Gene Summary

Gene:SDHAF2; succinate dehydrogenase complex assembly factor 2
Aliases: PGL2, SDH5, C11orf79
Summary:This gene encodes a mitochondrial protein needed for the flavination of a succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit required for activity of the complex. Mutations in this gene are associated with paraganglioma.[provided by RefSeq, Jul 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:succinate dehydrogenase assembly factor 2, mitochondrial
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SDHAF2 (cancer-related)

Lemelin A, Lapoirie M, Abeillon J, et al.
Pheochromocytoma, paragangliomas, and pituitary adenoma: An unusual association in a patient with an SDHD mutation. Case report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(30):e16594 [PubMed] Related Publications
RATIONALE: Pituitary adenomas and paragangliomas are both rare endocrine diseases. Paragangliomas (PGL)/pheochromocytomas (PHEO) are part of an inherited syndrome in about 30% to 40% of cases. Among familial cases, mutations of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunit genes (succinate dehydrogenase subunit [SDH]B, SDHC, SDHD, succinate dehydrogenase subunit AF2 [SDHAF2] , and SDHA) are the most common cause.
PATIENT CONCERNS: We here report a 31-year-old patient with a known SDHD mutation whose disease has been revealed by a left PHEO during childhood and who presented at age 29 years a large paraganglioma of the right jugular foramen, a concomitant PHEO of the left adrenal and 2 retroperitoneal paragangliomas. A pituitary incidentaloma was found during investigations on a fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) (FDG-PET).
DIAGNOSIS: A pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed the presence of a 14 mm pituitary macroadenoma. The pituitary function was normal except for hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. On examination of the fundus, a diagnosis of Pseudo Foster-Kennedy syndrome was made due to a venous compression of the right jugular vein caused by the paraganglioma (PGL). The pituitary adenoma was not compressive to the optic chiasm.
INTERVENTIONS: A treatment with acetazolamide was started in order to improve intracranial hypertension. The patient couldn't benefit of a surgical approach for the paraganglioma of the right jugular foramen; the patient has been treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife).
OUTCOMES: The most recent MRI revealed that the right jugular foramen PGL is stable and the latest visual assessment demonstrated stability despite a recent reduction in acetazolamide dosage. A surveillance by MRI of the pituitary adenoma has been planned.
LESSONS: The association of a pituitary adenoma to paragangliomas within a same patient is very uncommon and raises the question of related physiopathological mechanisms.

Ding Y, Feng Y, Wells M, et al.
SDHx gene detection and clinical Phenotypic analysis of multiple paraganglioma in the head and neck.
Laryngoscope. 2019; 129(2):E67-E71 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to detect and explore the mechanisms of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunit-related gene mutations in cases of multiple paraganglioma (PGL) in the head and neck.
METHODS: In Beijing Tongren Hospital (Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China) between January 2013 and February 2017, 23 cases of head and neck multiple PGL were evaluated by genetic sequencing. From these cases, four hereditary families and 10 cases with sporadic occurrences were found. Gene mutations, including SDHD, SDHB, SDHC, SDHAF2, VHL and RET in germ cells and somatic cells, were detected by gene capture and high throughput sequencing.
RESULTS: In family 1, 12 instances of SDHD gene mutation were detected, eight of which manifested as bilateral carotid body tumor (CBT) with one bilateral malignant CBT. In family 2, three cases of SDHD mutation were found with one case of bilateral CBT and two cases of unilateral CBT. In family 3, two cases of SDHD gene mutation were found, both characterized by vagus PGL and pheochromocytoma. Of the 10 patients with sporadic manifestations, five cases of SDHD gene mutation and one case of RET gene mutation were detected. Two novel gene mutations, c.387_393del7 mutation of SDHD gene and c.3247A>G mutation of RET gene, were also detected.
CONCLUSION: In patients with multiple PGL in the head and neck, these are accompanied by a genetic mutation of the germ cell. In this case study, this mutation was most commonly a mutation of the SDHD gene.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 129:E67-E71, 2019.

de Vos B, Rijken JA, Adank MA, et al.
A novel succinate dehydrogenase subunit B germline variant associated with head and neck paraganglioma in a Dutch kindred: A family-based study.
Clin Otolaryngol. 2018; 43(3):841-845 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In the Netherlands, the majority of hereditary head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGL) are caused by germline variants in the succinate dehydrogenase genes (SDHD, SDHB, SDHAF2). Here, we evaluate a four-generation family linked to a novel SDHB gene variant with the manifestation of a HNPGL.
DESIGN: A family-based study.
SETTING: The VU University Medical Center (VUmc) Amsterdam, a tertiary clinic for Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.
PARTICIPANTS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The index patients presented with an embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma and a non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Array-based comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) analysis and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) revealed a novel deletion of exon 1-3 in the SDHB gene, suspected to predispose to paraganglioma (PGL)/pheochromocytoma (PHEO) syndrome type 4. Subsequently, genetic counselling and DNA testing were offered to all family members at risk. Individuals that tested positive for this novel SDHB gene variant were counselled and additional clinical evaluation was offered for the identification of HNPGL and/or PHEO.
RESULTS: The DNA of 18 family members was tested, resulting in the identification of 10 carriers of the exon 1-3 deletion in the SDHB gene. One carrier was diagnosed with a carotid body PGL and serum catecholamine excess, which was surgically excised. Negative SDHB immunostaining of the carotid body tumour confirmed that it was caused by the SDHB variant. The remaining 9 carriers showed no evidence of PGL/PHEO.
CONCLUSION: Deletion of exon 1-3 in the SDHB gene is a novel germline variant associated with the formation of hereditary HNPGL.

