Pheochromocytomas are catecholamine-secreting tumors that result from mutations of at least six different genes as components of distinct autosomal dominant disorders. However, there remain familial occurrences of pheochromocytoma without a known genetic defect. We describe here a familial pheochromocytoma syndrome consistent with digenic inheritance identified through a combination of global genomics strategies. Multipoint parametric linkage analysis revealed identical LOD scores of 2.97 for chromosome 2cen and 16p13 loci. A two-locus parametric linkage analysis produced maximum LOD score of 5.16 under a double recessive multiplicative model, suggesting that both loci are required to develop the disease. Allele-specific loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was detected only at the chromosome 2 locus in all tumors from this family, consistent with a tumor suppressor gene. Four additional pheochromocytomas with a similar genetic pattern were identified through transcription profiling and helped refine the chromosome 2 locus. High-density LOH mapping with single nucleotide polymorphism-based array identified a total of 18 of 62 pheochromocytomas with LOH within the chromosome 2 region, which further narrowed down the locus to <2 cM. This finding provides evidence for two novel susceptibility loci for pheochromocytoma and adds a recessive digenic trait to the increasingly broad genetic heterogeneity of these tumors. Similarly, complex traits may also be involved in other familial cancer syndromes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research