Toward a survey of somatic mutation of the NF1 gene in benign neurofibromas of patients with neurofibromatosis type 1.
ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a common autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations of the NF1 gene, is characterized by multiple neurofibromas, pigmentation anomalies, and a variety of other possible complications, including an increased risk of malignant neoplasias. Tumorigenesis in NF1 is believed to follow the two-hit hypothesis postulated for tumor-suppressor genes. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) has been shown to occur in NF1-associated malignancies and in benign neurofibromas, but only few of the latter yielded a positive result. Here we describe a systematic approach of searching for somatic inactivation of the NF1 gene in neurofibromas. In the course of these studies, two new intragenic polymorphisms of the NF1 gene, a tetranucleotide repeat and a 21-bp duplication, could be identified. Three tumor-specific point mutations and two LOH events were detected among seven neurofibromas from four different NF1 patients. Our results suggest that small subtle mutations occur with similar frequency to that of LOH in benign neurofibromas and that somatic inactivation of the NF1 gene is a general event in these tumors. The spectrum of somatic mutations occurring in various tumors from individual NF1 patients may contribute to the understanding of variable expressivity of the NF1 phenotype.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type-1 (NF1), caused by heterozygous inactivation of the NF1 tumour suppressor gene, is associated with the development of benign and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs). Although numerous germline NF1 mutations have been identified, relatively few somatic NF1 mutations have been described in neurofibromas. Here we have screened 109 cutaneous neurofibromas, excised from 46 unrelated NF1 patients, for somatic NF1 mutations. NF1 mutation screening (involving loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) analysis, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and DNA sequencing) identified 77 somatic NF1 point mutations, of which 53 were novel. LOH spanning the NF1 gene region was evident in 25 neurofibromas, but in contrast to previous data from MPNSTs, it was absent at the TP53, CDKN2A and RB1 gene loci. Analysis of DNA/RNA from neurofibroma-derived Schwann cell cultures revealed NF1 mutations in four tumours whose presence had been overlooked in the tumour DNA. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that four of seven novel somatic NF1 missense mutations (p.A330T, p.Q519P, p.A776T, p.S1463F) could be of functional/clinical significance. Functional analysis confirmed this prediction for p.S1463F, located within the GTPase-activating protein-related domain, as this mutation resulted in a 150-fold increase in activated GTP-bound Ras. Comparison of the relative frequencies of the different types of somatic NF1 mutation observed with those of their previously reported germline counterparts revealed significant (P=0.001) differences. Although non-identical somatic mutations involving either the same or adjacent nucleotides were identified in three pairs of tumours from the same patients (P<0.0002), no association was noted between the type of germline and somatic NF1 lesion within the same individual.
Project description:Dermal neurofibromas (dNFs) are benign tumors of the peripheral nervous system typically associated with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients. Genes controlling the integrity of the DNA are likely to influence the number of neurofibromas developed because dNFs are caused by somatic mutational inactivation of the NF1 gene, frequently evidenced by loss of heterozygosity (LOH). We performed a comprehensive analysis of the prevalence and mechanisms of LOH in dNFs. Our study included 518 dNFs from 113 patients. LOH was detected in 25% of the dNFs (N = 129). The most frequent mechanism causing LOH was mitotic recombination, which was observed in 62% of LOH-tumors (N = 80), and which does not reduce the number of NF1 gene copies. All events were generated by a single crossover located between the centromere and the NF1 gene, resulting in isodisomy of 17q. LOH due to the loss of the NF1 gene accounted for a 38% of dNFs with LOH (N = 49), with deletions ranging in size from ?80?kb to ?8?Mb within 17q. In one tumor we identified the first example of a neurofibroma-associated second-hit type-2 NF1 deletion. Analysis of the prevalence of mechanisms causing LOH in dNFs in individual patients (possibly under genetic control) will elucidate whether there exist interindividual variation.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) (MIM#162200) is a relatively frequent genetic condition that predisposes to tumor formation. The main types of tumors occurring in NF1 patients are cutaneous and subcutaneous neurofibromas, plexiform neurofibromas, optic pathway gliomas, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. To search for somatic mutations in cutaneous (dermal) neurofibromas, whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on seven spatially separated tumors and two reference tissues (blood and unaffected skin) from a single NF1 patient. Validation of WES findings was done using routine Sanger sequencing or Sequenom IPlex SNP genotyping. Exome sequencing confirmed the existence of a known familial splice-site mutation NM_000267.3:c.3113+1G>A in exon 23 of NF1 gene (HGMD ID CS951480) in blood, unaffected skin, and all tumor samples. In five out of seven analyzed tumors, we additionally detected second-hit mutations in the NF1 gene. Four of them were novel and one was previously observed. Each mutation was distinct, demonstrating the independent origin of each tumor. Only in two of seven tumors we detected an additional somatic mutation that was not associated with NF1. Our study demonstrated that somatic mutations of NF1 are likely the main drivers of cutaneous tumor formation. The study provides evidence for the rareness of single base pair level alterations in the exomes of benign NF1 cutaneous tumors.