LM Mulligan, C Eng, T Attié, S Lyonnet, DJ Marsh, VJ Hyland, BG Robinson, A Frilling, C Verellen-Dumoulin, A Safar
Hum Mol Genet
Mutations of the RET proto-oncogene are the underlying cause of some cases of Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) and the inherited cancer syndromes multiple endocrine neoplasia types 2A (MEN 2A) and 2B (MEN 2B) and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC). In HSCR these mutations are dispersed throughout the gene, while in MEN 2A and FMTC, they are tightly clustered in five cysteine codons of the RET extracellular domain. HSCR and MEN 2 are usually distinct but occasional families have been reported with both diseases. In each of five families with HSCR with or without MEN 2A or FMTC, we have identified a nucleotide substitution in one of the five cysteine codons previously associated with MEN 2A or FMTC. In one family, which had HSCR as its only phenotype, we detected a Cys-->Trp mutation at codon 609 which had not been previously observed. In three families, both HSCR and MEN 2A were associated with a single Cys-->Arg mutation at either codon 618 or 620 of RET. In the fifth family, FMTC and HSCR were present but we could not determine whether HSCR arose from mutation of the RET locus. We suggest that specific mutations in cysteine codons 618 and 620 result in MEN 2A or FMTC, but can also predispose to HSCR with low penetrance.