Characterization of melanoma susceptibility genes in high-risk patients from Central Italy

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Abstract

Genetic susceptibility to cutaneous melanoma has been investigated in Italian high-risk melanoma patients from different geographical regions. CDKN2A, CDK4, and MC1R genes have been screened in most studies, MITF and POT1 were screened in only one study, and none analyzed the TERT promoter. We carried out a mutational analysis of CDKN2A, CDK4 exon 2, POT1 p.S270N, MITF exon 10, MC1R, and the TERT promoter in 106 high-risk patients with familial melanoma (FM) and sporadic multiple primary melanoma (spMPM) from Central Italy and evaluated mutations according to the clinicopathological characteristics of patients and lesions. In FM, CDKN2A mutations were detected in 8.3% of the families, including one undescribed exon 1β mutation (p.T31M), and their prevalence increased with the number of affected relatives within the family. MC1R variants were identified in 65% of the patients and the TERT rs2853669 promoter polymorphism was identified in 58% of the patients. A novel synonymous mutation detected in MITF exon 10 (c.861A>G, p.E287E), although predicted as a splice site mutation by computational tools, could not functionally be confirmed to alter splicing. For spMPM, 3% carried CDKN2A mutations, 79% carried MC1R variants, and 47% carried the TERT rs2853669 promoter polymorphism. MC1R variants were associated with fair skin type and light hair color both in FM and in spMPM, and with a reduction of age at diagnosis in FM patients. Mutations in CDK4 exon 2 and the POT1 p.S270N mutation were not detected. A low frequency of CDKN2A mutations and a high prevalence of MC1R variants characterize high-risk melanoma patients from Central Italy.

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