Somatic neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) inactivation events in cutaneous neurofibromas of a single NF1 patient.
ABSTRACT: 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), 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:BACKGROUND:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant condition caused by inactivating mutations of the NF1 gene. The wide allelic heterogeneity of this condition, with more than 3,000 pathogenic variants reported so far, is paralleled by its high clinical variability, which is observed even within the same family. The definition of genotype-phenotype correlations has been hampered by the complexity of the NF1 gene and, although a few exceptions have been recognized, the clinical course remains unpredictable in most patients. METHODS:Sequencing of NF1 in patients with cafè-au-lait spots identified the c.3112A>G variant. RNA analysis and a minigene assay were employed to investigate splicing. RESULTS:Here we report a novel genotype-phenotype correlation in NF1: the identification of the missense variant NM_000267.3:c.3112A>G p.(Arg1038Gly) in seven individuals from two unrelated families with a mild phenotype. All the patients manifest cafè-au-lait spots without neurofibromas or other NF1-associated complications, and Noonan syndrome features in most cases. The missense variant was not previously reported in available databases, segregates with the phenotype and involves a highly conserved residue. Both a minigene assay and patient's RNA analysis excluded an effect on splicing. CONCLUSION:Our data support the correlation of the p.Arg1038Gly missense substitution with the cutaneous phenotype without neurofibromas or other complications. This finding may have relevant implications for patients and genetic counseling, but also to get insights into the function of neurofibromin.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1; MIM# 162200) is a familial cancer syndrome that affects 1 in 3,500 individuals worldwide and is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors (MPNSTs) represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in NF1 and currently there is no treatment or definite prognostic biomarkers for these tumors. Telomere shortening has been documented in numerous tumor types. Short dysfunctional telomeres are capable of fusion and it is considered that the ensuing genomic instability may facilitate clonal evolution and the progression to malignancy. To evaluate the potential role of telomere dysfunction in NF1-associated tumors, we undertook a comparative analysis of telomere length in samples derived from 10 cutaneous and 10 diffused plexiform neurofibromas, and 19 MPNSTs. Telomere length was determined using high-resolution Single Telomere Length Analysis (STELA). The mean Xp/Yp telomere length detected in MPNSTs, at 3.282 kb, was significantly shorter than that observed in both plexiform neurofibromas (5.793 kb; [p = 0.0006]) and cutaneous neurofibromas (6.141 kb; [p = 0.0007]). The telomere length distributions of MPNSTs were within the length-ranges in which telomere fusion is detected and that confer a poor prognosis in other tumor types. These data indicate that telomere length may play a role in driving genomic instability and clonal progression in NF1-associated MPNSTs.
Project description:The tumor predisposition disorder neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) is one of the most common genetic disorders of the nervous system. It is caused by mutations in the Nf1 tumor-suppressor gene, which encodes a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) that negatively regulates p21-RAS. Development of malignant nerve tumors and neurofibromas occurs frequently in NF1. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms mediating the initiation and progression of these complex tumors, or the identity of the specific cell type that gives rise to dermal or cutaneous neurofibromas. In this study, we identify a population of stem/progenitor cells residing in the dermis termed skin-derived precursors (SKPs) that, through loss of Nf1, form neurofibromas. We propose that SKPs, or their derivatives, are the cell of origin of dermal neurofibroma. We also provide evidence that additional signals from nonneoplastic cells in the tumor microenvironment play essential roles in neurofibromagenesis.
Project description:PURPOSE:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is characterized by a highly variable clinical presentation, but almost all NF1-affected adults present with cutaneous and/or subcutaneous neurofibromas. Exceptions are individuals heterozygous for the NF1 in-frame deletion, c.2970_2972del (p.Met992del), associated with a mild phenotype without any externally visible tumors. METHODS:A total of 135 individuals from 103 unrelated families, all carrying the constitutional NF1 p.Met992del pathogenic variant and clinically assessed using the same standardized phenotypic checklist form, were included in this study. RESULTS:None of the individuals had externally visible plexiform or histopathologically confirmed cutaneous or subcutaneous neurofibromas. We did not identify any complications, such as symptomatic optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) or symptomatic spinal neurofibromas; however, 4.8% of individuals had nonoptic brain tumors, mostly low-grade and asymptomatic, and 38.8% had cognitive impairment/learning disabilities. In an individual with the NF1 constitutional c.2970_2972del and three astrocytomas, we provided proof that all were NF1-associated tumors given loss of heterozygosity at three intragenic NF1 microsatellite markers and c.2970_2972del. CONCLUSION:We demonstrate that individuals with the NF1 p.Met992del pathogenic variant have a mild NF1 phenotype lacking clinically suspected plexiform, cutaneous, or subcutaneous neurofibromas. However, learning difficulties are clearly part of the phenotypic presentation in these individuals and will require specialized care.