Alterations in the NF2/LATS1/LATS2/YAP Pathway in Schwannomas


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Abstract

Schwannomas are benign nerve sheath tumors composed of well-differentiated Schwann cells. Other than frequent NF2 (neurofibromatosis type 2) mutations (50%–60%), their molecular pathogenesis is not fully understood. LATS1 and LATS2 are downstream molecules of NF2 and are negative regulators of the yes-associated protein (YAP) oncogene in the Hippo signaling pathway. We assessed mutations of the NF2, LATS1, and LATS2 genes, promoter methylation of LATS1 and LATS2, and expression of YAP and phosphorylated YAP in 82 cases of sporadic schwannomas. Targeted sequencing using the Ion Torrent Proton instrument revealed NF2 mutations in 45 cases (55%), LATS1 mutations in 2 cases (2%), and LATS2 mutations in 1 case (1%) of schwannoma. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction showed promoter methylation of LATS1 and LATS2 in 14 cases (17%) and 25 cases (30%), respectively. Overall, 62 cases (76%) had at least 1 alteration in the NF2, LATS1, and/or LATS2 genes. Immunohistochemistry revealed nuclear YAP expression in 18 of 42 cases of schwannoma (43%) and reduced cytoplasmic phosphorylated YAP expression in 15 of 49 cases of schwannoma (31%), all of which had at least 1 alteration in the NF2, LATS1, and/or LATS2 genes. These results suggest that an abnormal Hippo signaling pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of most sporadic schwannomas.

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