Turchini J, Cheung VKY, Tischler AS, et al.
Pathology and genetics of phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
Histopathology. 2018; 72(1):97-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
Phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PHEO/PGL) are rare tumours with an estimated annual incidence of 3 per million. Advances in molecular understanding have led to the recognition that at least 30-40% arise in the setting of hereditary disease. Germline mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase genes SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD and SDHAF2 are the most prevalent of the more than 19 hereditary genetic abnormalities which have been reported. It is therefore recommended that, depending on local resources and availability, at least some degree of genetic testing should be offered to all PHEO/PGL patients, including those with clinically sporadic disease. It is now accepted that that all PHEO/PGL have some metastatic potential; therefore, concepts of benign and malignant PHEO/PGL have no meaning and have been replaced by a risk stratification approach. Although there is broad acceptance that certain features, including high proliferative activity, invasive growth, increased cellularity, large tumour nests and comedonecrosis, are associated with an increased risk of metastasis, it remains difficult to predict the clinical behaviour of individual tumours and no single risk stratification scheme is endorsed or in widespread use. In this review, we provide an update on advances in the pathology and genetics of PHEO/PGL with an emphasis on the changes introduced in the WHO 2017 classification of endocrine neoplasia relevant to practising surgical pathologists.

Carden T, Singh B, Mooga V, et al.
Epigenetic modification of miR-663 controls mitochondria-to-nucleus retrograde signaling and tumor progression.
J Biol Chem. 2017; 292(50):20694-20706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The normal cellular function requires communication between mitochondria and the nucleus, termed mitochondria-to-nucleus retrograde signaling. Disruption of this mechanism has been implicated in the development of cancers. Many proteins are known modulators of retrograde signaling, but whether microRNAs (miRNAs) are also involved is unknown. We conducted an miRNA microarray analysis using RNA from a parental cell line, a Rho

Rednam SP, Erez A, Druker H, et al.
Von Hippel-Lindau and Hereditary Pheochromocytoma/Paraganglioma Syndromes: Clinical Features, Genetics, and Surveillance Recommendations in Childhood.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(12):e68-e75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Von Hippel-Lindau disease (vHL) is a hereditary tumor predisposition syndrome that places affected individuals at risk for multiple tumors, which are predominantly benign and generally occur in the central nervous system or abdomen. Although the majority of tumors occur in adults, children and adolescents with the condition develop a significant proportion of vHL manifestations and are vulnerable to delayed tumor detection and their sequelae. Although multiple tumor screening paradigms are currently being utilized for patients with vHL, surveillance should be reassessed as the available relevant clinical information continues to expand. We propose a new vHL screening paradigm similar to existing approaches, with important modifications for some tumor types, placing an emphasis on risks in childhood. This includes advancement in the timing of surveillance initiation and increased frequency of screening evaluations. Another neuroendocrine-related familial condition is the rapidly expanding hereditary paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma syndrome (HPP). The tumor spectrum for patients with HPP syndrome includes paragangliomas, pheochromocytomas, renal cancer, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The majority of patients with HPP syndrome harbor an underlying variant in one of the

Sbardella E, Cranston T, Isidori AM, et al.
Routine genetic screening with a multi-gene panel in patients with pheochromocytomas.
Endocrine. 2018; 59(1):175-182 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Several new gene mutations have been reported in recent years to be associated with a risk of familial pheochromocytoma. However, it is unclear as to whether extensive genetic testing is required in all patients.
METHODS: The clinical data of consecutive patients operated for pheochromocytoma over a decade in a tertiary referral center were reviewed. Genetic screening was performed using a 10-gene panel: RET, VHL, SDHB, SDHD, SDHA, SDHC, SDHAF2, MAX, TMEM127 and FH.
RESULTS: A total of 166 patients were analyzed: 87 of them had genetic screening performed (39 M: 44.8%, 48 F: 55.2%, age range 6-81 years, mean 45±16.8 years). In total, 22/87 (25.3%) patients had germline mutations, while 65/87 (74.7%) patients presented with apparently sporadic tumors. Germline VHL mutations were identified in 11.7% of patients, RET in 6.8% (five MEN2A/MEN2 and one MEN2B/MEN3), SDHD in 2.3%, MAX in 2.3%, SDHB in 1.1%, and TMEM127 in 1.1% of patients. At diagnosis, 15.1% of patients with unilateral non-syndromic pheochromocytoma showed germline mutations. We identified 19.7% of mutations in patients with unilateral-non-recurrent pheochromocytomas within 5 years vs. 50% in the recurrent-bilateral-metastatic group (p = 0.01). Germline mutations were more frequently seen with bilateral pheochromocytomas (p = 0.001): 80% of patients with bilateral disease had germline mutations (4 VHL, 3 RET, 1 MAX).
CONCLUSIONS: The advent of rapid genetic screening using a gene-panel makes it feasible to screen large cohorts of patients and provides a valuable tool to contribute to the prediction of bilateral and malignant disease and to screen family members.

Bausch B, Schiavi F, Ni Y, et al.
Clinical Characterization of the Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma Susceptibility Genes SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 for Gene-Informed Prevention.
JAMA Oncol. 2017; 3(9):1204-1212 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Importance: Effective cancer prevention is based on accurate molecular diagnosis and results of genetic family screening, genotype-informed risk assessment, and tailored strategies for early diagnosis. The expanding etiology for hereditary pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas has recently included SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 as susceptibility genes. Clinical management guidelines for patients with germline mutations in these 4 newly included genes are lacking.
Objective: To study the clinical spectra and age-related penetrance of individuals with mutations in the SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 genes.
Design, Setting, and Patients: This study analyzed the prospective, longitudinally followed up European-American-Asian Pheochromocytoma-Paraganglioma Registry for prevalence of SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 germline mutation carriers from 1993 to 2016. Genetic predictive testing and clinical investigation by imaging from neck to pelvis was offered to mutation-positive registrants and their relatives to clinically characterize the pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma diseases associated with mutations of the 4 new genes.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence and spectra of germline mutations in the SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 genes were assessed. The clinical features of SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 disease were characterized.
Results: Of 972 unrelated registrants without mutations in the classic pheochromocytoma- and paraganglioma-associated genes (632 female [65.0%] and 340 male [35.0%]; age range, 8-80; mean [SD] age, 41.0 [13.3] years), 58 (6.0%) carried germline mutations of interest, including 29 SDHA, 20 TMEM127, 8 MAX, and 1 SDHAF2. Fifty-three of 58 patients (91%) had familial, multiple, extra-adrenal, and/or malignant tumors and/or were younger than 40 years. Newly uncovered are 7 of 63 (11%) malignant pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas in SDHA and TMEM127 disease. SDHA disease occurred as early as 8 years of age. Extra-adrenal tumors occurred in 28 mutation carriers (48%) and in 23 of 29 SDHA mutation carriers (79%), particularly with head and neck paraganglioma. MAX disease occurred almost exclusively in the adrenal glands with frequently bilateral tumors. Penetrance in the largest subset, SDHA carriers, was 39% at 40 years of age and is statistically different in index patients (45%) vs mutation-carrying relatives (13%; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance: The SDHA, TMEM127, MAX, and SDHAF2 genes may contribute to hereditary pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Genetic testing is recommended in patients at clinically high risk if the classic genes are mutation negative. Gene-specific prevention and/or early detection requires regular, systematic whole-body investigation.

