Pheochromocytomas and abdominal paragangliomas are adrenal and extra-adrenal catecholamine-producing tumours. They arise due to heritable cancer syndromes, or more frequently occur sporadically due to an unknown genetic cause. The majority of cases are benign, but malignant tumours are observed. Previous comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and loss of heterozygosity studies have shown frequent deletions of chromosome arms 1p, 3q and 22q in pheochromocytomas. We applied high-resolution whole-genome array CGH on 53 benign and malignant pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas to narrow down candidate regions as well as to identify chromosomal alterations more specific to malignant tumours. Minimal overlapping regions (MORs) were identified on 16 chromosomes, with the most frequent MORs of deletion (≥32%) occurring on chromosome arms 1p, 3q, 11p/q, 17p and 22q, while the chromosome arms 1q, 7p, 12q and 19p harboured the most common MORs of gain (≥14%). The most frequent MORs (61–75%) in the pheochromocytomas were identified at 1p, and the four regions of common losses encompassed 1p36, 1p32–31, 1p22–21 and 1p13. Tumours that did not show 1p loss generally demonstrated aberrations on chromosome 11. Gain of chromosomal material was significantly more frequent among the malignant cases. Moreover, gain at 19q, trisomy 12 and loss at 11q were positively associated with malignant pheochromocytomas, while 1q gain was commonly observed in the malignant paragangliomas. Our study revealed novel and narrow recurrent chromosomal regions of loss and gain at several autosomes, a prerequisite for identifying candidate tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes involved in the development of adrenal and extra-adrenal catecholamine-producing tumours.
Johanna Sandgren, Teresita Diaz de Ståhl, Robin Andersson, Uwe Menzel, Arkadiusz Piotrowski, Helena Nord, Martin Bäckdahl, Nimrod B Kiss, Michael Brauckhoff, Jan Komorowski, Henning Dralle, Ola Hessman, Catharina Larsson, Göran Åkerström, Carl Bruder, Jan P Dumanski and Gunnar Westin
Jan P Dumanski, Chiara Rasi, Peyman Björklund, Hanna Davies, Abir S Ali, Malin Grönberg, Staffan Welin, Halfdan Sorbye, Henning Grønbæk, Janet L Cunningham, Lars A Forsberg, Lars Lind, Erik Ingelsson, Peter Stålberg, Per Hellman and Eva Tiensuu Janson
The genetics behind predisposition to small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs) is largely unknown, but there is growing awareness of a familial form of the disease. We aimed to identify germline mutations involved in the carcinogenesis of SI-NETs. The strategy included next-generation sequencing of exome- and/or whole-genome of blood DNA, and in selected cases, tumor DNA, from 24 patients from 15 families with the history of SI-NETs. We identified seven candidate mutations in six genes that were further studied using 215 sporadic SI-NET patients. The result was compared with the frequency of the candidate mutations in three control cohorts with a total of 35,688 subjects. A heterozygous variant causing an amino acid substitution p.(Gly396Asp) in the MutY DNA glycosylase gene (MUTYH) was significantly enriched in SI-NET patients (minor allele frequencies 0.013 and 0.003 for patients and controls respectively) and resulted in odds ratio of 5.09 (95% confidence interval 1.56–14.74; P value = 0.0038). We also found a statistically significant difference in age at diagnosis between familial and sporadic SI-NETs. MUTYH is involved in the protection of DNA from mutations caused by oxidative stress. The inactivation of this gene leads to specific increase of G:C- > T:A transversions in DNA sequence and has been shown to cause various cancers in humans and experimental animals. Our results suggest that p.(Gly396Asp) in MUTYH, and potentially other mutations in additional members of the same DNA excision-repair pathway (such as the OGG1 gene) might be involved in driving the tumorigenesis leading to familial and sporadic SI-NETs.