BHD mutations, clinical and molecular genetic investigations of Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome: a new series of 50 families and a review of published reports.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDS) (MIM 135150) is an autosomal dominant predisposition to the development of follicular hamartomas (fibrofolliculomas), lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, and kidney neoplasms. Germline mutations in BHD are associated with the susceptibility for BHDS. We previously described 51 BHDS families with BHD germline mutations. OBJECTIVE:To characterise the BHD mutation spectrum, novel mutations and new clinical features of one previously reported and 50 new families with BHDS. METHODS:Direct bidirectional DNA sequencing was used to screen for mutations in the BHD gene, and insertion and deletion mutations were confirmed by subcloning. We analysed evolutionary conservation of folliculin by comparing human against the orthologous sequences. RESULTS:The BHD mutation detection rate was 88% (51/58). Of the 23 different germline mutations identified, 13 were novel consisting of: four splice site, three deletions, two insertions, two nonsense, one deletion/insertion, and one missense mutation. We report the first germline missense mutation in BHD c.1978A>G (K508R) in a patient who presented with bilateral multifocal renal oncocytomas. This mutation occurs in a highly conserved amino acid in folliculin. 10% (5/51) of the families had individuals without histologically confirmed fibrofolliculomas. Of 44 families ascertained on the basis of skin lesions, 18 (41%) had kidney tumours. Patients with a germline BHD mutation and family history of kidney cancer had a statistically significantly increased probability of developing renal tumours compared to patients without a positive family history (p = 0.0032). Similarly, patients with a BHD germline mutation and family history of spontaneous pneumothorax had a significantly increased greater probability of having spontaneous pneumothorax than BHDS patients without a family history of spontaneous pneumothorax (p = 0.011). A comprehensive review of published reports of cases with BHD germline mutation is discussed. CONCLUSION:BHDS is characterised by a spectrum of mutations, and clinical heterogeneity both among and within families.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD) is a rare autosomal dominantly inherited disorder caused by germline mutations in the folliculin (FLCN) gene. Clinical manifestations of BHD include skin fibrofolliculomas, renal cell cancer, lung cysts and (recurrent) spontaneous pneumothorax (SP). All clinical manifestations usually present in adults > 20 years of age. CASE PRESENTATIONS: Two non-related patients with (recurrent) pneumothorax starting at age 14 accompanied by multiple basal lung cysts on thoracic CT underwent FLCN germline mutation analysis. A pathogenic FLCN mutation was found in both patients confirming suspected BHD. The family history was negative for spontaneous pneumothorax in both families. CONCLUSION: Although childhood occurrence of SP in BHD is rare, these two cases illustrate that BHD should be considered as cause of SP in children.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDS) is an autosomal dominant disease featured by lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, fibrofolliculomas and renal tumors. The causative gene for BHDS is the folliculin (FLCN) gene and more than 200 mutations have been reported in FLCN, mostly truncating mutations. The aim of this study is to better characterize the clinical features and mutation spectrum of Chinese BHDS patients and to systematically evaluate the effects of non-truncating mutations on mRNA splicing pattern. METHODS:We enrolled 47 patients from 39 unrelated families with symptoms highly suggestive of BHDS after informed consent and detailed clinical data were collected. Exon sequencing followed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification testing were applied for mutation screening. The effects of non-truncating mutations, including 15 missense mutations and 6 in-frame deletions, on mRNA splicing were investigated by minigene assays. RESULTS:A total of 24 FLCN germline variants were found in 39 patients from 31 distinct families. Out of these patients, 100% (36/36) presented with lung cysts and 58.3% (21/36) had experienced spontaneous pneumothorax. Seventeen mutation carriers had skin lesions (47.2%, 17/36) and 9 (30%, 9/30) had kidney lesions including 8 with renal cysts and 1 with renal hamartoma. Among all detected variants 14 (58.3%, 14/24) were novel, including 11 variants classified to be pathogenic and 3 variants of uncertain significance. None of 21 non-truncating mutations changed the mRNA splicing pattern of minigenes. CONCLUSIONS:We found different clinical features of Chinese BHDS patients compared with Caucasians, with more lung cysts and pneumothorax but fewer skin lesions and malignant renal cancer. Chinese patients with BHDS also have a different mutation spectrum from other races. Non-truncating mutations in FLCN did not disrupt mRNA splicing pattern, in turn supporting the hypothesis that these mutations impair folliculin function by disrupting the stability of the FLCN gene product.