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G. Venturini, S. Uffer, L. Zografos, C. Rivolta, A. P. Moulin; Molecular Analysis of the PTEN Gene in a Choroidal Schwannoma in the Context of a Hamartomatous Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3509.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the molecular involvement of PTEN, a tumor suppressor gene, in a case of cellular pigmented choroidal Schwannoma in a patient with hamartomatous syndrome due to heterozygous PTEN germline mutation.
Histopathological, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopy analyses were performed by standard procedures. Paraffin-embedded samples of normal and tumor eye tissues were collected and DNA was extracted. A 145 bp region flanking the heterozygous c.406T>C mutation in exon 5 of PTEN was amplified by PCR and sequenced. To evaluate the allelic status of PTEN in the tumor sample, we cloned different PCR products in E. coli using a TA cloning procedure.
Histopathology demonstrated a posterior choroidal mass measuring 1.3 x 1.6 x 1.4 cm. The tumor was composed by fascicles of spindle cells with wavy cytoplasm. No Verrocay bodies could be identified. Scattered histiocytes with clear cytoplasm were present. By immunohistochemistry, the cells were expressing S100 and focally Melan A proteins. Pericellular type IV collagen could be demonstrated. Interlacing cytoplasmic processes covered by thick basement membrane could be found by electron microscopy as well as few premelanosomes. Moderate PTEN expression by immunohistochemistry was identified in some cells. As expected, the germline mutation could be detected by DNA sequencing in both the paraffin-embedded normal and tumor eye tissues. Analysis of 33 E. coli colonies bearing clones from the tumor eye tissue DNA surprisingly revealed that most of them contained the PTEN wild-type allele (29 vs. 4, Fisher's test p-value = 0.002).
This is the first reported case of choroidal cellular Schwannoma arising in the context of a PTEN hamartomatous syndrome. Allelic analysis of PTEN in the tumor suggests a statistically-significant partial loss of heterozygozity in favor of the wild-type allele. Our findings are in clear contrast with what is usually observed in cancer tissues, for which mutated alleles of tumor suppressor genes are usually brought to homozygosity. Similar results were previously reported in human non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, displaying an overexpression of the wild-type form of the tumor suppressor gene p53. We are in the process of investigating additional DNA derived from other fresh and paraffin-embedded tissues from the patient, in order to gain insights on the molecular bases of PTEN involvement in this rare choroidal Schwannoma.
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