Oncogenic GNAQ and GNA11 mutations in uveal melanoma in Chinese

Xiaolin Xu, Wen Bin Wei, Bin Li, Fei Gao, Zhibao Zhang, Jost B Jonas
PloS One 2014, 9 (10): e109699

PURPOSE: To examine whether GNAQ and GNA11 somatic mutations previously identified in uveal melanomas of Caucasians are associated with uveal melanomas in Chinese patients.

METHODS: Uveal melanomas treated by primary enucleation in Chinese patients underwent a mutation analysis of GNAQ and GNA11 with sequencing of exon 5 and exon 4.

RESULTS: The study included 50 patients with uveal melanoma and with a mean age of 47.6±13.0 years. During the follow-up of at least 3 years, 20 (40%) patients developed extraocular metastases. The frequencies of GNAQ and GNA11 somatic mutations in uveal melanoma were 18% (9/50) and 20% (10/50), respectively. The mutations occurred exclusively in codon 209 of exon 5. No mutations were detected in exon 4. Mutations affecting codon 209 in GNAQ were c.626A>C(Q209P) (78%) and c.626A>T(Q209L) (22%). Mutations affecting codon 209 in GNA11 were exclusively c.626A>T(Q209L) (100%). In none of the tumors, mutations of BRAF and NRAS were detected. GNAQ/11 mutations were marginally (P = 0.045) associated with optic disc involvement. In Kaplan-Meier analysis, metastasis-free survival was not significantly (P = 0.94) associated with GNAQ/11 mutations.

CONCLUSIONS: Mutations of GNAQ and GNA11 can be found in Chinese patients as in Caucasian patients with uveal melanoma, with a higher frequency reported for Caucasian patients.

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