Germline mutations in TMEM127 confer susceptibility to pheochromocytoma

Yuejuan Qin, Li Yao, Elizabeth E. King, Kalyan Buddavarapu, Romina E. Lenci, E. Sandra Chocron, James D. Lechleiter, Meghan Sass, Neil Aronin, Francesca Schiavi, Francesca Boaretto, Giuseppe Opocher, Rodrigo A. Toledo, Sergio P.A. Toledo, Charles Stiles, Ricardo C.T. Aguiar, Patricia L.M. Dahia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pheochromocytomas, which are catecholamine-secreting tumors of neural crest origin, are frequently hereditary. However, the molecular basis of the majority of these tumors is unknown. We identified the transmembrane-encoding gene TMEM127 on chromosome 2q11 as a new pheochromocytoma susceptibility gene. In a cohort of 103 samples, we detected truncating germline TMEM127 mutations in approximately 30% of familial tumors and about 3% of sporadic-appearing pheochromocytomas without a known genetic cause. The wild-type allele was consistently deleted in tumor DNA, suggesting a classic mechanism of tumor suppressor gene inactivation. Pheochromocytomas with mutations in TMEM127 are transcriptionally related to tumors bearing NF1 mutations and, similarly, show hyperphosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) effector proteins. Accordingly, in vitro gain-of-function and loss-of-function analyses indicate that TMEM127 is a negative regulator of mTOR. TMEM127 dynamically associates with the endomembrane system and colocalizes with perinuclear (activated) mTOR, suggesting a subcompartmental-specific effect. Our studies identify TMEM127 as a tumor suppressor gene and validate the power of hereditary tumors to elucidate cancer pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalNature Genetics
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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