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Br J Dermatol. 2005 Jul;153(1):11-7.

Fumarate hydratase mutations and predisposition to cutaneous leiomyomas, uterine leiomyomas and renal cancer.

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Molecular and Population Genetics Laboratory, Cancer Research UK, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK.


Germline heterozygous loss-of-function mutations of fumarate hydratase (FH) predispose to the autosomal dominant syndrome of multiple cutaneous and uterine leiomyomatosis (MCUL). Forty-five distinct FH mutations have been identified in 76 of 89 (85%) reported probands with skin leiomyomas. This suggests that MCUL is a genetically homogeneous condition and that most patients presenting with skin leiomyomas will have underlying FH mutations. FH mutations identified include 26/45 (58%) missense; 12/45 (27%) frameshift, 4/45 (9%) nonsense changes and 3/45 (7%) different whole gene deletions. In MCUL kindreds, the majority of females with FH mutations have both skin and uterine leiomyomas. A proportion of individuals with FH mutations have associated renal cancer, a variant known as hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC). If selection bias is removed, the prevalence of renal cancer in MCUL lies between one of 46 (2%) families who were not radiologically screened, and two of 32 (6%) families who were radiologically screened. Truncating, particularly frameshift, mutations appear to be significantly associated with renal cancer (P = 0.003), suggesting a possible basis for selective screening. There may also be a significantly increased rate of renal cancer in females (P = 0.004), suggesting a possible role for hormonal factors. Review of the literature suggests that, unlike most individuals presenting with skin leiomyomas, the majority of patients presenting with uterine leiomyomas or renal cancer will not have underlying FH mutations.

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