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Am J Hum Genet. Aug 1996; 59(2): 400–406.
PMCID: PMC1914733

Allelic loss is frequent in tuberous sclerosis kidney lesions but rare in brain lesions.


Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by seizures, mental retardation, and hamartomatous lesions. Although hamartomas can occur in almost any organ, they are most common in the brain, kidney, heart, and skin. Allelic loss or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in TSC lesions has previously been reported on chromosomes 16p13 and 9q34, the locations of the TSC2 and TSC1 genes, respectively, suggesting that the TSC genes act as tumor-suppressor genes. In our study, 87 lesions from 47 TSC patients were analyzed for LOH in the TSC1 and TSC2 chromosomal regions. Three findings resulted from this analysis. First, we confirmed that the TSC1 critical region is distal to D9S149. Second, we found LOH more frequently on chromosome 16p13 than on 9q34. Of the 28 patients with angiomyolipomas or rhabdomyomas, 16p13 LOH was detected in lesions from 12 (57%) of 21 informative patients, while 9q34 LOH was detected in lesions from only 1 patient (4%). This could indicate that TSC2 tumors are more likely than TSC1 tumors to require surgical resection or that TSC2 is more common than TSC1 in our patient population. It is also possible that small regions of 9q34 LOH were missed. Lastly, LOH was found in 56% of renal angiomyolipomas and cardiac rhabdomyormas but in only 4% of TSC brain lesions. This suggests that brain lesions can result from different pathogenic mechanisms than kidney and heart lesions.

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