Gupta G, Pacak K,
Endocr Pract. 2017; 23(6):690-704 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) are rare neuroendocrine tumors known to produce and secrete high levels of circulating catecholamines and their metabolites. The biochemical characteristics of these tumors can be used to divide them into three major phenotypes. The adrenergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic phenotypes are defined by predominant elevations in epinephrine and metanephrine, norepinephrine and normetanephrine, and dopamine and 3-methoxytyramine, respectively. There are over 15 well-identified tumor-susceptibility genes responsible for approximately 40% of the cases. The objective of this review article is to outline specific genotype/biochemical phenotype relationships.
METHODS: Literature review.
CONCLUSION: Biochemical phenotype of PPGL is determined by the underlying genetic mutation and the associated molecular pathway. Identification of genotype/biochemical relationships is valuable in prioritizing testing for specific genes, making treatment decisions and monitoring disease progression.
ABBREVIATIONS: 3-MT = 3-methoxytyramine; EPAS1 = endothelial pas domain protein 1; FH = fumarate hydratase; HIF2A = hypoxia inducible factor type 2A; MEN2 = multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2; NF1 = neurofibromatosis type 1; PNMT = phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase; PPGL = pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma; RET = rearranged during transfection; SDH = succinate dehydrogenase; SDHAF2 = succinate dehydrogenase complex assembly factor 2; TCA = tricarboxylic acid; TH = tyrosine hydroxylase; TMEM127 = transmembrane protein 127; VHL = von Hippel-Lindau.

Hoekstra AS, Hensen EF, Jordanova ES, et al.
Loss of maternal chromosome 11 is a signature event in SDHAF2, SDHD, and VHL-related paragangliomas, but less significant in SDHB-related paragangliomas.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(9):14525-14536 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Germline mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2) or Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) genes cause hereditary paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma. While SDHB (1p36) and VHL (3p25) are associated with autosomal dominant disease, SDHD (11q23) and SDHAF2 (11q13) show a remarkable parent-of-origin effect whereby tumor formation is almost completely dependent on paternal transmission of the mutant allele. Loss of the entire maternal copy of chromosome 11 occurs frequently in SDHD-linked tumors, and has been suggested to be the basis for this typical inheritance pattern.Using fluorescent in situ hybridization, microsatellite marker and SNP array analysis, we demonstrate that loss of the entire copy of chromosome 11 is also frequent in SDHAF2-related PGLs, occurring in 89% of tumors. Analysis of two imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMR) in 11p15, H19-DMR and KvDMR, showed that this loss always affected the maternal copy of chromosome 11. Likewise, loss of maternal chromosome 11p15 was demonstrated in 85% of SDHD and 75% of VHL-related PGLs/PCCs. By contrast, both copies of chromosome 11 were found to be retained in 62% of SDHB-mutated PGLs/PCCs, while only 31% showed loss of maternal chromosome 11p15. Genome-wide copy number analysis revealed frequent loss of 1p in SDHB mutant tumors and show greater genomic instability compared to SDHD and SDHAF2.These results show that loss of the entire copy of maternal chromosome 11 is a highly specific and statistically significant event in SDHAF2, SDHD and VHL-related PGLs/PCCs, but is less significant in SDHB-mutated tumors, suggesting that these tumors have a distinct genetic etiology.

Pillai S, Gopalan V, Lo CY, et al.
Silent genetic alterations identified by targeted next-generation sequencing in pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma: A clinicopathological correlations.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2017; 102(1):41-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The goal of this pilot study was to develop a customized, cost-effective amplicon panel (Ampliseq) for target sequencing in a cohort of patients with sporadic phaeochromocytoma/paraganglioma.
METHODS: Phaeochromocytoma/paragangliomas from 25 patients were analysed by targeted next-generation sequencing approach using an Ion Torrent PGM instrument. Primers for 15 target genes (NF1, RET, VHL, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, TMEM127, MAX, MEN1, KIF1Bβ, EPAS1, CDKN2 & PHD2) were designed using ion ampliseq designer. Ion Reporter software and Ingenuity® Variant Analysis™ software ( from Ingenuity Systems were used to analysis these results.
RESULTS: Overall, 713 variants were identified. The variants identified from the Ion Reporter ranged from 64 to 161 per patient. Single nucleotide variants (SNV) were the most common. Further annotation with the help of Ingenuity variant analysis revealed 29 of these 713variants were deletions. Of these, six variants were non-pathogenic and four were likely to be pathogenic. The remaining 19 variants were of uncertain significance. The most frequently altered gene in the cohort was KIF1B followed by NF1. Novel KIF1B pathogenic variant c.3375+1G>A was identified. The mutation was noted in a patient with clinically confirmed neurofibromatosis. Chromosome 1 showed the presence of maximum number of variants.
CONCLUSIONS: Use of targeted next-generation sequencing is a sensitive method for the detecting genetic changes in patients with phaeochromocytoma/paraganglioma. The precise detection of these genetic changes helps in understanding the pathogenesis of these tumours.

