Evidence for the involvement of proximal chromosome 3P loci in the progression of Von Hippel-Lindau related tumors

Steven Trent Lott, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by the development of retinal and central nervous system hemangioblastoma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), pheochromocytoma and pancreatic islet cell tumors (PICT). The VHL gene maps to chromosome 3p25 and has been shown to be mutated in 57% of sporadic cases of RCC, implicating VHL in the genesis of RCC. We report a multigeneration VHL kindred in which four affected female siblings developed PICT at early ages. Analysis of the three coding exons of the VHL gene in this family revealed a single, missense mutation in codon 238. Inheritance of the 238 mutation has been reported to correlate with a 62% risk of pheochromocytoma development. In this kindred, all affected individuals carried the mutation as well as one additional sibling who showed no evidence of disease. Clinical screening of this individual indicated small ($<$1 cm) pancreatic and kidney tumors. Results suggest that inheritance of the codon 238 mutation does not correlate with early onset pheochromocytoma. Rather, the only individual in the pedigree with pheochromocytoma was the proband's mother who developed bilateral pheochromocytoma at the age of 62. Thus, the VHL codon 238 mutation may predispose to late onset pheochromocytoma in this family; however, it does not explain the preponderance of PICT in the third generation since this mutation has not been reported to increase the risk of developing pancreatic lesions. This suggests that inheritance of the codon 238 mutation and subsequent somatic inactivation of the wild type allele of the VHL gene may not be sufficient to explain the initiation and subsequent progression to malignancy in VHL-associated neoplasms. Since the two tumor types that most frequently progress to malignancy are RCC and PICT, we asked whether loss of heterozygosity (LOH) could be detected proximal to the VHL gene on chromosome 3 in distinct regions of 3p previously implicated by LOH and cytogenetic studies to contain tumor suppressor loci for RCC. LOH was performed on high molecular weight DNA isolated from peripheral blood and frozen tumor tissue of family members using microsatellite markers spanning 3p. Results indicated LOH for all informative 3p loci in tumor tissue from affected individuals with PICT. LOH was detected along the entire length of the chromosome arm and included the proximal region of 3p13-14.2 implicated in the hereditary form of renal cell carcinoma. If 3p LOH were a critical event in pancreatic islet cell tumorigenesis, then it should be expected that LOH in sporadic islet cell tumors would also be observed. We expanded LOH studies to include sporadic cases of PICT. Consistent LOH was observed on 3p with a highest frequency LOH in the region 3p21.2. This is the first evidence for an association between chromosome 3 loci and pancreatic islet cell tumorigenesis. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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Recommended Citation

Lott, Steven Trent, "Evidence for the involvement of proximal chromosome 3P loci in the progression of Von Hippel-Lindau related tumors" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732771.