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Logo of jmedgeneJournal of Medical GeneticsVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Med Genet. 2003 April; 40(4): 268–277.
PMCID: PMC1735422

Chromosome 2 (2p16) abnormalities in Carney complex tumours


Carney complex (CNC) is an autosomal dominant multiple endocrine neoplasia and lentiginosis syndrome characterised by spotty skin pigmentation, cardiac, skin, and breast myxomas, and a variety of endocrine and other tumours. The disease is genetically heterogeneous; two loci have been mapped to chromosomes 17q22–24 (the CNC1 locus) and 2p16 (CNC2). Mutations in the PRKAR1A tumour suppressor gene were recently found in CNC1 mapping kindreds, while the CNC2 and perhaps other genes remain unidentified. Analysis of tumour chromosome rearrangements is a useful tool for uncovering genes with a role in tumorigenesis and/or tumour progression. CGH analysis showed a low level 2p amplification recurrently in four of eight CNC tumours; one tumour showed specific amplification of the 2p16-p23 region only. To define more precisely the 2p amplicon in these and other tumours, we completed the genomic mapping of the CNC2 region, and analysed 46 tumour samples from CNC patients with and without PRKAR1A mutations by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) using bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). Consistent cytogenetic changes of the region were detected in 40 (87%) of the samples analysed. Twenty-four samples (60%) showed amplification of the region represented as homogeneously stained regions (HSRs). The size of the amplicon varied from case to case, and frequently from cell to cell in the same tumour. Three tumours (8%) showed both amplification and deletion of the region in their cells. Thirteen tumours (32%) showed deletions only. These molecular cytogenetic changes included the region that is covered by BACs 400-P-14 and 514-O-11 and, in the genetic map, corresponds to an area flanked by polymorphic markers D2S2251 and D2S2292; other BACs on the centromeric and telomeric end of this region were included in varying degrees. We conclude that cytogenetic changes of the 2p16 chromosomal region that harbours the CNC2 locus are frequently observed in tumours from CNC patients, including those with germline, inactivating PRKAR1A mutations. These changes are mostly amplifications of the 2p16 region, that overlap with a previously identified amplicon in sporadic thyroid cancer, and an area often deleted in sporadic adrenal tumours. Both thyroid and adrenal tumours constitute part of CNC indicating that the responsible gene(s) in this area may indeed be involved in both inherited and sporadic endocrine tumour pathogenesis and/or progression.

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