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (Nf1) mutation predisposes to benign peripheral nerve (glial) tumors called neurofibromas. The point(s) in development when Nf1 loss promotes neurofibroma formation are unknown. We show that inactivation of Nf1 in the glial lineage in vitro at embryonic day 12.5 + 1, but not earlier (neural crest) or later (mature Schwann cell), results in colony-forming cells capable of multilineage differentiation. In vivo, inactivation of Nf1 using a DhhCre driver beginning at E12.5 elicits plexiform neurofibromas, dermal neurofibromas, and pigmentation. Tumor Schwann cells uniquely show biallelic Nf1 inactivation. Peripheral nerve and tumors contain transiently proliferating Schwann cells that lose axonal contact, providing insight into early neurofibroma formation. We suggest that timing of Nf1 mutation is critical for neurofibroma formation.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a tumor predisposition genetic disease caused by mutations in the NF1 tumor suppressor gene. Plexiform neurofibromas (PNFs) are benign Schwann cell (SC) tumors of the peripheral nerve sheath that develop through NF1 inactivation and can progress toward a malignant soft tissue sarcoma. There is a lack of non-perishable model systems to investigate PNF development. We reprogrammed PNF-derived NF1(-/-) cells, descendants from the tumor originating cell. These NF1(-/-)-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) captured the genomic status of PNFs and were able to differentiate toward neural crest stem cells and further to SCs. iPSC-derived NF1(-/-) SCs exhibited a continuous high proliferation rate, poor myelination ability, and a tendency to form 3D spheres that expressed the same markers as their PNF-derived primary SC counterparts. They represent a valuable model to study and treat PNFs. PNF-derived iPSC lines were banked for making them available.
Project description:The growth behaviors of cutaneous neurofibromas in patients with Neurofibromatosis type 1 are highly variable. The role of the germline NF1 mutation, somatic NF1 mutation and mutations at modifying loci, are poorly understood. We performed whole exome sequencing of three growing and three non-growing neurofibromas from a single individual to assess the role of acquired somatic mutations in neurofibroma growth behavior. 1-11 mutations were identified in each sample, including two deleterious NF1 mutations. No trends were present between the types of somatic mutations identified and growth behavior. Mutations in the HIPPO signaling pathway appeared to be overrepresented.
Project description:Cutaneous neurofibromas are the hallmarks of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). They are composed of multiple cell types, and traditionally they are believed to arise from small nerve tributaries of the skin. A key finding in the context of this view has been that subpopulations of tumor Schwann cells harbor biallelic inactivation of the NF1 gene (NF1(-/-)). In the present study, our aim was to clarify further the pathogenesis of cutaneous neurofibromas. First, we detected cells expressing multipotency-associated biomarkers in cutaneous neurofibromas. Second, we developed a method for isolating and expanding multipotent neurofibroma-derived precursor cells (NFPs) from dissociated human cutaneous neurofibromas and used it to analyze their growth and differentiation potential. In analogy to solitary cells resident in neurofibromas, NFPs were found to express nestin and had the potential to differentiate to, at least, Schwann cells, neurons, epithelial cells, and adipocytes. Mutation analysis of the NFPs revealed that their genotype was NF1(+/-). The results led us to speculate that the development of cutaneous neurofibromas includes the recruitment of multipotent NF1(+/-) precursor cells. These cells may be derived from the multipotent cells of the hair roots, which often are intimately associated with microscopic neurofibromas.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Neurofibromatosis type-1 (NF1) is caused by mutations of the NF1 gene at 17q11.2. In 95% of non-founder NF1 patients, NF1 mutations are identifiable by means of a comprehensive mutation analysis. 