, et al.
Costello syndrome: report of six patients including one with an embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
Eur J Pediatr. 2000; 159(3):139-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Costello syndrome was first described in 1971. Besides papillomata, which were part of the initial description, patients tends to develop benign tumours of ectodermal origin. Aetiology is yet unknown but it is supposed to be the result of a sporadic dominant mutation. We report six patients with typical clinical findings and emphasise the importance of cardiac manifestations and the tendency to develop tumours. One patient developed an embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, the occurrence of which has been reported twice before in patients with Costello syndrome.
CONCLUSION: There might be a causal link between the development of rare tumours and this genetic disorder which may provide a new clue concerning the identification of the gene involved in Costello syndrome.

Gripp KW, Scott CI, Nicholson L, et al.
Five additional Costello syndrome patients with rhabdomyosarcoma: proposal for a tumor screening protocol.
Am J Med Genet. 2002; 108(1):80-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report five new cases of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) in Costello syndrome. These cases, combined with those previously reported, increase the number of solid tumors to 17 (10 RMSs, 3 neuroblastomas, 2 bladder carcinomas, 1 vestibular schwannoma, 1 epithelioma), in at least 100 known Costello syndrome patients. Despite possible ascertainment bias, and the incomplete identification of all Costello syndrome patients, the tumor frequency could be as high as 17%. This is comparable to the 7-21% frequency of solid tumors in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), and may justify tumor screening. Based on the recommendations for screening BWS patients, we propose a screening protocol consisting of ultrasound examination of the abdomen and pelvis every 3-6 months until age 8-10 years for RMS and abdominal neuroblastoma; urine catecholamine metabolite analysis every 6-12 months until age 5 years for neuroblastoma; and urinalysis for hematuria annually for bladder carcinoma after age 10 years. These recommendations may need to be modified, as new information becomes available. Potential criticism of the tumor screening protocol concerns the lack of evidence for improved outcome, and possible overestimation of the tumor risk. The ability of RMSs to occur at various sites complicates tumor screening, but 8 of the 10 RMSs in Costello syndrome patients originated from the abdomen, pelvis and urogenital area. Prior diagnosis of Costello syndrome is a prerequisite for the implementation of any screening protocol. The diagnosis of Costello syndrome should also be considered in individuals with RMS and physical findings suggestive of Costello syndrome.

Flores-Nava G, Canún-Serrano S, Moysen-Ramírez SG, et al.
[Costello syndrome associated to a neuroblastoma. Presentation of a case].
Gac Med Mex. 2000 Nov-Dec; 136(6):605-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We present the case of a newborn with Costello syndrome who died due to heart arrhythmia. In the autopsy, a neuroblastoma was found. The male patient was born at term. During the first hours of life, he developed severe respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Phenotypic features included cranial and facial dysmorphia, short thorax, tachycardia, heart murmur, abdominal distention, hepatomegaly, short extremities, widespread petechias, diminished muscular tone, ungueal hypoplasia in toes, bilateral cryptorchidia, and generalized redundant skin. In the evolution he presented several sepsis episodes, difficulty for feeding, supraventricular arrhythmia, two heart arrests, and opisthotonos, and died at 65 days of life due to heart arrhythmia. The autopsy revealed hydrocephaly, a neuroblastoma, and a heart without anatomic alterations. Costello syndrome was diagnosed. Costello syndrome is not frequent; in this patient, the diagnosis was suspected in life and was confirmed postmortem, the topic is reviewed, the important aspect in this case is the association with a neuroblastoma.

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