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Cancer Res. 2000 Dec 15;60(24):7048-51.

Sporadic and familial pheochromocytomas are associated with loss of at least two discrete intervals on chromosome 1p.

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  • 1Cancer Genetics, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia.


Pheochromocytomas are tumors of the adrenal medulla originating in the chromaffin cells derived from the neural crest. Ten % of these tumors are associated with the familial cancer syndromes multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2, von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL), and rarely, neurofibromatosis type 1, in which germ-line mutations have been identified in RET, VHL, and NF1, respectively. In both the sporadic and familial form of pheochromocytoma, allelic loss at 1p, 3p, 17p, and 22q has been reported, yet the molecular pathogenesis of these tumors is largely unknown. Allelic loss at chromosome 1p has also been reported in other endocrine tumors, such as medullary thyroid cancer and tumors of the parathyroid gland, as well as in tumors of neural crest origin including neuroblastoma and malignant melanoma. In this study, we performed fine structure mapping of deletions at chromosome 1p in familial and sporadic pheochromocytomas to identify discrete regions likely housing tumor suppressor genes involved in the development of these tumors. Ten microsatellite markers spanning a region of approximately 70 cM (1pter to 1p34.3) were used to screen 20 pheochromocytomas from 19 unrelated patients for loss of heterozygosity (LOH). LOH was detected at five or more loci in 8 of 13 (61%) sporadic samples and at five or more loci in four of five (80%) tumor samples from patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2. No LOH at 1p was detected in pheochromocytomas from two VHL patients. Analysis of the combined sporadic and familial tumor data suggested three possible regions of common somatic loss, designated as PC1 (D1S243 to D1S244), PC2 (D1S228 to D1S507), and PC3 (D1S507 toward the centromere). We propose that chromosome 1p may be the site of at least three putative tumor suppressor loci involved in the tumorigenesis of pheochromocytomas. At least one of these loci, PC2 spanning an interval of <3.8 cM, is likely to have a broader role in the development of endocrine malignancies.

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