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Short report
POT1 and multiple primary melanomas: the dermatological phenotype


POT1 is the second most frequently reported gene (after CDKN2A) in familial melanoma. Pathogenic variants are associated with earlier onset and/or multiple primary melanomas (MPMs). To date, POT1 phenotypical reports have been largely restricted to associated malignancies, and description of the dermatological landscape has been limited. We identified 10 variants in n=18 of 384 (4.7%) unrelated individuals (n=13 MPMs; n=5 single primary melanomas) of European ancestry. Five variants were rare (minor allele frequency <0.001) or novel (two loss-of-function (LOF), one splice acceptor and two missense) and were predicted to be functionally significant, in five unrelated probands with MPMs (≥3 melanomas). We performed three-dimensional total body photography on both individuals with confirmed pathogenic LOF variants to characterise the dermatological phenotype. Total body naevus counts (≥2 mm diameter) were significantly higher (p=7.72×10–12) in carriers compared with a control population. Majority of naevi were on the probands’ back and lower limb regions, where only mild to moderate ultraviolet (UV) damage was observed. Conversely, the head/neck region, where both probands exhibited severe UV damage, had comparably fewer naevi. We hypothesise that carriage of functionally significant POT1 variants is associated with increased naevus counts generally, and naevi >5 mm in diameter specifically and the location of these are independent of UV damage.

  • Whole Exome Sequencing
  • Genetic Research
  • Genotype
  • Phenotype

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