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome (BHDS) characterised by skin fibrofolliculomas, kidney tumour and pulmonary cysts/pneumothorax is caused by folliculin (FLCN) germline mutations. The pathology of both neoplasia and focused tissue loss of BHDS strongly features tissue-specific behaviour of the gene. Isolated cysts/pneumothorax is the most frequent atypical presentation of BHDS and often misdiagnosed as primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP). Deferential diagnosis of BHDS with isolated pulmonary presentation (PSP-BHD) from PSP is essential in lifelong surveillance for developing renal cell carcinoma. METHODS:The expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in cystic lesions of PSP-BHD and PSP were determined via microarray. The selected upregulated miRNAs were further confirmed in the plasma of an expanded cohort of PSP-BHD patients by reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Their diagnostic accuracy was evaluated. Moreover, the cellular functions and targeted signalling pathways of FLCN-regulated miRNAs were assessed in various cell lines and in the lesion tissue contexts. RESULTS:Cystic lesions of PSP-BHD and PSP showed different miRNAs profiles with a significant upregulation of miR-424-5p and let-7d-5p in PSP-BHD. The combination of the two effectively predicted BHDS patients. In vitro studies revealed a suppressive effect of FLCN on miR-424-5p and let-7d-5p expressions specifically in lung epithelial cells. The ectopic miRNAs triggered epithelial apoptosis and epithelial transition of mesenchymal cells and suppressed the reparative responses in cells and tissues with FLCN deficiency. CONCLUSION:The upregulation of miR-424-5p and let-7d-5p by FLCN deficiency occurred in epithelial cells and marked the PSP-BHD condition, which contributed to a focused degenerative pathology in the lung of PSP-BHD patients.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome, a hereditary renal cancer syndrome caused by mutations in the folliculin (FLCN) gene, is characterized by the presence of fibrofolliculomas, pulmonary cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Few BHD syndrome cases have been reported in Asian countries, and cutaneous presentations are relatively rare in Asian patients. Asian BHD patients may be misdiagnosed due to their atypical manifestations. Here, we report two Chinese BHD patients with novel FLCN mutations (c.946-947delAG in exon 9 and c.770-772delCCT in exon 7). Both of them had RCC and spontaneous pneumothorax without fibrofolliculomas. In patients with RCC and pulmonary cysts but without cutaneous lesions, screening for mutations in the FLCN gene should be performed, especially for those with a family history of RCC or pulmonary cysts (pneumothorax).
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome (BHDS) is a rare form of classically cystic lung disease that may present with spontaneous pneumothorax. The associated skin manifestations (fibrofolliculomas) are not always present. This article describes a case of spontaneous pneumothorax secondary to bullous emphysema in an otherwise healthy gentleman caused by a novel mutation in the folliculin (FLCN) gene.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDS) is an autosomal, dominantly inherited genodermatosis that predisposes to fibrofolliculomas, kidney neoplasms, lung cysts, and spontaneous pneumothorax.We evaluated 198 patients from 89 families with BHDS to characterize the risk factors for pneumothorax and genotype-pulmonary associations.Helical computed tomography scans of the chest were used to screen for pulmonary abnormalities. BHD mutation data were used for genotype-pulmonary associations. We examined the relationship of pneumothorax with categorical parameters (sex, smoking history, and lung cysts) and continuous parameters (number of cysts, lung cyst volume, and largest cyst diameter and volume). Logistic regression analyses were used to identify the risk factors associated with pneumothorax.Twenty-four percent (48/198) of patients with BHDS had a history of pneumothorax. The presence of lung cysts was significantly associated with pneumothorax (p = 0.006). Total lung cyst volume, largest cyst diameter and volume, and every parameter related to the number of lung cysts were significantly associated (p < 0.0001) with pneumothorax. A logistic regression analysis showed that only the total number of cysts in the right parenchymal lower lobe and the total number of cysts located on the pleural surface in the right middle lobe were needed to classify a patient as to whether or not he or she was likely to have a pneumothorax. Exon location of the BHD mutation was associated with the numbers of cysts (p = 0.0002).This study indicates that patients with BHDS have a significant association between lung cysts and spontaneous pneumothorax.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome (BHD, OMIM#135150) is a rare disease in clinic; it is characterized by skin fibrofolliculomas, pulmonary cysts with an increased risk of recurrent pneumothorax, renal cysts, and renal neoplasms. Previous studies have demonstrated that variants in folliculin (FLCN, NM_144997) are mainly responsible for this disease. In this research, we enrolled two BHD families and applied direct sequencing of FLCN to explore the genetic lesions in them. Two FLCN mutations were identified: one is a novel deletion variant (c.668delA/p.N223TfsX19), while the other is a previously reported insertion mutation (c.1579_1580insA/p.R527QfsX75). And the pathogenicity of both variants was confirmed by cosegregation assay. Bioinformatics analysis showed that c.668delA may lead to functional haploinsufficiency of FLCN because mRNA carrying this mutation exhibits a faster degradation rate comparing to the wild type. Real-time qPCR also confirmed that the mRNA level of FLCN expression in the proband was decreased significantly compared with the controls, which may disrupt the mTOR pathway and lead to BHD. The insertion mutation (c.1579_1580insA) was predicted to cause a prolonged amino acid sequence of FLCN. The present identification of two mutations not only further supports the important role of tumor suppressor FLCN in BHD and primary spontaneous pneumothorax, but also expands the spectrum of FLCN mutations and will provide insight into genetic diagnosis and counseling of families with BHD.
