Gene Summary

Gene:SDHB; succinate dehydrogenase complex, subunit B, iron sulfur (Ip)
Aliases: IP, SDH, CWS2, PGL4, SDH1, SDH2, SDHIP
Summary:Complex II of the respiratory chain, which is specifically involved in the oxidation of succinate, carries electrons from FADH to CoQ. The complex is composed of four nuclear-encoded subunits and is localized in the mitochondrial inner membrane. The iron-sulfur subunit is highly conserved and contains three cysteine-rich clusters which may comprise the iron-sulfur centers of the enzyme. Sporadic and familial mutations in this gene result in paragangliomas and pheochromocytoma, and support a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and tumorigenesis. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:succinate dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] iron-sulfur subunit, mitochondrial
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: SDHB (cancer-related)

van Gisbergen MW, Voets AM, Starmans MH, et al.
How do changes in the mtDNA and mitochondrial dysfunction influence cancer and cancer therapy? Challenges, opportunities and models.
Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2015 Apr-Jun; 764:16-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several mutations in nuclear genes encoding for mitochondrial components have been associated with an increased cancer risk or are even causative, e.g. succinate dehydrogenase (SDHB, SDHC and SDHD genes) and iso-citrate dehydrogenase (IDH1 and IDH2 genes). Recently, studies have suggested an eminent role for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in the development of a wide variety of cancers. Various studies associated mtDNA abnormalities, including mutations, deletions, inversions and copy number alterations, with mitochondrial dysfunction. This might, explain the hampered cellular bioenergetics in many cancer cell types. Germline (e.g. m.10398A>G; m.6253T>C) and somatic mtDNA mutations as well as differences in mtDNA copy number seem to be associated with cancer risk. It seems that mtDNA can contribute as driver or as complementary gene mutation according to the multiple-hit model. This can enhance the mutagenic/clonogenic potential of the cell as observed for m.8993T>G or influences the metastatic potential in later stages of cancer progression. Alternatively, other mtDNA variations will be innocent passenger mutations in a tumor and therefore do not contribute to the tumorigenic or metastatic potential. In this review, we discuss how reported mtDNA variations interfere with cancer treatment and what implications this has on current successful pharmaceutical interventions. Mutations in MT-ND4 and mtDNA depletion have been reported to be involved in cisplatin resistance. Pharmaceutical impairment of OXPHOS by metformin can increase the efficiency of radiotherapy. To study mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer, different cellular models (like ρ(0) cells or cybrids), in vivo murine models (xenografts and specific mtDNA mouse models in combination with a spontaneous cancer mouse model) and small animal models (e.g. Danio rerio) could be potentially interesting to use. For future research, we foresee that unraveling mtDNA variations can contribute to personalized therapy for specific cancer types and improve the outcome of the disease.

Oudijk L, Neuhofer CM, Lichtenauer UD, et al.
Immunohistochemical expression of stem cell markers in pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas is associated with SDHx mutations.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2015; 173(1):43-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) are neuroendocrine tumors that occur in the adrenal medulla, whereas paragangliomas (PGLs) arise from paraganglia in the head, neck, thorax, or abdomen. In a variety of tumors, cancer cells with stem cell-like properties seem to form the basis of tumor initiation because of their ability to self-renew and proliferate. Specifically targeting this small cell population may lay the foundation for more effective therapeutic approaches. In the present study, we intended to identify stem cells in PCCs/PGLs.
DESIGN: We examined the immunohistochemical expression of 11 stem cell markers (SOX2, LIN28, NGFR, THY1, PREF1, SOX17, NESTIN, CD117, OCT3/4, NANOG, and CD133) on tissue microarrays containing 208 PCCs/PGLs with different genetic backgrounds from five European centers.
RESULTS: SOX2, LIN28, NGFR, and THY1 were expressed in more than 10% of tumors, and PREF1, SOX17, NESTIN, and CD117 were expressed in <10% of the samples. OCT3/4, NANOG, and CD133 were not detectable at all. Double staining for chromogranin A/SOX2 and S100/SOX2 demonstrated SOX2 immunopositivity in both tumor and adjacent sustentacular cells. The expression of SOX2, SOX17, NGFR, LIN28, PREF1, and THY1 was significantly associated with mutations in one of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes. In addition, NGFR expression was significantly correlated with metastatic disease.
CONCLUSION: Immunohistochemical expression of stem cell markers was found in a subset of PCCs/PGLs. Further studies are required to validate whether some stem cell-associated markers, such as SOX2, could serve as targets for therapeutic approaches and whether NGFR expression could be utilized as a predictor of malignancy.

