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Oncogene. 1997 Jun 26;14(25):3103-6.

Novel germline RET proto-oncogene mutations associated with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC): mutation analysis in Japanese patients with MTC.

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Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Germ-like and somatic mutations in the RET proto-oncogene are associated with inherited and sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The majority of patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN2A) and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC) carry germ-line point mutations that result in the substitution of one of five cysteine residues. We investigated exons 10, 11, 13, 14 and 16 of the RET proto-oncogene in 33 unrelated Japanese patients with MTC. Eleven of the 33 cases (33%) were found to have germ-line mutations. Three previously unreported mutations in exon 10 and 11 were identified: one in codon 620, (TGC-->GGC), resulting in a cysteine to glycine substitution, and two in codon 630, (TGC-->TCC) and (TGC-->TAC), resulting in cysteine to serine and cysteine to tyrosine changes, respectively. The new mutations were present in the germ-line DNA of four unrelated patients for whom a family history of MTC had not been documented. Because the new RET alleles described here involve cysteine residues in a region of protein previously associated with FMTC and MEN2A, it is very likely that they represent mutations that predispose to the development of MTC.

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