Mutations affecting mRNA splicing are the most common molecular defects in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is one of the most common inherited disorders in humans and is caused by mutations in the NF1 gene. To date, the majority of the reported NF1 mutations are predicted to result in protein truncation, but very few studies have correlated the causative NF1 mutation with its effect at the mRNA level. We have applied a whole NF1 cDNA screening methodology to the study of 80 unrelated NF1 patients and have identified 44 different mutations, 32 being novel, in 52 of these patients. Mutations were detected in 87% of the familial cases, but in 51% of the sporadic ones. At least 15 of the 80 NF1 patients (19%) had recurrent mutations. The study shows that in 50% of the patients in whom the mutations were identified, these resulted in splicing alterations. Most of the splicing mutations did not involve the conserved AG/GT dinucleotides of the splice sites. One frameshift, two nonsense and two missense mutations were also responsible for alterations in mRNA splicing. The location and type of mutation within the NF1 gene, and its putative effect at the protein level, do not indicate any relationship to any specific clinical feature of NF1. The high proportion of aberrant spliced transcripts detected in NF1 patients stresses the importance of studying mutations at both the genomic and RNA level. It is possible that part of the clinical variability in NF1 could be due to mutations affecting mRNA splicing, which is the most common molecular defect in NF1. (+info
NF1 deletions in S-100 protein-positive and negative cells of sporadic and neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1)-associated plexiform neurofibromas and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.
Although plexiform neurofibroma (PN) is thought to represent a benign neoplasm with the potential for malignant transformation (malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor; MPNST), its neoplastic nature has been difficult to prove due to cellular heterogeneity, which hampers standard molecular genetic analysis. Its mixed composition typically includes Schwann cells, fibroblasts, perineurial-like cells, and mast cells. Although NF1 loss of heterozygosity has been reported in subsets of PNs, it remains uncertain which cell type(s) harbor these alterations. Using a dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry technique, we studied NF1 gene status in S-100 protein-positive and -negative cell subpopulations in archival paraffin-embedded specimens from seven PNs, two atypical PNs, one cellular/atypical PN, and eight MPNSTs derived from 13 patients, seven of which had neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). NF1 loss was detected in four of seven PNs and one atypical PN, with deletions entirely restricted to S-100 protein-immunoreactive Schwann cells. In contrast, all eight MPNSTs harbored NF1 deletions, regardless of S-100 protein expression or NF1 clinical status. Our results suggest that the Schwann cell is the primary neoplastic component in PNs and that S-100 protein-negative cells in MPNST represent dedifferentiated Schwann cells, which harbor NF1 deletions in both NF1-associated and sporadic tumors. (+info
Malignant schwannoma of the sciatic nerve originating in a spinal plexiform neurofibroma associated with neurofibromatosis type 1--case report.
A 26-year-old man with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) presented with a giant malignant schwannoma of the sciatic nerve. The differential diagnosis of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) was based on clinical, radiological, and histological evidence. The tumor apparently originated in a spinal plexiform neurofibroma. The lesion was resected totally without neural damage to the sciatic nerve. However, the tumor recurred within 2 months. The patient died of unknown factors probably associated with the spinal involvement. MPNST associated with NF1 has a poor prognosis due to recurrence or metastasis despite complete macroscopic removal. (+info
Orbit deformities in craniofacial neurofibromatosis type 1.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The possible relationship of orbit deformities in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) to plexiform neurofibromas (PNFs) have not been fully elucidated. Our purpose was to review orbital changes in patients with craniofacial NF1. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed CT and MR imaging abnormalities of the orbit in 31 patients (18 male, 13 female; mean age, 14 years; age range 1-40 years) with craniofacial NF1. RESULTS: Orbital abnormalities were documented in 24 patients. Six had optic nerve gliomas with enlarged optic canals. Twenty had PNFs in the orbit or contiguous to the anterior skull. The posterior orbit was distorted by encroachment from an expanded middle cranial fossa in 13 patients, and 18 had enlargement of the orbital rim. Other changes included focal decalcification or remodeling of orbital walls adjacent to PNFs in 18 patients and enlargement of cranial foramina resulting from tumor infiltration of sensory nerves in 16. These orbital deformities were sometimes progressive and always associated with orbital infiltration by PNFs. CONCLUSION: In our patients with craniofacial neurofibromatosis, bony orbital deformity occurred frequently and always with an optic nerve glioma or orbital PNF. PNFs were associated with orbital-bone changes in four patterns: expansion of the middle cranial fossa into the posterior orbit, enlargement of the orbital rim, bone erosion and decalcification by contiguous tumor, and enlargement of the cranial foramina. Orbital changes support the concept of secondary dysplasia, in which interaction of PNFs with the developing skull is a major component of the multifaceted craniofacial changes possible with NF1. (+info
Clinics in diagnostic imaging (96). Plexiform neurofibromatosis.
