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Am J Pathol. 2000 Oct;157(4):1091-5.

Mutations in exons 9 and 13 of KIT gene are rare events in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. A study of 200 cases.

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  • 1Department of Soft Tissue Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC, USA.

Abstract

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, typically express the KIT protein. Activating mutations in the juxtamembrane domain (exon 11) of the c-kit gene have been shown in a subset of GISTs. These mutations lead into ligand-independent activation of the tyrosine kinase of c-kit, and have a transforming effect in vitro. Several groups have studied the clinical implication of the c-kit mutation status of exon 11 in GISTs and a possible relationship between c-kit mutations and malignant behavior has been established. Recently, a 1530ins6 mutation in exon 9 and missense mutations, 1945A>G in exon 13 of the c-kit gene were reported. The frequency and clinical importance of these findings are unknown. In this study we evaluated 200 GISTs for the presence of mutations in exons 9 and 13 of c-kit. Six cases revealed 1530ins6 mutation in exon 9 and two cases 1945A>G mutation in exon 13. All tumors with mutations in exon 9 and 13 lacked mutations in exon 11 of c-kit. None of the analyzed tumors had more than one type of c-kit mutation. All but one of the eight tumors with mutations in exon 9 or 13 of the c-kit gene were histologically and clinically malignant. All four of six cases with exon 9 mutation of which location of primary tumor was known, were small intestinal, suggesting that this type of mutation could preferentially occur in small intestinal tumors. Exon 9 and 13 mutations seem to be rare, and they cover only a small portion (8%) of the balance of GISTs that do not have mutations in exon 11 of c-kit. This finding indicates that other genetic alterations may activate c-kit in GISTs, or that KIT is not activated by mutations in all cases.

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