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Fredrika Svahn Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Karolina Solhusløkk Höse Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Adam Stenman Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Breast, Endocrine Tumors and Sarcoma, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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Yaxuan Liu Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Breast Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China

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Jan Calissendorff Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Emma Tham Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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Ákos Végvári Division of Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Roman A Zubarev Division of Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Na Wang Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden

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Reju Korah Yale Endocrine Neoplasia Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

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Tobias Carling Yale Endocrine Neoplasia Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Carling Adrenal Center, Tampa, Florida, USA

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Jan Zedenius Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Breast, Endocrine Tumors and Sarcoma, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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Robert Bränström Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Breast, Endocrine Tumors and Sarcoma, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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C Christofer Juhlin Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Clinical Pathology and Cancer Diagnostics, Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden

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Catharina Larsson Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Pheochromocytoma (PCC) and abdominal paraganglioma (aPGL) (together abbreviated PPGL) frequently present with an underlying genetic event in a PPGL driver gene, and additional susceptibility genes are anticipated. Here, we re-analyzed whole-exome sequencing data for PCC patients and identified two patients with rare missense variants in the calcium voltage-gated channel subunit 1H gene (CACNA1H). CACNA1H variants were also found in the clinical setting in PCC patients using targeted sequencing and from analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas database. In total, CACNA1H variants were found in six PCC cases. Three of these were constitutional, and two are known to have functional consequences on hormone production and gene expression in primary aldosteronism and aldosterone-producing adrenocortical adenoma. In general, PPGL exhibited reduced CACNA1H mRNA expression as compared to normal adrenal. Immunohistochemistry showed strong CACNA1H (CaV3.2) staining in adrenal medulla while PPGL typically had weak or negative staining. Reduced CACNA1H gene expression was especially pronounced in PCC compared to aPGL and in PPGL with cluster 2 kinase signaling phenotype. Furthermore, CACNA1H levels correlated with HIF1A and HIF2A. Moreover, TCGA data revealed a correlation between CACNA1H methylation density and gene expression. Expression of rCacna1h in PC12 cells induced differential protein expression profiles, determined by mass spectrometry, as well as a shift in the membrane potential where maximum calcium currents were observed, as determined by electrophysiology. The findings suggest the involvement of CACNA1H/CaV3.2 in pheochromocytoma development and establish a potential link between the etiology of adrenomedullary and adrenocortical tumor development.

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