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Cancer Res. 2003 Aug 1;63(15):4583-7.

Inactivation of BHD in sporadic renal tumors.

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Laboratory of Cancer Genetics, Van Andel Research Institute, 333 Bostwick Avenue N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA.


Studies of families with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD) have recently revealed protein-truncating mutations in the BHD gene, leading to tumorigenesis of the skin and of different cell types of kidney. To additionally evaluate the role of BHD in kidney tumorigenesis, we studied 39 sporadic renal tumors of different cell types: 7 renal oncocytomas, 9 chromophobe renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), 11 papillary RCCs, and 12 clear cell RCCs. We screened for BHD mutations and identified a novel somatic mutation in exon 13: c.1939_1966delinsT in a papillary RCC. We performed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis on 28 matched normal/tumor sets, of which 10 of 28 (36%) demonstrated LOH: 2 of 6 (33%) chromophobe RCCs, 5 of 6 (83%) papillary RCCs, 3 of 12 (25%) clear cell RCCs, but 0 of 4 renal oncocytomas. BHD promoter methylation status was examined by a methylation-specific PCR assay of all of the tumors. Methylation was detected in 11 of 39 (28%) sporadic renal tumors: 2 of 7 (29%) renal oncocytomas, 1 of 9 (11%) chromophobe RCCs, 4 of 11 (36%) papillary RCCs, and 4 of 12 (33%) clear cell RCCs. Five tumors with methylation also exhibited LOH. Mutation and methylation were absent in 9 kidney cancer cell lines. Our results showed that somatic BHD mutations are rare in sporadic renal tumors. The alternatives, LOH and BHD promoter methylation, are the two possible inactivating mechanisms involved. In conclusion, unlike other hereditary kidney cancer-related genes (i.e., VHL and MET), which are cell type-specific, BHD is involved in the entire spectrum of histological types of renal tumors, suggesting its major role in kidney cancer tumorigenesis.

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