Marfan syndrome is an extracellular matrix disorder with cardinal manifestations in the eye, skeleton and cardiovascular systems associated with defects in the gene encoding fibrillin (FBN1) at 15q21.1 (ref. 1). A second type of the disorder (Marfan syndrome type 2; OMIM 154705) is associated with a second locus, MFS2, at 3p25-p24.2 in a large French family (family MS1). Identification of a 3p24.1 chromosomal breakpoint disrupting the gene encoding TGF-beta receptor 2 (TGFBR2) in a Japanese individual with Marfan syndrome led us to consider TGFBR2 as the gene underlying association with Marfan syndrome at the MSF2 locus. The mutation 1524G-->A in TGFBR2 (causing the synonymous amino acid substitution Q508Q) resulted in abnormal splicing and segregated with MFS2 in family MS1. We identified three other missense mutations in four unrelated probands, which led to loss of function of TGF-beta signaling activity on extracellular matrix formation. These results show that heterozygous mutations in TGFBR2, a putative tumor-suppressor gene implicated in several malignancies, are also associated with inherited connective-tissue disorders.
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