Project description:The folliculin gene (FLCN), also known as BHD, is the only known susceptibility gene for Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome. BHDS is the autosomal dominant predisposition to the development of follicular hamartomas, lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, and/or kidney neoplasms. To date, 53 unique germline mutations have been reported. FLCN mutation detection rate is 88%. FLCN encodes a predicted 579-amino acid protein, designated folliculin that is highly conserved between humans and homologs in mice, Drosophila, and C. elegans. We developed the first online database detailing all FLCN variants identified in our laboratory and reported in the literature. The FLCN database applies, and assists researchers in applying HGVS nomenclature guidelines. To date, the FCLN database includes 84 variants: 53 unique germline mutations and 31 SNPs. The majority of FLCN germline mutations are predicted to produce a truncated folliculin, resulting in loss of function. The FLCN mutations consist of: 45% (24/53) deletions, 32% (17/53) substitutions (10 putative-splice site, 5 nonsense, and 2 missense), 15% (8/53) duplications, 6% (3/53) insertion/deletions and 2% (1/53) insertions. The database strives to systematically unify current knowledge of FLCN variants and will be useful to geneticists and genetic counselors while also providing a rapid and systematic resource for investigators.
Project description:Germline mutations in the novel tumor suppressor gene FLCN are responsible for the autosomal dominant inherited disorder Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome that predisposes to fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts and spontaneous pneumothorax, and an increased risk for developing kidney tumors. Although the encoded protein, folliculin (FLCN), has no sequence homology to known functional domains, x-ray crystallographic studies have shown that the C-terminus of FLCN has structural similarity to DENN (differentially expressed in normal cells and neoplasia) domain proteins that act as guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for small Rab GTPases. FLCN forms a complex with folliculin interacting proteins 1 and 2 (FNIP1, FNIP2) and with 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This review summarizes FLCN functional studies which support a role for FLCN in diverse metabolic pathways and cellular processes that include modulation of the mTOR pathway, regulation of PGC1? and mitochondrial biogenesis, cell-cell adhesion and RhoA signaling, control of TFE3/TFEB transcriptional activity, amino acid-dependent activation of mTORC1 on lysosomes through Rag GTPases, and regulation of autophagy. Ongoing research efforts are focused on clarifying the primary FLCN-associated pathway(s) that drives the development of fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts and kidney tumors in BHD patients carrying germline FLCN mutations.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD), a genodermatosis characterized by multiple hamartomas of the hair follicle (fibrofolliculoma), predisposes individuals to an increased risk of developing renal neoplasms and spontaneous pneumothorax. Previously, we localized the BHD locus (also known as FLCN) to chromosome 17p11.2 by linkage analysis and subsequently identified germline mutations in a novel gene in probands from eight of the nine families with BHD in our screening panel. Affected members of five of the families inherited an insertion/deletion of a cytosine in a C8 tract in exon 11. This mutation was also identified by exon 11 screening in probands from 22 of 52 additional families with BHD and therefore represents a hypermutable "hotspot" for mutation in BHD. Here, we screened the remaining 30 families from this large BHD cohort by direct sequence analysis and identified germline BHD mutations in 84% (51/61) of all families with BHD recruited to our study. Mutations were located along the entire length of the coding region, including 16 insertion/deletion, 3 nonsense, and 3 splice-site mutations. The majority of BHD mutations were predicted to truncate the BHD protein, folliculin. Among patients with a mutation in the exon 11 hotspot, significantly fewer renal tumors were observed in patients with the C-deletion than those with the C-insertion mutation. Coding-sequence mutations were not found, however, in probands from two large families with BHD whose affected members shared their family's BHD-affected haplotype. Of the 53 families with BHD whose members inherited either a germline mutation or the affected haplotype, 24 (45%) had at least one member with renal neoplasms. Three families classified with familial renal oncocytoma were identified with BHD mutations, which represents the first disease gene associated with this rare form of renal neoplasm. This study expands the BHD-mutation spectrum and evaluates genotype-phenotype correlations among families with BHD.