FM Richards, DR Goudie, WN Cooper, Q Jene, I Barroso, C Wicking, BJ Wainwright, MA Ferguson-Smith
The MSSE gene predisposes to the development of multiple invasive but self-healing skin tumours (multiple self-healing squamous epitheliomata, MSSE). MSSE (previously named ESS1) was mapped to chromosome 9q by linkage analysis; haplotype analysis in families then suggested a common founder mutation and indicated that the gene lies in the interval D9S1-D9S29 (9q22-q31). Squamous cell carcinomata also develop as one of the complications of xeroderma pigmentosum, and one of the xeroderma pigmentosum genes (XPA) maps within the MSSE interval. We have investigated the hypothesis that a novel dominant mutation in XPA is responsible for MSSE. We screened the entire coding region, 3' untranslated region (UTR) and 5'UTR of XPA for germline mutations in MSSE families by single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis and by direct DNA sequencing. No mutations were detected but a novel intragenic polymorphism was identified in the 5'UTR of XPA, in both MSSE-affected and unrelated normal individuals. This XPA polymorphism and nine new polymorphic markers that map in the MSSE region were typed in eleven MSSE families; XPA was excluded as the MSSE gene and the most likely location of MSSE was reduced to the interval between D9S197 and (D9S287, D9S1809). The Patched (PTCH) gene, which is mutated in naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS or Gorlin syndrome) lies in this interval and all MSSE families have been shown to share a common haplotype at three novel intragenic PTCH polymorphisms. Although no mutation has been detected in MSSE families, PTCH has not been excluded as the MSSE gene.