Novel germline mutations in FLCN gene identified in two Chinese patients with Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome.
ABSTRACT: 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-Dubé syndrome (BHD) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder characterised by fibrofolliculomas, renal tumours, pulmonary cysts and pneumothorax. The pulmonary cysts and repeated episodes of pneumothorax are the clinical hallmarks for discovering families affected by the syndrome. This disorder is caused by mutations in the gene coding for folliculin (FLCN). FLCN forms a complex with FLCN-interacting protein 1 (FNIP1) and FNIP2 (also known as FNIPL), and the complex cross-talks with signalling molecules such as 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Heterozygous Flcn knockout mice and rats with Flcn gene mutations develop renal cysts, adenomas and/or carcinomas. These findings suggest that FLCN functions as a tumour suppressor that inhibits renal carcinogenesis. However, the mechanisms of the formation of pulmonary cysts and pneumothorax associated with heterozygous mutations in FLCN are poorly understood. Resected lung specimens from patients with BHD are often misdiagnosed by pathologists as non-specific blebs or bullae or emphysema, and patients with BHD who have pulmonary cysts and repeated pneumothorax frequently do not receive appropriate medical investigations. This review discusses the clinical and pathological features of lungs of patients with BHD, focusing on the diagnostic pathology and possible mechanisms of cyst formation.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is a cancer disorder caused by a pathogenic FLCN mutation characterized by fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts, pneumothorax, benign renal cyst, and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In this case we describe a patient with bilateral renal tumour and a positive familial history for pneumothorax and renal cancer. Based on this clinical presentation, the patient was suspected for BHD syndrome, which was confirmed after molecular testing. We discuss the importance of recognizing this autosomal dominant cancer disorder when a patient is presented at the urologist with a positive family history of chromophobe renal cell cancer or a positive familial history for renal cell cancer and pneumothorax.
Project description:The Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is a very rare autosomal dominant form of genodermatosis caused by germline mutations in the folliculin (FLCN) gene, which is mapped to the p11.2 region in chromosome 17. BHD commonly presents cutaneous fibrofolliculomas, pulmonary cysts, renal cell carcinoma, and recurrent pneumothoraxes. The disease is easily ignored or misdiagnosed as pneumothorax, pulmonary lymphangiomyomatosis (LAM), or emphysema. Follow-up and guidelines for managing recurrent pneumothoraxes in these patients are lacking.We reported the case of a 56-year-old Chinese woman who presented skin lesions, multiple lung bubblae, recurrent pneumothoraxes, thyroid nodules, and pulmonary inflammatory pseudotumors (PITs). The patient had a family history of pneumothoraxes and renal tumor. The BHD diagnosis was confirmed by genetic testing, which revealed a novel FLCN mutation in exon 14. Furthermore, the patient underwent a bullectomy because of recurrent pneumothorax 6 years ago.To our knowledge, the novel mutation in exon 14 and the manifestation of PIT in the present case have never been reported for BHD. The patient underwent a bullectomy previously with no relapse at the last follow-up before the preparation of this report, thereby suggesting that thoracotomy with bullectomy may be a possible therapeutic approach for some BHD patients with recurrent pneumothorax.