Fliedner SM, Shankavaram U, Marzouca G, et al.
Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 2α Mutation-Related Paragangliomas Classify as Discrete Pseudohypoxic Subcluster.
Neoplasia. 2016; 18(9):567-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recently, activating mutations of the hypoxia-inducible factor 2α gene (HIF2A/EPAS1) have been recognized to predispose to multiple paragangliomas (PGLs) and duodenal somatostatinomas associated with polycythemia, and ocular abnormalities. Previously, mutations in the SDHA/B/C/D, SDHAF2, VHL, FH, PHD1, and PHD2 genes have been associated with HIF activation and the development of pseudohypoxic (cluster-1) PGLs. These tumors overlap in terms of tumor location, syndromic presentation, and noradrenergic phenotype to a certain extent. However, they also differ especially by clinical outcome and by presence of other tumors or abnormalities. In the present study, we aimed to establish additional molecular differences between HIF2A and non-HIF2A pseudohypoxic PGLs. RNA expression patterns of HIF2A PGLs (n=6) from 2 patients were compared with normal adrenal medullas (n=8) and other hereditary pseudohypoxic PGLs (VHL: n=13, SDHB: n=15, and SDHD: n=14). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering showed that HIF2A PGLs made up a separate cluster from other pseudohypoxic PGLs. Significance analysis of microarray yielded 875 differentially expressed genes between HIF2A and other pseudohypoxic PGLs after normalization to adrenal medulla (false discovery rate 0.01). Prediction analysis of microarray allowed correct classification of all HIF2A samples based on as little as three genes (TRHDE, LRRC63, IGSF10; error rate: 0.02). Genes with the highest expression difference between normal medulla and HIF2A PGLs were selected for confirmatory quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. In conclusion, HIF2A PGLs show a characteristic expression signature that separates them from non-HIF2A pseudohypoxic PGLs. Unexpectedly, the most significantly differentially expressed genes have not been previously described as HIF target genes.

Bezawork-Geleta A, Dong L, Rohlena J, Neuzil J
The Assembly Factor SDHAF2 Is Dispensable for Flavination of the Catalytic Subunit of Mitochondrial Complex II in Breast Cancer Cells.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(41):21414-21420 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mitochondrial complex II or succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) is at the crossroads of oxidative phosphorylation and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. It has been shown that Sdh5 (SDHAF2/SDH5 in mammals) is required for flavination of the subunit Sdh1 (SDHA in human cells) in yeast. Here we demonstrate that in human breast cancer cells, SDHAF2/SDH5 is dispensable for SDHA flavination. In contrast to yeast, CRISPR-Cas9 nickase-mediated SDHAF2 KO breast cancer cells feature flavinated SDHA and retain fully assembled and functional complex II, as well as normal mitochondrial respiration. Our data show that SDHA flavination is independent of SDHAF2 in breast cancer cells, employing an alternative mechanism.

Hoekstra AS, Addie RD, Ras C, et al.
Parent-of-origin tumourigenesis is mediated by an essential imprinted modifier in SDHD-linked paragangliomas: SLC22A18 and CDKN1C are candidate tumour modifiers.
Hum Mol Genet. 2016; 25(17):3715-3728 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in SDHD and SDHAF2 (both located on chromosome 11) give rise to hereditary paraganglioma almost exclusively after paternal transmission of the mutation, and tumours often show loss of the entire maternal copy of chromosome 11. The 'Hensen' model postulates that a tumour modifier gene located on chromosome 11p15, a region known to harbour a cluster of imprinted genes, is essential to tumour formation. We observed decreased protein expression of the 11p15 candidate genes CDKN1C, SLC22A18 and ZNF215 evaluated in 60 SDHD-mutated tumours compared to normal carotid body tissue and non-SDH mutant tumours.We then created stable knockdown in vitro models, reasoning that the simultaneous knockdown of SDHD and a maternally expressed 11p15 modifier gene would enhance paraganglioma-related cellular characteristics compared to SDHD knockdown alone. Knockdown of SDHD in SNB19 and SHSY5Y cells resulted in the accumulation of succinate, the stabilization of HIF1 protein and a reduction in cell proliferation.Compared to single knockdown of SDHD, knockdown of SDHD together with SLC22A18 or with CDKN1C led to small but significant increases in cell proliferation and resistance to apoptosis, and to a gene expression profile closely related to the known transcriptional profile of SDH-deficient tumours. Of the 60 SDHD tumours investigated, four tumours showing retention of chromosome 11 showed SLC22A18 and CDKN1C expression levels comparable to levels in tumours showing loss of chromosome 11, suggesting loss of protein expression despite chromosomal retention.Our data strongly suggest that SLC22A18 and/or CDKN1C are tumour modifier genes involved in the tumourigenesis of SDHD-linked paraganglioma.

Patócs A, Lendvai NK, Butz H, et al.
Novel SDHB and TMEM127 Mutations in Patients with Pheochromocytoma/Paraganglioma Syndrome.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2016; 22(4):673-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pheochromocytomas (Pheo) and paragangliomas (PGL) are rare tumors, with heterogeneous genetic background. In up to 30 % of all, apparently sporadic Pheo/PGL cases germline mutations can be identified in one of the 15 genes representing genetic susceptibility for Pheo/PGL. Malignancy is rare but it frequently associates with SDHB mutations. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of germline SDHx, SDHAF2, MAX and TMEM127 mutations in Hungarian patients with apparently sporadic Pheo/PGLs. Mutation screening of the SDHx, SDHAF2, MAX and TMEM127 genes was performed in 82 Hungarian patients with apparently sporadic Pheo/PGL using PCR and bidirectional Sanger sequencing. Disease-causing germline mutations were identified in 11 patients, of which 4 SDHB and 2 TMEM127 mutations were novel. Earlier development of Pheo/PGL, more malignant phenotype and multiple tumors were observed in genetically positive cases especially in those with SDHB mutations. The presence of bilateral or multiple tumors was the most predictive for identification of a pathogenic mutation. Together with cases harboring germline RET, VHL and NF1 mutations, Hungarian patients with Pheo/PGL exhibit a heterogeneous mutation spectrum, indicating that all of the Pheo/PGL susceptibility genes should be tested. Novel genotype-phenotype associations revealed by our study may contribute to improvement of diagnostic approaches and may help to achieve a better clinical follow up for patients with Pheo/PGL.

