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J Pathol. 2010 Jun;221(2):147-52. doi: 10.1002/path.2688.

Mutational analysis of FOXL2 codon 134 in granulosa cell tumour of ovary and other human cancers.

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Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


A missense somatic mutation in the FOXL2 gene affecting codon 134 has recently been reported in granulosa cell tumour (GCT) and thecoma of the ovary. Such a recurrent nature of the mutation strongly suggests that the FOXL2 mutation may play an important role in the development of ovarian sex cord-stromal tumours. The aim of this study was to characterize the FOXL2 mutation in human tumour tissues. We analysed 1353 tumour tissues from various origins, including ovarian tumours and other common cancers, by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis. We found the FOXL2 codon 134 missense mutation in 53 of 56 adult GCTs (94.6%) and two of the 16 thecomas (12.5%), but none in other tumours. Histologically, FOXL2 mutation-negative adult GCT showed that GCT cells were admixed with fibrothecomatous cells, and FOXL2 mutation-positive thecomas showed that luteinized theca cells were predominant. However, immunostaining of either inhibin alpha or FOXL2 did not differentiate the FOXL2 mutation status of adult GCTs and thecomas. There was no FOXL1 mutation and no common oncogenic mutation in the adult GCTs and thecomas. Our data indicate that the FOXL2 codon 134 mutation occurs exclusively in GCT and thecoma, and suggest the possibility that the development of most GCTs and a fraction of thecomas may be dependent on this mutation. Our data also suggest that the FOXL2 mutation status, as well as some histological features, may be important in the diagnosis of ovarian sex cord-stromal tumours.

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