De novo germline mutation in the serine–threonine kinase STK11/LKB1 gene associated with Peutz–Jeghers syndrome

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Peutz–Jeghers syndrome (PJS) is an autosomal dominant disease, characterized phenotypically by mucocutaneous pigmentation and hamartomatous polyposis. Affected patients are at an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal and other malignancies. Mutations in the STK11/LKB1 (LKB1) gene, which encodes for a serine–threonine kinase, have been identified as a genetic cause of PJS. Molecular analysis of the LKB1 gene in a simplex case of PJS revealed a substitution of cytosine (C) for guanine (G) at codon 246 in exon 6, resulting in the Tyr246X mutation. The nucleotide substitution leads to a premature stop codon at the 246 residue, predicting a truncated protein and presumed loss of kinase activity. Analysis of DNA from both parents of the PJS patient did not show this mutation, which is therefore a de novo mutation. We isolated DNA from microdissected gastrointestinal hamartomatous polyps in the PJS patient and investigated the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the LKB1 locus by real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction genotyping using a fluorescent resonance energy transfer technique. The results suggest a different mechanism from LOH in the formation of hamartomatous polyps.

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