Benn DE, Robinson BG, Clifton-Bligh RJ
15 YEARS OF PARAGANGLIOMA: Clinical manifestations of paraganglioma syndromes types 1-5.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(4):T91-103 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The paraganglioma (PGL) syndromes types 1-5 are autosomal dominant disorders characterized by familial predisposition to PGLs, phaeochromocytomas (PCs), renal cell cancers, gastrointestinal stromal tumours and, rarely, pituitary adenomas. Each syndrome is associated with mutation in a gene encoding a particular subunit (or assembly factor) of succinate dehydrogenase (SDHx). The clinical manifestations of these syndromes are protean: patients may present with features of catecholamine excess (including the classic triad of headache, sweating and palpitations), or with symptoms from local tumour mass, or increasingly as an incidental finding on imaging performed for some other purpose. As genetic testing for these syndromes becomes more widespread, presymptomatic diagnosis is also possible, although penetrance of disease in these syndromes is highly variable and tumour development does not clearly follow a predetermined pattern. PGL1 syndrome (SDHD) and PGL2 syndrome (SDHAF2) are notable for high frequency of multifocal tumour development and for parent-of-origin inheritance: disease is almost only ever manifest in subjects inheriting the defective allele from their father. PGL4 syndrome (SDHB) is notable for an increased risk of malignant PGL or PC. PGL3 syndrome (SDHC) and PGL5 syndrome (SDHA) are less common and appear to be associated with lower penetrance of tumour development. Although these syndromes are all associated with SDH deficiency, few genotype-phenotype relationships have yet been established, and indeed it is remarkable that such divergent phenotypes can arise from disruption of a common molecular pathway. This article reviews the clinical presentations of these syndromes, including their component tumours and underlying genetic basis.

Rich T, Jackson M, Roman-Gonzalez A, et al.
Metastatic sympathetic paraganglioma in a patient with loss of the SDHC gene.
Fam Cancer. 2015; 14(4):615-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutation of the genes encoding the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits A, B, C, or D, or the SDHAF2 protein, cause the SDHx-hereditary paraganglioma syndromes. Hereditary susceptibility to metastatic sympathetic pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas is most commonly due to germline mutations in the SDHB gene. Individuals with SDHD mutations occasionally present with metastatic disease, while conversely malignant paragangliomas are rarely observed in SDHC carriers. A 43 year-old woman presented with an abdominal paraganglioma metastatic to the skeleton and multiple lymph nodes. The tumor produced excessive amounts of noradrenaline causing hypertension and symptoms of catecholamine excess. The patient underwent surgical resection of the primary tumor and lymph node metastases. Loss of SDHB protein expression in the primary tumor was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. Germline sequencing and deletion testing revealed a large allelic deletion of exons 1-6 in SDHC, and no mutations or deletions were detected in SDHB or SDHD. The patient's mother died because of kidney cancer. Hereditary pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas may be associated with a deletion of the SDHC gene. These patients may present with malignant sympathetic paragangliomas.

Zhu WD, Wang ZY, Chai YC, et al.
Germline mutations and genotype-phenotype associations in head and neck paraganglioma patients with negative family history in China.
Eur J Med Genet. 2015; 58(9):433-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of germline mutations and to explore genotype-phenotype associations in Chinese head and neck paraganglioma (HNPGL) patients without family history. Twenty-six Chinese patients with a diagnosis of HNPGL(14 male and 12 female, respectively)were recruited, who were followed up from 2000 to 2012. Genomic DNA was obtained from resected tumor tissues and peripheral blood samples. Seven genes, Succinate dehydrogenase complex A,B,C,D (SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD), succinate dehydrogenase complex assembly factor 2 (SDHAF2), TMEM127 (transmembrane protein 127) and VHL (Von Hippel-Lindau), were screened by direct sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) was performed to search for potential large deletions or duplications of SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF1 and SDHAF2. The total frequency of germline mutations was 30.8% (8/26), including 5 cases with missense mutation p.Met1Ile in SDHD, 1 case with missense mutation p.Tyr216Cys in SDHB, and 1 case with a novel truncation mutation p.Gln44Ter in SDHAF2. MLPA showed one patient with malignant HNPGL had heterozygous deletions of exon1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 in SDHB. Mutations in SDHD were the leading cause of HNPGL in this study. Mutation carriers were younger than non-mutation carriers (p < 0.01) and more likely to suffer from multiple tumors (p = 0.048), especially with mutations in SDHD. The presence of mutation was associated with the development of larger tumors (p = 0.021). This study confirmed that the missense mutation p.Met1Ile at the start codon in SDHD was a hotspot in chinese patients with HNPGLs. We recommend genetic analysis in patients below 45 years, especially SDHD gene.

Bugalho MJ, Silva AL, Domingues R
Coexistence of paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma and papillary thyroid carcinoma: a four-case series analysis.
Fam Cancer. 2015; 14(4):603-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The paraganglioma (PGL)/pheochromocytoma (PHEO)-papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) dyad has been reported rarely. Whether the association is coincidental or results from an underlying genetic predisposition is difficult to ascertain. We analyzed clinical and molecular data on four unrelated patients identified and treated by one of us (MJB) at a tertiary center. Patients were screened for germline variants in a panel of candidate genes: RET, VHL, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, TMEM127, MAX, PTEN, CDKN1B. All patients were female; median age at diagnosis of PGL/PHEO was 45 years and at diagnosis of PTC was 49.5 years. Only one patient had family history of thyroid cancer. PTC was multifocal in 2 cases, of the classical type in 2 cases and of the follicular type in 2 cases. Two patients harbored heterozygous germline variants of uncertain significance in the SDHB gene: Ser163Pro and Ala3Gly. The -79T>C polymorphism in the CDKN1B gene was present in all patients (3 in homozygous and 1 in heterozygous state). Results deriving from a comprehensive analysis of a panel of genes suggest that there is no single explanation for the association PGL/PHEO-PTC. It may occur through different mechanisms such as the combinatorial effect of different genetic variants, be a coincidental association or, alternatively, result from genetic variants in genes still awaiting identification.

