Mutations of the RET proto-oncogene in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (Sipple's syndrome)

S Oishi, T Sato, S Takiguchi-Shirahama, Y Nakamura
Endocrine Journal 1995, 42 (4): 527-36
Genetic linkage analyses have traced the loci for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) to an interval on chromosome 10q11.2. This region encompasses the RET proto-oncogene, a receptor tyrosine kinase gene expressed in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and pheochromocytoma. By means of genomic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and DNA sequencing, we have analysed 19 individuals from two Japanese MEN 2A families for mutations of the RET proto-oncogene in exons 10 and 11. We conducted single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of the RET proto-oncogene amplified from affected and unaffected family members. The DNA alterations in the RET proto-oncogene caused substitution of a cysteine for a serine at codon 620 in the exon 10 in three patients in one MEN 2A family, 1, and of a cysteine for a tyrosine at codon 634 in the exon 11 in six patients in the MEN 2A family, 2. We could find two asymptomatic MEN2A gene carriers who had no symptoms or signs of MEN 2A by DNA analysis of the RET proto-oncogene. No mutations in these exons were detected in any unaffected normal members of MEN 2A. A DNA alteration in the RET proto-oncogene coding sequence in exon 10 caused a shift on SSCP gels that was characteristic of the disease chromosome in the MEN 2A family, present only in affected members of the family. The DNA change could also be detected by restriction enzyme digestion with RsaI in family 2. Two MEN 2A patients with a cysteine for a tyrosine substitution at codon 634 in the exon 11 had parathyroid hyperplasia. We conclude that the identification of a DNA alteration in the MEN2A gene will permit predictive molecular testing of individuals at risk in these MEN 2A families and the PCR-restriction enzyme system will be useful for genetic diagnosis of members of these MEN 2A families. This information, by providing diagnostic certainty, should improve medical care for affected family members.

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