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Patients with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) develop plexiform neurofibromas (PNF) and cutaneous neurofibromas. These tumors are a major cause of the patient's morbidity and mortality. An influence of estrogen and progesterone on tumor growth has been suggested but reports on growth or malignant transformation of tumors during pregnancy remain anecdotal. The purpose of this study was to quantify growth of cutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas in NF1 patients during pregnancy, and to assess the onset of NF1 related symptoms. MATERIAL AND METHODS:Retrospectively, 13 mothers with NF1 were included and compared to nullipara, nulligravida, age-matched women with NF1. All women received whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after pregnancy or after a matched time period. Presence of plexiform and cutaneous neurofibromas was evaluated. PNF were subjected to semi-automated volumetry (MedX). The sum of the longest diameters (SLD) of representative cutaneous neurofibromas was determined for both groups. Clinical symptoms and subjective tumor growth were assessed. RESULTS:PNF were identified in 12/26 women (46.2%). Follow up showed neither new PNF nor a significant difference in growth rate (median tumor-growth/year: pregnant group-0.38% (IQR -1.1-5.4%) vs control group 3.59% (IQR -2.1-5.5%; P = 0.69). Malignant transformation of PNF was not observed. There was a significant growth of cutaneous neurofibromas in both groups (median SLD increase: pregnant group 17mm; P = 0.0026 / control group 12mm; P = 0.0004) The difference in increase of SLD was not significant (P = 0.48). Singular cutaneous neurofibromas in the pregnant group displayed high levels of tumor growth (>20%/year). NF1-associated symptoms and subjective tumor growth were not significantly increased in pregnant patients. CONCLUSIONS:Growth of plexiform and cutaneous neurofibromas in pregnant patients is not significantly different compared to non-pregnant patients. Cutaneous neurofibromas show a significant increase in growth over time in both, pregnant and non-pregnant patients and NF1 related clinical symptoms do not significantly aggravate during the course of pregnancy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Neurofibromas are benign tumors of the peripheral nerves and hallmark of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a tumor suppressor gene syndrome. Neurofibromas mostly start developing at puberty and can increase in size and number during pregnancy. Expression of progesterone receptors has been found in 75% of the tumors. Many female NF1 patients are thus concerned about the possibility that hormonal contraceptives may stimulate the growth of their neurofibromas. METHODS: A survey was carried out on 59 female NF1 patients who are practicing or have practiced hormonal contraception to examine the effect of the various contraceptives on the growth of neurofibromas. RESULTS: Majority (53 out of 58) of patients who received oral estrogen-progestogen or pure progestogen preparations reported no associated tumor growth. In contrast, significant tumor growth was reported by two patients who received depot contraceptive containing high dose of synthetic progesterone. CONCLUSIONS: Oral contraceptives do not seem to stimulate the growth of neurofibromas in NF1 patients. High doses of progesterone might stimulate the growth of neurofibromas and deserve more caution.
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a complex neurocutaneous disorder with an increased susceptibility to develop both benign and malignant tumors but with a wide spectrum of inter and intrafamilial clinical variability. The establishment of genotype-phenotype associations in NF1 is potentially useful for targeted therapeutic intervention but has generally been unsuccessful, apart from small subsets of molecularly defined patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical phenotype associated with the specific types of NF1 mutation in a retrospectively recorded clinical dataset comprising 149 NF1 mutation-known individuals from unrelated families. Each patient was assessed for ten NF1-related clinical features, including the number of café-au-lait spots, cutaneous and subcutaneous neurofibromas and the presence/absence of intertriginous skin freckling, Lisch nodules, plexiform and spinal neurofibromas, optic gliomas, other neoplasms (in particular CNS gliomas, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, rhabdomyosarcoma, phaechromocytoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, juvenile xanthogranuloma, and lipoma) and evidence of learning difficulties. Gender and age at examination were also recorded. Patients were subcategorized according to their associated NF1 germ line mutations: frame shift deletions (52), splice-site mutations (23), nonsense mutations (36), missense mutations (32) and other types of mutation (6). A significant association was apparent between possession of a splice-site mutation and the presence of brain gliomas and MPNSTs (p?=?0.006). If confirmed, these findings are likely to be clinically important since up to a third of NF1 patients harbor splice-site mutations. A significant influence of gender was also observed on the number of subcutaneous neurofibromas (females, p?=?0.009) and preschool learning difficulties (females, p?=?0.022).
Project description:Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a common genetic disorder with a birth incidence of 1:2,000-3,000, is characterized by a highly variable clinical presentation. To date, only two clinically relevant intragenic genotype-phenotype correlations have been reported for NF1 missense mutations affecting p.Arg1809 and a single amino acid deletion p.Met922del. Both variants predispose to a distinct mild NF1 phenotype with neither externally visible cutaneous/plexiform neurofibromas nor other tumors. Here, we report 162 individuals (129 unrelated probands and 33 affected relatives) heterozygous for a constitutional missense mutation affecting one of five neighboring NF1 codons-Leu844, Cys845, Ala846, Leu847, and Gly848-located in the cysteine-serine-rich domain (CSRD). Collectively, these recurrent missense mutations affect ?0.8% of unrelated NF1 mutation-positive probands in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) cohort. Major superficial plexiform neurofibromas and symptomatic spinal neurofibromas were more prevalent in these individuals compared with classic NF1-affected cohorts (both p < 0.0001). Nearly half of the individuals had symptomatic or asymptomatic optic pathway gliomas and/or skeletal abnormalities. Additionally, variants in this region seem to confer a high predisposition to develop malignancies compared with the general NF1-affected population (p = 0.0061). Our results demonstrate that these NF1 missense mutations, although located outside the GAP-related domain, may be an important risk factor for a severe presentation. A genotype-phenotype correlation at the NF1 region 844-848 exists and will be valuable in the management and genetic counseling of a significant number of individuals.