Hoekstra AS, Devilee P, Bayley JP
Models of parent-of-origin tumorigenesis in hereditary paraganglioma.
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2015; 43:117-124 [PubMed] Related Publications
Paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma are neuroendocrine tumors that originate from either the sympathetic or the parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. Although 14 different genes have been linked to paraganglioma/pheochromocytoma, a subgroup of these genes is associated with hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma, the genes related to mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) including SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD and the assembly factor SDHAF2. Unlike mutations in other SDH subunit genes, mutations in SDHD and SDHAF2 show a remarkable parent-of-origin dependent tumorigenesis in which tumor formation almost exclusively occurs following paternal transmission of the mutation. To date, three different models have sought to explain the striking inheritance pattern seen in SDHD and SDHAF2-linked families. Despite the fact that the models suffer to varying degrees from a lack of experimental verification, all three models have made some attempt to incorporate current data and understanding of this phenomenon. In this review, we discuss our present understanding of this phenomenon and describe the three models that seek to explain the inheritance pattern in SDHD and SDHAF2-linked families.

Crona J, Backman S, Maharjan R, et al.
Spatiotemporal Heterogeneity Characterizes the Genetic Landscape of Pheochromocytoma and Defines Early Events in Tumorigenesis.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(19):4451-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (PPGL) patients display heterogeneity in the clinical presentation and underlying genetic cause. The degree of inter- and intratumor genetic heterogeneity has not yet been defined.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In PPGLs from 94 patients, we analyzed LOH, copy-number variations, and mutation status of SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, VHL, EPAS1, NF1, RET, TMEM127, MAX, and HRAS using high-density SNP array and targeted deep sequencing, respectively. Genetic heterogeneity was determined through (i) bioinformatics analysis of individual samples that estimated absolute purity and ploidy from SNP array data and (ii) comparison of paired tumor samples that allowed reconstruction of phylogenetic trees.
RESULTS: Mutations were found in 61% of the tumors and correlated with specific patterns of somatic copy-number aberrations (SCNA) and degree of nontumoral cell admixture. Intratumor genetic heterogeneity was observed in 74 of 136 samples using absolute bioinformatics estimations and in 22 of 24 patients by comparison of paired samples. In addition, a low genetic concordance was observed between paired primary tumors and distant metastases. This allowed for reconstructing the life history of individual tumors, identifying somatic mutations as well as copy-number loss of 3p and 11p (VHL subgroup), 1p (Cluster 2), and 17q (NF1 subgroup) as early events in PPGL tumorigenesis.
CONCLUSIONS: Genomic landscapes of PPGL are specific to mutation subtype and characterized by genetic heterogeneity both within and between tumor lesions of the same patient.

Rijken JA, Niemeijer ND, Corssmit EP, et al.
Low penetrance of paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma in an extended kindred with a germline SDHB exon 3 deletion.
Clin Genet. 2016; 89(1):128-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the Netherlands, the majority of hereditary paragangliomas (PGL) is caused by SDHD, SDHB and SDHAF2 mutations. Founder mutations in SDHD are particularly prevalent, but several SDHB founder mutations have also been described. Here, we describe an extended PGL family with a Dutch founder mutation in SDHB, c.201-4429_287-933del. The proband presented with apparently sporadic head and neck paraganglioma at advanced age. Subsequently, evaluation of the family identified several unaffected mutation carriers, asymptomatic and symptomatic PGL patients, and patients presenting with early-onset malignant pheochromocytoma. The calculated penetrance of the SDHB mutation in this kindred is lower than the risk suggested for SDHB mutations in the literature. This may represent a characteristic of this particular SDHB mutation, but may also be a reflection of the inclusion of relatively large numbers of asymptomatic mutation carriers in this family and adequate statistical correction for ascertainment bias. The low penetrance of SDHB mutations may obscure the hereditary nature of SDHB-linked disease and is important in the counseling of SDHB-linked patients. Risk estimates should preferably be based on the specific mutation involved.

von Dobschuetz E, Leijon H, Schalin-Jäntti C, et al.
A registry-based study of thyroid paraganglioma: histological and genetic characteristics.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(2):191-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
The precise diagnosis of thyroid neoplasias will guide surgical management. Primary thyroid paraganglioma has been rarely reported. Data on prevalence, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and molecular genetics in a systematic series of such patients are pending. We performed a multinational population-based study on thyroid paraganglioma and analyzed prevalence, IHC, and molecular genetics. Patients with thyroid paraganglioma were recruited from the European-American-Head-and-Neck-Paraganglioma-Registry. Demographic and clinical data were registered. Histopathology and IHC were re-investigated. All patients with thyroid paraganglioma underwent molecular genetic analyses of the SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, VHL, RET, TMEM127, and MAX genes. Analyses included Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) for detection of large rearrangements. Of 947 registrants, eight candidates were initially identified. After immunohistochemical analyses of these eight subjects, 5 (0.5%) were confirmed to have thyroid paraganglioma. IHC was positive for chromogranin, synaptophysin, and S-100 and negative for calcitonin in all five thyroid paragangliomas, whereas the three excluded candidate tumors stained positive for pan-cytokeratin, a marker excluding endocrine tumors. Germline variants, probably representing mutations, were found in four of the five confirmed thyroid paraganglioma cases, two each in SDHA and SDHB, whereas the excluded cases had no mutations in the tested genes. Thyroid paraganglioma is a finite entity, which must be differentiated from medullary thyroid carcinoma, because medical, surgical, and genetic management for each is different. Notably, approximately 80% of thyroid paragangliomas are associated with germline variants, with implications for additional tumors and a potential risk for the family. As opposed to sporadic tumors, surgical management and extent of resection are different for heritable tumors, each guided by the precise gene involved.