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:Familial spontaneous pneumothorax (FSP) is an inherited disease, and Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is its leading cause. BHD syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by pulmonary cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, renal cancer, and skin fibrofolliculomas. It is caused by germline mutations in the FLCN gene. Thus far a variety of mutations have been reported; however, the unique characteristics of BHD syndrome-related FSP are still unclear. METHOD:We reviewed the family history of a large Chinese family that presented with FSP. Genetic testing of the FLCN gene was performed and the special clinical characteristics of BHD syndrome-related FSP were discussed. RESULTS:This family comprised 5 generations and 76 members. Six of these had experienced pneumothorax episodes and 35 members had undergone genetic analysis of the FLCN gene, except for one member who had pneumothorax. Among the 35 members, 17 had the mutation in the FLCN gene. All five members with pneumothorax had the mutation. Frequency of pneumothorax in the mutation members was 29.4% (5/17). Clinical characteristics of the BHD syndrome-related pneumothorax differed from those of primary spontaneous pneumothorax, which typically affects tall, thin young men, and the recurrence rate of BHD syndrome-related pneumothorax after observation, needle aspiration or tube drainage was higher than that of primary spontaneous pneumothorax, and higher than that observed after VATS bullectomy and mechanical pleurodesis. CONCLUSIONS:We reported the largest single family that presented with FSP from China. The clinical and genetic characteristics of the BHD syndrome-related pneumothorax differ from those of primary 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: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:BACKGROUND/AIMS:Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is a rare autosomal dominant disorder that is characterized by skin fibrofolliculomas, pulmonary cysts, and renal tumors. The objective of this study was to describe the features of Korean patients with BHD syndrome. METHODS:Clinical data were retrospectively reviewed in 12 patients (10 confirmed by direct sequencing of the folliculin (FLCN) gene and two confirmed by clinical diagnosis) diagnosed from 2004 to 2016 at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea. Criteria proposed by the European BHD consortium were used for diagnosis. RESULTS:The median follow-up was 52 months. The mean age was 41.3 years and 66.7% were female. Eight patients (66.7%) had a history of pneumothorax, which was recurrent in 75%. Skin lesions were detected in 25.0% and renal cancer in 25.0%. Among mutations of the FLCN gene, the duplication of cytosine in the C8 tract of exon 11 (c.1285dupC) was the most common (40%); however, a novel heterozygous sequence variant of c.31T>C (p.C11R) in exon 4 was detected in one patient. All patients had multiple and bilateral pulmonary cysts, distributed in predominantly lower, peripheral and subpleural regions of the lungs. Most patients showed preserved lung function that remained unchanged during follow-up, and two (16.7%) developed cancers (renal cancer in one and breast cancer in one). CONCLUSION:Our data suggest that Korean patients with BHD syndrome may have a higher risk of pneumothorax, less frequent skin lesions, and a novel FLCN mutation compared to previous reports. Multiple bilateral and basal-predominant cysts were the most common radiologic features.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD) is an autosomal dominant disorder, the main manifestations of which are fibrofolliculomas, renal tumors, pulmonary cysts and recurrent pneumothorax. The known causative gene for BHD syndrome is the folliculin (FLCN) gene on chromosome 17p11.2. Studies of the FLCN mutation for BHD syndrome are less prevalent in Chinese populations than in Caucasian populations. Our study aims to investigate the genotype spectrum in a group of Chinese patients with BHD.We enrolled 51 patients with symptoms highly suggestive of BHD from January 2014 to February 2017. The FLCN gene was examined using PCR and Sanger sequencing in every patient, for those whose Sanger sequencing showed negative mutation results, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) testing was conducted to detect any losses of large segments.Among the 51 patients, 27 had FLCN germline mutations. In total, 20 mutations were identified: 14 were novel mutations, including 3 splice acceptor site mutations, 2 different deletions, 6 nonsense mutations, 1 missense mutation, 1 small insertion, and 1 deletion of the whole exon 8.We found a similar genotype spectrum but different mutant loci in Chinese patients with BHD compared with European and American patients, thus providing stronger evidence for the clinical molecular diagnosis of BHD in China. It suggests that mutation analysis of the FLCN gene should be systematically conducted in patients with cystic lung diseases.
Project description:Birt-Hogg-Dubè (BHD) is an autosomal dominant syndrome characterised by skin fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax and renal cancer. The association of benign cutaneous lesions and increased cancer risk is also a feature of Cowden Syndrome (CS), an autosomal dominant disease caused by PTEN mutations. BHD and CS patients may develop oncocytomas, rare neoplasias that are phenotypically characterised by a prominent mitochondrial hyperplasia. We here describe the genetic analysis of a parotid and a thyroid oncocytoma, developed by a BHD and a CS patient, respectively. The BHD lesion was shown to maintain the wild-type allele of FLCN, while losing one PTEN allele. On the other hand, a double heterozygosity for the same two genes was found to be the only detectable tumorigenic hit in the CS oncocytoma. Both conditions occurred in a context of high chromosomal stability, as highlighted by comparative genomic hybridisation analysis. We conclude that, similarly to PTEN, FLCN may not always follow the classical Two Hits model of tumorigenesis and may hence belong to a class of non-canonical tumour suppressor genes. We hence introduce a role of PTEN/FLCN double heterozygosity in syndromic oncocytic tumorigenesis, suggesting this to be an alternative determinant to pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations, which are instead the genetic hallmark of sporadic oncocytic tumours.