Cornejo KM, Lu M, Yang P, et al.
Succinate dehydrogenase B: a new prognostic biomarker in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Hum Pathol. 2015; 46(6):820-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2016 Related Publications
Succinate dehydrogenase B (SDHB) is a mitochondrial enzyme complex subunit. Loss of SDHB protein expression has been found to correlate with SDHx gene mutations. Little is known about its expression in subtypes of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and whether it is a prognostic indicator. Four hundred fifty renal epithelial neoplasms were analyzed for SDHB, comprising clear cell RCC (CCRCC) (n = 240), papillary RCC (n = 84), chromophobe RCC (n = 49), renal oncocytoma (n = 47), clear cell papillary RCC (CCPRCC) (n = 19), and von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-associated CCPRCC-like tumors (n = 11). Succinate dehydrogenase B expression was graded based upon staining intensity using a 4-tiered system (0-3+), in which 3+ was strongest and complete absence was 0. Neoplasms were further categorized based upon staining extent into SDHB weak (1+-2+) and strong (3+). Succinate dehydrogenase B was strongly preserved in 131 (55%) of 240 CCRCCs, 84 (100%) of 84 papillary RCCs, 49 (100%) of 49 chromophobe RCCs, 1 (5%) of 19 CCPRCC, 5 (45%) of 11 VHL-associated CCPRCC-like tumors, and 47 (100%) of 47 renal oncocytomas. The remaining 109 CCRCCs, 18 CCPRCCs, and 6 VHL-associated CCPRCC-like tumors had weak but preserved SDHB. Succinate dehydrogenase B expression in CCRCCs with high International Society of Urological Pathology nucleolar grade (G3-G4) correlated significantly with survival (log-rank, P = .0004). Succinate dehydrogenase B is variably expressed in RCCs with clear cell morphology and strongly preserved in most other neoplasms. Therefore, weak staining, particularly in clear neoplasms, should not be misinterpreted as negative. Finally, SDHB expression in CCRCCs with high nucleolar grade (G3-G4) is significantly associated with survival, indicating it may be both a diagnostic and prognostic marker in RCC.

Cascón A, Comino-Méndez I, Currás-Freixes M, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing identifies MDH2 as a new familial paraganglioma gene.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(5) [PubMed] Related Publications
Disruption of the Krebs cycle is a hallmark of cancer. IDH1 and IDH2 mutations are found in many neoplasms, and germline alterations in SDH genes and FH predispose to pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and other cancers. We describe a paraganglioma family carrying a germline mutation in MDH2, which encodes a Krebs cycle enzyme. Whole-exome sequencing was applied to tumor DNA obtained from a man age 55 years diagnosed with multiple malignant paragangliomas. Data were analyzed with the two-sided Student's t and Mann-Whitney U tests with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Between six- and 14-fold lower levels of MDH2 expression were observed in MDH2-mutated tumors compared with control patients. Knockdown (KD) of MDH2 in HeLa cells by shRNA triggered the accumulation of both malate (mean ± SD: wild-type [WT] = 1±0.18; KD = 2.24±0.17, P = .043) and fumarate (WT = 1±0.06; KD = 2.6±0.25, P = .033), which was reversed by transient introduction of WT MDH2 cDNA. Segregation of the mutation with disease and absence of MDH2 in mutated tumors revealed MDH2 as a novel pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma susceptibility gene.

Qin A, Yu Q, Gao Y, et al.
Inhibition of STAT3/cyclinD1 pathway promotes chemotherapeutic sensitivity of colorectal caner.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 457(4):681-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapeutic resistance indicated the poor prognosis of colorectal cancer.
OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to investigate the role of STAT3/cyclinD1 pathway in the chemotherapeutic resistance of colorectal cancer.
METHODS: We firstly measured the expression of cyclinD1 in the colorectal cancer tissues using immunohistochemistry in tissue microarray. Then cell viability and apoptosis were investigated in the HT-29 cell lines dealing with recombinant lentivirus and shRNA to increase or decrease cyclinD1 expression. Furthermore, luciferase and ChIP assays were applied to investigate whether STAT3 regulated cyclinD1 expression by binding to its promoter. Finally, we determined whether inhibition of STAT3 could decrease cyclinD1 and increase the chemotherapy sensitivity.
RESULTS: CyclinD1 expression was significantly increased in the cancer cells and high level of cyclinD1 indicated the poor prognosis. Inhibition of cyclinD1 decreased the cell viability assessed by MTT and increased rate of apoptosis when exposed to 5-FU treatment while overexpression of cyclinD1 showed the reverse effect. ChIP assay showed that STAT3 directly bind to cyclinD1 promoter. Subclone of full promoter of cyclinD1 into pGL4 increased the luciferase activity while delete or mutation of any of STAT3 binding sites resulted in reductions of luciferase activity. Inhibition of STAT3 decreased cyclinD1 expression to decrease the cell viability and increase rate of apoptosis when exposed to 5-FU treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of STAT3/cyclinD1 pathway increased the sensitivity of colorectal cancer cell to chemotherapy.

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] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2016 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.