A 10-year-old boy presented with a mass on the left side of his face for many years, left ear deafness, and limited vision in the left eye. Enhanced CT of the face and neck showed a multilobulated low attenuation mass in the left parotid space, with nodularity and involvement of branches of the left facial nerve. There was a mass in the left orbital apex that extended into the left cavernous sinus, exopthalmos of the left eye, and erosion of the medial portion of the greater wing of the left sphenoid. Partial removal of the mass in the left parotid space was performed. Histopathological examination revealed plexiform neurofibromas. CT and MR imaging findings in neurofibromatosis type 1 patients with craniofacial abnormalities are discussed. (+info
Plexiform neurofibroma of the cheek mucosa. A case report.
The case reported deals with a solitary plexiform neurofibroma affecting the cheek submucosa. Neurofibroma is an uncommon tumor which rarely appears in oral cavity but it represents the most common neurogenic tumor. Furthermore, plexiform variety is less frequent. Clinically, oral neurofibromas usually appears as anodyne and asintomatic lesions. Sometimes, they produce nervous compression. In this case, tumor is big but asintomatic. There is no definitive radiologic image. It has association with polyglandular syndromes and phacomatosis. The treatment of choice is excision. There are doubts of the surgical results so that some authors are looking for new non-surgical treatments. The clinical characteristics, epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment are described as soon as a bibliographic revision. (+info
Molecular profiles of neurofibromatosis type 1-associated plexiform neurofibromas: identification of a gene expression signature of poor prognosis.
PURPOSE: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder with a complex variety of clinical symptoms. The hallmark of NF1 is the development of heterogeneous benign neurofibromas, which may appear as dermal neurofibromas or plexiform neurofibromas. NF1 patients with plexiform neurofibromas are at risk of developing malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To obtain additional insight into the molecular pathogenesis of plexiform neurofibromas, we used real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assays to quantify the mRNA expression of 349 selected genes in plexiform neurofibromas in comparison with dermal neurofibromas and patient-matched malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. RESULTS: Thirty genes were significantly up-regulated in plexiform neurofibromas compared with dermal neurofibromas. None were down-regulated. The up-regulated genes mainly encoded transcription factors and growth factors and secreted proteins, cytokines, and their receptors, pointing to a role of paracrine and autocrine signaling defects in the genesis of plexiform neurofibromas. We also identified a gene expression profile, based on MMP9, FLT4/VEGFR3, TNFRSF10B/TRAILR2, SHH, and GLI1, which discriminated those plexiform neurofibromas most likely to undergo malignant transformation. CONCLUSION: Our study has identified a limited number of signaling pathways that could be involved, when altered, in plexiform neurofibroma development. Some of the up-regulated genes could be useful diagnostic or prognostic markers or form the basis of novel therapeutic strategies. (+info
Molecular profiling of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors associated with neurofibromatosis type 1, based on large-scale real-time RT-PCR.
BACKGROUND: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder with a complex range of clinical symptoms. The hallmark of NF1 is the onset of heterogeneous (dermal or plexiform) benign neurofibromas. Plexiform neurofibromas can give rise to malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), and the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. RESULTS: To obtain further insight into the molecular pathogenesis of MPNSTs, we used real-time quantitative RT-PCR to quantify the mRNA expression of 489 selected genes in MPNSTs, in comparison with plexiform neurofibromas. The expression of 28 (5.7%) of the 489 genes was significantly different between MPNSTs and plexiform neurofibromas; 16 genes were upregulated and 12 were downregulated in MPNSTs. The altered genes were mainly involved in cell proliferation (MKI67, TOP2A, CCNE2), senescence (TERT, TERC), apoptosis (BIRC5/Survivin, TP73) and extracellular matrix remodeling (MMP13, MMP9, TIMP4, ITGB4). More interestingly, other genes were involved in the Ras signaling pathway (RASSF2, HMMR/RHAMM) and the Hedgehog-Gli signaling pathway (DHH, PTCH2). Several of the down-regulated genes were Schwann cell-specific (L1CAM, MPZ, S100B, SOX10, ERBB3) or mast cell-specific (CMA1, TPSB), pointing to a depletion and/or dedifferentiation of Schwann cells and mast cells during malignant transformation of plexiform neurofibromas. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that a limited number of signaling pathways, and particularly the Hedgehog-Gli signaling pathway, may be involved in malignant transformation of plexiform neurofibromas. Some of the relevant genes or their products warrant further investigation as potential therapeutic targets in NF1. (+info