5-10% of these patients harbour microdeletions encompassing the NF1 gene and its flanking regions. NF1 is characterised by tumours of the peripheral nerve sheaths, the pathognomonic neurofibromas. Considerable inter- and intra-familial variation in expressivity of the disease has been observed which is influenced by genetic modifiers unrelated to the constitutional NF1 mutation. The number of plexiform neurofibromas (PNF) in NF1 patients is a highly heritable genetic trait. Recently, SNP rs2151280 located within the non-coding RNA gene ANRIL at 9p21.3, was identified as being strongly associated with PNF number in a family-based association study. The T-allele of rs2151280, which correlates with reduced ANRIL expression, appears to be associated with higher PNF number. ANRIL directly binds to the SUZ12 protein, an essential component of polycomb repressive complex 2, and is required for SUZ12 occupancy of the CDKN2A/CDKN2B tumour suppressor genes as well as for their epigenetic silencing. METHODS: Here, we explored a potential association of PNF number and PNF volume with SNP rs2151280 in 29 patients with constitutional NF1 microdeletions using the exact Cochran-Armitage test for trends and the exact Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon test. Both the PNF number and total tumour volume in these 29 NF1 patients were assessed by whole-body MRI. The NF1 microdeletions observed in these 29 patients encompassed the NF1 gene as well as its flanking regions, including the SUZ12 gene. RESULTS: In the 29 microdeletion patients investigated, neither the PNF number nor PNF volume was found to be associated with the T-allele of rs2151280. CONCLUSION: Our findings imply that, at least in patients with NF1 microdeletions, PNF susceptibility is not associated with rs2151280. Although somatic inactivation of the NF1 wild-type allele is considered to be the PNF-initiating event in NF1 patients with intragenic mutations and patients with NF1 microdeletions, both patient groups may differ with regard to tumour progression because of the heterozygous constitutional deletion of SUZ12 present only in patients with NF1 microdeletions.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common tumor-predisposition disorder due to germline mutations in the tumor suppressor gene NF1. A virtually pathognomonic finding of NF1 is the plexiform neurofibroma (PN), a benign, likely congenital tumor that arises from bi-allelic inactivation of NF1. PN can undergo transformation to a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, an aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma. To better understand the non-NF1 genetic contributions to PN pathogenesis, we performed whole-exome sequencing, RNASeq profiling and genome-wide copy-number determination for 23 low-passage Schwann cell cultures established from surgical PN material with matching germline DNA. All resected tumors were derived from routine debulking surgeries. None of the tumors were considered at risk for malignant transformation at the time; for example, there was no pain or rapid growth. Deep (~500X) NF1 exon sequencing was also conducted on tumor DNA. Non-NF1 somatic mutation verification was performed using the Ampliseq/IonTorrent platform. We identified 100% of the germline NF1 mutations and found somatic NF1 inactivation in 74% of the PN. One individual with three PNs had different NF1 somatic mutations in each tumor. The median number of somatic mutations per sample, including NF1, was one (range 0-8). NF1 was the only gene that was recurrently somatically inactivated in multiple tumors. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis of transcriptome-wide tumor RNA sequencing identified five significant (FDR<0.01) and seven trending (0.01?FDR<0.02) gene sets related to DNA replication, telomere maintenance and elongation, cell cycle progression, signal transduction and cell proliferation. We found no recurrent non-NF1 locus copy-number variation in PN. This is the first multi-sample whole-exome and whole-transcriptome sequencing study of NF1-associated PN. Taken together with concurrent copy-number data, our comprehensive genetic analysis reveals the primacy of NF1 loss as the driver of PN tumorigenesis.
Project description:Cutaneous neurofibromas (cNF) are a nearly ubiquitous symptom of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a disorder with a broad phenotypic spectrum caused by germline mutation of the neurofibromatosis type 1 tumour suppressor gene (NF1). Symptoms of NF1 can include learning disabilities, bone abnormalities and predisposition to tumours such as cNFs, plexiform neurofibromas, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours and optic nerve tumours. There are no therapies currently approved for cNFs aside from elective surgery, and the molecular aetiology of cNF remains relatively uncharacterised. Furthermore, whereas the biallelic inactivation of NF1 in neoplastic Schwann cells is critical for cNF formation, it is still unclear which additional genetic, transcriptional, epigenetic, microenvironmental or endocrine changes are important. Significant inroads have been made into cNF understanding, including NF1 genotype-phenotype correlations in NF1 microdeletion patients, the identification of recurring somatic mutations, studies of cNF-invading mast cells and macrophages, and clinical trials of putative therapeutic targets such as mTOR, MEK and c-KIT. Despite these advances, several gaps remain in our knowledge of the associated pathogenesis, which is further hampered by a lack of translationally relevant animal models. Some of these questions may be addressed in part by the adoption of genomic analysis techniques. Understanding the aetiology of cNF at the genomic level may assist in the development of new therapies for cNF, and may also contribute to a greater understanding of NF1/RAS signalling in cancers beyond those associated with NF1. Here, we summarise the present understanding of cNF biology, including the pathogenesis, mutational landscape, contribution of the tumour microenvironment and endocrine signalling, and the historical and current state of clinical trials for cNF. We also highlight open access data resources and potential avenues for future research that leverage recently developed genomics-based methods in cancer research.