Dénes J, Swords F, Rattenberry E, et al.
Heterogeneous genetic background of the association of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and pituitary adenoma: results from a large patient cohort.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(3):E531-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Pituitary adenomas and pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas (pheo/PGL) can occur in the same patient or in the same family. Coexistence of the two diseases could be due to either a common pathogenic mechanism or a coincidence.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the investigation was to study the possible coexistence of pituitary adenoma and pheo/PGL.
DESIGN: Thirty-nine cases of sporadic or familial pheo/PGL and pituitary adenomas were investigated. Known pheo/PGL genes (SDHA-D, SDHAF2, RET, VHL, TMEM127, MAX, FH) and pituitary adenoma genes (MEN1, AIP, CDKN1B) were sequenced using next generation or Sanger sequencing. Loss of heterozygosity study and pathological studies were performed on the available tumor samples.
SETTING: The study was conducted at university hospitals.
PATIENTS: Thirty-nine patients with sporadic of familial pituitary adenoma and pheo/PGL participated in the study.
OUTCOME: Outcomes included genetic screening and clinical characteristics.
RESULTS: Eleven germline mutations (five SDHB, one SDHC, one SDHD, two VHL, and two MEN1) and four variants of unknown significance (two SDHA, one SDHB, and one SDHAF2) were identified in the studied genes in our patient cohort. Tumor tissue analysis identified LOH at the SDHB locus in three pituitary adenomas and loss of heterozygosity at the MEN1 locus in two pheochromocytomas. All the pituitary adenomas of patients affected by SDHX alterations have a unique histological feature not previously described in this context.
CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in the genes known to cause pheo/PGL can rarely be associated with pituitary adenomas, whereas mutation in a gene predisposing to pituitary adenomas (MEN1) can be associated with pheo/PGL. Our findings suggest that genetic testing should be considered in all patients or families with the constellation of pheo/PGL and a pituitary adenoma.

Favier J, Amar L, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP
Paraganglioma and phaeochromocytoma: from genetics to personalized medicine.
Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2015; 11(2):101-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Paragangliomas and phaeochromocytomas are neuroendocrine tumours whose pathogenesis and progression are very strongly influenced by genetics. A germline mutation in one of the susceptibility genes identified so far explains ∼40% of all cases; the remaining 60% are thought to be sporadic cases. At least one-third of these sporadic tumours contain a somatic mutation in a predisposing gene. Genetic testing, which is indicated in every patient, is guided by the clinical presentation as well as by the secretory phenotype and the immunohistochemical characterization of the tumours. The diagnosis of an inherited form drives clinical management and tumour surveillance. Different 'omics' profiling methods have provided a neat classification of these tumours in accordance with their genetic background. Transcriptomic studies have identified two main molecular pathways that underlie development of these tumours, one in which the hypoxic pathway is activated (cluster 1) and another in which the MAPK and mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling pathways are activated (cluster 2). DNA methylation profiling has uncovered a hypermethylator phenotype in tumours related to SDHx genes (a group of genes comprising SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD and SDHAF2) and revealed that succinate acts as an oncometabolite, inhibiting 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases, such as hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl-hydroxylases and histone and DNA demethylases. 'Omics' data have suggested new therapeutic targets for patients with a malignant tumour. In the near future, new 'omics'-based tests are likely to be transferred into clinical practice with the goal of establishing personalized medical management for affected patients.

Casey R, Garrahy A, Tuthill A, et al.
Universal genetic screening uncovers a novel presentation of an SDHAF2 mutation.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(7):E1392-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Hereditary pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PC/PGL) accounts for up to 60% of previously considered sporadic tumors. Guidelines suggest that phenotype should guide genetic testing. Next-generation sequencing technology can simultaneously sequence 9 of the 18 known susceptibility genes in a timely, cost-efficient manner.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to confirm that universal screening is superior to targeted testing in patients with histologically confirmed PC and PGL.
METHODS: In two tertiary referral hospitals in Ireland, NGS was carried out on all histologically confirmed cases of PC/PGL diagnosed between 2004 and 2013. The following susceptibility genes were sequenced: VHL, RET, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, TMEM127, and MAX. A multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis was performed in VHL, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, and SDHAF2 genes to detect deletions and duplications.
RESULTS: A total of 31 patients were tested, 31% (n = 10) of whom were found to have a genetic mutation. Of those patients with a positive genotype, phenotype predicted genotype in only 50% (n = 5). Significant genetic mutations that would have been missed in our cohort by phenotypic evaluation alone include a mutation in TMEM127, two mutations in SDHAF2, and two mutations in RET. Target testing would have identified three of the latter mutations based on age criteria. However, 20% of patients (n = 2) would not have satisfied any criteria for targeted testing including one patient with a novel presentation of an SDHAF2 mutation.
CONCLUSION: This study supports the value of universal genetic screening for all patients with PC/PGL.

