JOURNAL ARTICLE

Identification of HRAS mutations and absence of GNAQ or GNA11 mutations in deep penetrating nevi

Ryan P Bender, Matthew J McGinniss, Paula Esmay, Elsa F Velazquez, Julie Dr Reimann
Modern Pathology: An Official Journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2013, 26 (10): 1320-8
23599145
HRAS is mutated in ∼15% of Spitz nevi, and GNAQ or GNA11 is mutated in blue nevi (46-83% and ∼7% respectively). Epithelioid blue nevi and deep penetrating nevi show features of both blue nevi (intradermal location, pigmentation) and Spitz nevi (epithelioid morphology). Epithelioid blue nevi and deep penetrating nevi can also show overlapping features with melanoma, posing a diagnostic challenge. Although epithelioid blue nevi are considered blue nevic variants, no GNAQ or GNA11 mutations have been reported. Classification of deep penetrating nevi as blue nevic variants has also been proposed, however, no GNAQ or GNA11 mutations have been reported and none have been tested for HRAS mutations. To better characterize these tumors, we performed mutational analysis for GNAQ, GNA11, and HRAS, with blue nevi and Spitz nevi as controls. Within deep penetrating nevi, none demonstrated GNAQ or GNA11 mutations (0/38). However, 6% revealed HRAS mutation (2/32). Twenty percent of epithelioid blue nevi contained a GNAQ mutation (2/10), while none displayed GNA11 or HRAS mutation. Eighty-seven percent of blue nevi contained a GNAQ mutation (26/30), 4% a GNA11 mutation (1/28), and none an HRAS mutation. Within Spitz nevi, none demonstrated GNAQ or GNA11 mutations (0/30). Seventeen percent contained an HRAS mutation (5/30). All GNAQ and GNA11 mutations were p.Q209L (c.626A>T) point mutations, except 2 GNAQ mutations, which contained novel c.625_626CA>TT double mutations. Four HRAS mutations were in exon 2, and three in exon 3. This is the first study to identify HRAS mutations in deep penetrating nevi. The presence of HRAS mutations and absence of GNAQ or GNA11 mutations in deep penetrating nevi suggests classification of these unusual nevi within the Spitz nevus category of melanocytic tumors, rather than the blue nevus category.

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