Background Postzygotic activating PIK3CA variants cause several phenotypes within the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS). Variant strength, mosaicism level, specific tissue involvement and overlapping disorders are responsible for disease heterogeneity. We explored these factors in 150 novel patients and in an expanded cohort of 1007 PIK3CA-mutated patients, analysing our new data with previous literature to give a comprehensive picture.
Methods We performed ultradeep targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) on DNA from skin biopsy, buccal swab or blood using a panel including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway genes and GNAQ, GNA11, RASA1 and TEK. Additionally, 914 patients previously reported were systematically reviewed.
Results 93 of our 150 patients had PIK3CA pathogenetic variants. The merged PROS cohort showed that PIK3CA variants span thorough all gene domains, some were exclusively associated with specific PROS phenotypes: weakly activating variants were associated with central nervous system (CNS) involvement, and strongly activating variants with extra-CNS phenotypes. Among the 57 with a wild-type PIK3CA allele, 11 patients with overgrowth and vascular malformations overlapping PROS had variants in GNAQ, GNA11, RASA1 or TEK.
Conclusion We confirm that (1) molecular diagnostic yield increases when multiple tissues are tested and by enriching NGS panels with genes of overlapping ‘vascular’ phenotypes; (2) strongly activating PIK3CA variants are found in affected tissue, rarely in blood: conversely, weakly activating mutations more common in blood; (3) weakly activating variants correlate with CNS involvement, strong variants are more common in cases without; (4) patients with vascular malformations overlapping those of PROS can harbour variants in genes other than PIK3CA.
- genetic testing
- molecular medicine
- sequence analysis, DNA
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. not applicable.
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Contributors Conceptualisation: NR, AM, CL. Data curation: NR, AM, CL, DC, CR. Formal analysis: NR, AM, CL, DC. Methodology: NR, AM, CL, MI, DC, CR, AP, PSB, RB, GBF, AB, DM, SM, DL, AT, MP, ADL, FCS, NB, CF, AS, GZ, GC, LG, CN, LM, CM, MDM, MA, MC, AC, MCDG, VS, AMS, PL, RT, VD. Investigation: NR, AM, CL, MI, DC, CR, AP, PSB, RB, GBF, AB, DM, SM, DL, AT, MP, ADL, FCS, NB, CF, AS, GZ, GC, LG, CN, LM, CM, MDM, MA, MC, AC, MCDG, VS, AMS, PL, RT, VD. Resources: NR, AM, MI, DC, CR, AP, PSB, RB, GBF, AB, CP, RO, DM, SM, DL, AT, MP, ADL, FCS, NB, CF, AS, GZ, GC, LG, CN, LM, CM, MDM, MA, MC, AC, MCDG, VS, AMS, PL, RT, VD. Validation: NR, AM, CL, DC, ADI. Visualisation: NR, AM, MI, AP, DC. Supervision NR. Writing—original draft: NR, AM, DC. Writing—review and editing: NR, AM, CL, DC, ADI. Guarantor: NR.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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