p38 inhibition ameliorates skin and skull abnormalities in Fgfr2 Beare-Stevenson mice

Yingli Wang, Xueyan Zhou, Kurun Oberoi, Robert Phelps, Ross Couwenhoven, Miao Sun, Amélie Rezza, Greg Holmes, Christopher J. Percival, Jenna Friedenthal, Pavel Krejci, Joan T. Richtsmeier, David L. Huso, Michael Rendl, Ethylin Wang Jabs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Beare-Stevenson cutis gyrata syndrome (BSS) is a human genetic disorder characterized by skin and skull abnormalities. BSS is caused by mutations in the FGF receptor 2 (FGFR2), but the molecular mechanisms that induce skin and skull abnormalities are unclear. We developed a mouse model of BSS harboring a FGFR2 Y394C mutation and identified p38 MAPK as an important signaling pathway mediating these abnormalities. Fgfr2 +/Y394C mice exhibited epidermal hyperplasia and premature closure of cranial sutures (craniosynostosis) due to abnormal cell proliferation and differentiation. We found ligand-independent phosphorylation of FGFR2 and activation of p38 signaling in mutant skin and calvarial tissues. Treating Fgfr2 +/Y394C mice with a p38 kinase inhibitor attenuated skin abnormalities by reversing cell proliferation and differentiation to near normal levels. This study reveals the pleiotropic effects of the FGFR2 Y394C mutation evidenced by cutis gyrata, acanthosis nigricans, and craniosynostosis and provides a useful model for investigating the molecular mechanisms of skin and skull development. The demonstration of a pathogenic role for p38 activation may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for BSS and related conditions, such as acanthosis nigricans or craniosynostosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2153-2164
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'p38 inhibition ameliorates skin and skull abnormalities in Fgfr2 Beare-Stevenson mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this