Familial renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is genetically heterogeneous. Genetic predisposition to clear cell RCC (CCRCC) is a major feature of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease (MIM 193300) and has rarely been associated with chromosome 3 translocations. In addition, familial papillary (non-clear cell) RCC may result from germline mutations in the METproto-oncogene (MIM 164860). However, rare kindreds with familial CCRCC (FCRC) not linked to the VHLtumour suppressor gene have been described suggesting that further familial RCC susceptibility genes exist. To investigate the genetic epidemiology of FCRC, we undertook a clinical and molecular study of FCRC in nine kindreds with two or more cases of CCRCC in first degree relatives. FCRC was characterised by an earlier age at onset (mean 47.1 years, 52% of cases <50 years of age) than sporadic cases. These findings differ from the only previous report of two FCRC kindreds and have important implications for renal surveillance in FCRC. The molecular basis of CCRCC susceptibility was investigated in nine FCRC kindreds and seven isolated cases with features of possible genetic susceptibility to CCRCC (four bilateral CCRCC aged <50 years and three with unilateral CCRCC aged <30 years). No germline mutations were detected in the VHL orMET genes, suggesting that FCRC is not allelic with VHL disease or HPRC. As binding of theVHL gene product to the CUL2 protein is important for pVHL function, we then searched for germlineCUL2 mutations. Although CUL2 polymorphisms were identified, no pathogenic mutations were detected. These findings further define the clinical features of FCRC and exclude a major role for mutations inVHL,MET, orCUL2 in this disorder.
- familial clear cell renal carcinoma
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