FM Richards, PA Crossey, ME Phipps, K Foster, F Latif, G Evans, J Sampson, MI Lerman, B Zbar, NA Affara
Hum Mol Genet
Von Hippel-Lindau disease is a dominantly inherited familial cancer syndrome characterised by the development of retinal angiomatosis, cerebellar and spinal hemangioblastoma, renal cell carcinoma, phaeochromocytoma and pancreatic tumours. A cDNA (g7) which detects frequent genomic rearrangements in VHL disease patients on Southern analysis, and contains the partial coding sequence of the VHL gene has been isolated recently. To characterise the nature of the genomic rearrangements in VHL disease we initially screened 116 patients with VHL disease and identified 22 patients (19%) with abnormal fragments in EcoR1 digested DNA probes with g7. We then established that the coding sequence contained within g7 is represented in 3 exons, and design exon specific probes to investigate the 22 patients with genomic rearrangements. All 22 patients were demonstrated to have germline deletions, but the deletions were heterogeneous with 7 patients having deletions confined to the 5' exon 1, and 8 with nonoverlapping deletions of exon 3. In 7 unrelated patients, including 2 new mutations, the germline deletions were similar in size and position. There was no relationship between the clinical phenotype and the deletion of individual exons. Although phaeochromocytoma was less frequent in kindreds with germline deletions than those without detectable deletions, the difference was not statistically significant (1/19 versus 16/72 respectively, chi 2 = 1.84 p > 0.1).