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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2000 Oct;29(2):166-72.

Biallelic inactivating mutations and an occult germline mutation of PTEN in primary cervical carcinomas.

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Clinical Cancer Genetics and Human Cancer Genetics Programs, Comprehensive Cancer Center and Division of Human Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


A tumor suppressor gene on chromosome sub-band 10q23.3, PTEN, is frequently mutated or deleted in a variety of human cancers. Germline mutations in PTEN, that encodes a dual-specificity phosphatase, have been implicated in two hamartoma-tumor syndromes that exhibit some clinical overlap, Cowden syndrome and Bannayan-Zonana syndrome. Although cervical cancer is not a known component of these two syndromes, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of markers on chromosome arm 10q is frequently observed in cervical cancers. To determine the potential role that PTEN mutation may play in cervical tumorigenesis, we screened 20 primary cervical cancers for LOH of polymorphic markers within and flanking the PTEN gene, and for intragenic mutations in the entire coding region and exon-intron boundaries of the PTEN gene. LOH was observed in 7 of 19 (36.8%) cases. Further, one sample may have homozygous deletion. Three (15%) intragenic mutations were found: two were somatic missense mutations in exon 5, that encodes the phosphatase motif, and an occult germline intronic sequence variant in intron 7, that we show to be associated with aberrant splicing. All three samples with the mutations also had LOH of the wild-type allele. These data indicate that disruption of PTEN by allelic loss or mutation may contribute to tumorigenesis in cervical cancers. In cervical cancer, unlike some other human primary carcinomas, e.g., those of the breast and thyroid, biallelic structural PTEN defects seem necessary for carcinogenesis. Further, one in 20 unselected cervical carcinomas was found to have a germline PTEN mutation; it is unclear whether the patient with this mutation had Cowden disease or a related syndrome.

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