Welander J, Andreasson A, Juhlin CC, et al.
Rare germline mutations identified by targeted next-generation sequencing of susceptibility genes in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(7):E1352-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas have a highly diverse genetic background, with a third of the cases carrying a germline mutation in 1 of 14 identified genes.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate next-generation sequencing for more efficient genetic testing of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma and to establish germline and somatic mutation frequencies for all known susceptibility genes.
DESIGN: A targeted next-generation sequencing approach on an Illumina MiSeq instrument was used for a mutation analysis in 86 unselected pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumor samples. The study included the genes EGLN1, EPAS1, KIF1Bβ, MAX, MEN1, NF1, RET, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, TMEM127, and VHL. RESULTS were verified in tumor and constitutional DNA with Sanger sequencing.
RESULTS: In all cases with clinical syndromes or known germline mutations, a mutation was detected in the expected gene. Among 68 nonfamilial tumors, 32 mutations were identified in 28 of the samples (41%), including germline mutations in EGLN1, KIF1Bβ, SDHA, SDHB, and TMEM127 and somatic mutations in EPAS1, KIF1Bβ, MAX, NF1, RET, and VHL, including one double monoallelic EPAS1 mutation.
CONCLUSIONS: Targeted next-generation sequencing proved to be fast and cost effective for the genetic analysis of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. More than half of the tumors harbored mutations in the investigated genes. Notably, 7% of the apparently sporadic cases carried germline mutations, highlighting the importance of comprehensive genetic testing. KIF1Bβ, which previously has not been investigated in a large cohort, appears to be an equally important tumor suppressor as MAX and TMEM127 and could be considered for genetic testing of these patients.

Crona J, Nordling M, Maharjan R, et al.
Integrative genetic characterization and phenotype correlations in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumours.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86756 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: About 60% of Pheochromocytoma (PCC) and Paraganglioma (PGL) patients have either germline or somatic mutations in one of the 12 proposed disease causing genes; SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, VHL, EPAS1, RET, NF1, TMEM127, MAX and H-RAS. Selective screening for germline mutations is routinely performed in clinical management of these diseases. Testing for somatic alterations is not performed on a regular basis because of limitations in interpreting the results.
AIM: The purpose of the study was to investigate genetic events and phenotype correlations in a large cohort of PCC and PGL tumours.
METHODS: A total of 101 tumours from 89 patients with PCC and PGL were re-sequenced for a panel of 10 disease causing genes using automated Sanger sequencing. Selected samples were analysed with Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification and/or SNParray.
RESULTS: Pathogenic genetic variants were found in tumours from 33 individual patients (37%), 14 (16%) were discovered in constitutional DNA and 16 (18%) were confirmed as somatic. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was observed in 1/1 SDHB, 11/11 VHL and 3/3 NF1-associated tumours. In patients with somatic mutations there were no recurrences in contrast to carriers of germline mutations (P = 0.022). SDHx/VHL/EPAS1 associated cases had higher norepinephrine output (P = 0.03) and lower epinephrine output (P<0.001) compared to RET/NF1/H-RAS cases.
CONCLUSION: Somatic mutations are frequent events in PCC and PGL tumours. Tumour genotype may be further investigated as prognostic factors in these diseases. Growing evidence suggest that analysis of tumour DNA could have an impact on the management of these patients.

Blanchet EM, Gabriel S, Martucci V, et al.
18F-FDG PET/CT as a predictor of hereditary head and neck paragangliomas.
Eur J Clin Invest. 2014; 44(3):325-332 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hereditary head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGLs) account for at least 35% of all HNPGLs, most commonly due to germline mutations in SDHx susceptibility genes. Several studies about sympathetic paragangliomas have shown that (18)F-FDG PET/CT was not only able to detect and localize tumours, but also to characterize tumours ((18)F-FDG uptake being linked to SDHx mutations). However, the data concerning (18)F-FDG uptake specifically in HNPGLs have not been addressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between (18)F-FDG uptake and the SDHx mutation status in HNPGL patients.
METHODS: (18)F-FDG PET/CT from sixty HNPGL patients were evaluated. For all lesions, we measured the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax), and the uptake ratio defined as HNPGL-SUVmax over pulmonary artery trunk SUVmean (SUVratio). Tumour sizes were assessed on radiological studies.
RESULTS: Sixty patients (53.3% with SDHx mutations) were evaluated for a total of 106 HNPGLs. HNPGLs-SUVmax and SUVratio were highly dispersed (1.2-30.5 and 1.0-17.0, respectively). The HNPGL (18)F-FDG uptake was significantly higher in SDHx versus sporadic tumours on both univariate and multivariate analysis (P = 0.002). We developed two models for calculating the probability of a germline SDHx mutation. The first one, based on a per-lesion analysis, had an accuracy of 75.5%. The second model, based on a per-patient analysis, had an accuracy of 80.0%.
CONCLUSIONS: (18)F-FDG uptake in HNPGL is strongly dependent on patient genotype. Thus, the degree of (18)F-FDG uptake in these tumours can be used clinically to help identify patients in whom SDHx mutations should be suspected.

Kugelberg J, Welander J, Schiavi F, et al.
Role of SDHAF2 and SDHD in von Hippel-Lindau associated pheochromocytomas.
World J Surg. 2014; 38(3):724-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) develop from the adrenal medulla and are often part of a hereditary syndrome such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome. In VHL, only about 30 % of patients with a VHL missense mutation develop PCCs. Thus, additional genetic events leading to formation of such tumors in patients with VHL syndrome are sought. SDHAF2 (previously termed SDH5) and SDHD are both located on chromosome 11q and are required for the function of mitochondrial complex II. While SDHAF2 has been shown to be mutated in patients with paragangliomas (PGLs), SDHD mutations have been found both in patients with PCCs and in patients with PGLs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Because loss of 11q is a common event in VHL-associated PCCs, we aimed to investigate whether SDHAF2 and SDHD are targets. In the present study, 41 VHL-associated PCCs were screened for mutations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in SDHAF2 or SDHD. Promoter methylation, as well as mRNA expression of SDHAF2 and SDHD, was studied. In addition, immunohistochemistry (IHC) of SDHB, known to be a universal marker for loss of any part the SDH complex, was conducted.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: LOH was found in more than 50 % of the VHL-associated PCCs, and was correlated with a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in both SDHAF2 and SDHD mRNA expression, which may be suggestive of a pathogenic role. However, while SDHB protein expression as determined by IHC in a small cohort of tumors was lower in PCCs than in the surrounding adrenal cortex, there was no obvious correlation with LOH or the level of SDHAF2/SDHD mRNA expression. In addition, the lack of mutations and promoter methylation in the investigated samples indicates that other events on chromosome 11 might be involved in the development of PCCs in association with VHL syndrome.

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