Menara M, Oudijk L, Badoual C, et al.
SDHD immunohistochemistry: a new tool to validate SDHx mutations in pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(2):E287-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Pheochromocytomas (PCC) and paragangliomas (PGL) may be caused by a germline mutation in 12 different predisposing genes. We previously reported that immunohistochemistry is a useful approach to detect patients harboring SDHx mutations. SDHA immunostaining is negative in SDHA-mutated tumors only, while SDHB immunostaining is negative in samples mutated on all SDHx genes. In some cases of SDHD or SDHC-mutated tumors, a weak diffuse SDHB labeling has however been described.
OBJECTIVE: Here, we addressed whether the same procedure could be applicable to detect patients with germline SDHD mutations, by testing two new commercially available anti-SDHD antibodies.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective study on 170 PGL/PCC in which we investigated SDHD and SDHB expression by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: SDHx-mutated PGL/PCC showed a completely negative SDHB staining (23/27) or a weak cytoplasmic background (4/27). Unexpectedly, we observed that SDHD immunohistochemistry was positive in SDHx-deficient tumors and negative in the other samples. Twenty-six of 27 SDHx tumors (including the four weakly stained for SDHB) were positive for SDHD. Among non-SDHx tumors, 138/143 were positive for SDHB and negative for SDHD. Five cases showed a negative immunostaining for SDHB, but were negative for SDHD.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that a positive SDHD immunostaining predicts the presence of an SDHx gene mutation. Because SDHB negative immunostaining is sometimes difficult to interpret in the case of background, the addition of SDHD positive immunohistochemistry will be a very useful tool to predict or validate SDHx gene variants in PGL/PCC.

Mahdi H, Mester JL, Nizialek EA, et al.
Germline PTEN, SDHB-D, and KLLN alterations in endometrial cancer patients with Cowden and Cowden-like syndromes: an international, multicenter, prospective study.
Cancer. 2015; 121(5):688-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Endometrial cancer has been recognized only recently as a major component of Cowden syndrome (CS). Germline alterations in phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN; PTEN_mut+), succinate dehydrogenase B/C/D (SDHB-D; SDHx_var+), and killin (KLLN_Me+) cause CS and Cowden syndrome-like (CSL) phenotypes. This study was aimed at identifying the prevalence and clinicopathologic predictors of germline PTEN_mut+, SDHx_var+, and KLLN_Me+ in CS/CSL patients presenting with endometrial cancer.
METHODS: PTEN and SDHB-D mutation and KLLN promoter methylation analyses were performed for 371 prospectively enrolled patients (2005-2011). PTEN protein was analyzed from patient-derived lymphoblast lines. The PTEN Cleveland Clinic (CC) score is a weighted, regression-based risk calculator giving the a priori risk for PTEN_mut+. Demographic and clinicopathologic features were correlated with the specific gene.
RESULTS: Germline PTEN_mut+, SDHx_var+, and KLLN_Me+ were found in 7%, 9.8%, and 10.5% of informative samples, respectively. Predictors of PTEN_mut+ included an age ≤ 50 years (odds ratio [OR] for an age < 30 years, 6.1 [P = .015]; OR for an age of 30-50 years, 4.4 [P = .001]), macrocephaly (OR, 14.4; P < .001), a higher CC score (OR for a 1-U increment, 1.35; P < .001), a PTEN protein level within the lowest quartile (OR, 5.1; P = .039), and coexisting renal cancer (OR, 5.7; P = .002). KLLN_Me+ patients were on average 8 years younger than KLLN_Me- patients (44 vs 52 years, P = .018). Predictors of KLLN_Me+ were a younger age and a higher CC score. On the other hand, no clinical predictors of SDH_var+ were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinical predictors of PTEN and KLLN alterations, but not SDHx_var+, were identified. These predictors should alert the treating physician to potential heritable risk and the need for referral to genetic professionals. High-risk cancer surveillance and prophylactic surgery of the uterus may be considered for KLLN_Me+ patients similarly to PTEN_mut+ patients.

Sue M, Martucci V, Frey F, et al.
Lack of utility of SDHB mutation testing in adrenergic metastatic phaeochromocytoma.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2015; 172(2):89-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Testing for succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) mutations is recommended in all patients with metastatic phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs), but may not be required when metastatic disease is accompanied by adrenaline production. This retrospective cohort study aimed to establish the prevalence of SDHB mutations among patients with metastatic PPGLs, characterised by production of adrenaline compared with those without production of adrenaline, and to establish genotype–phenotype features of metastatic PPGLs according to underlying gene mutations.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Presence of SDHB mutations or deletions was tested in 205 patients (114 males) aged 42+/-16 years (range 9–86 years) at diagnosis of metastatic PPGLs with and without adrenaline production.
RESULTS: Twenty-three of the 205 patients (11%) with metastatic PPGLs had disease characterised by production of adrenaline, as defined by increased plasma concentrations of metanephrine larger than 5% of the combined increase in both normetanephrine and metanephrine. None of these 23 patients had SDHB mutations. Of the other 182 patients with no tumoural adrenaline production, 51% had SDHB mutations. Metastases in bone were 36–41% more prevalent among patients with SDHB mutations or extra-adrenal primary tumours than those without mutations or with adrenal primary tumours. Liver metastases were 81% more prevalent among patients with adrenal than extra-adrenal primary tumours.
CONCLUSION: SDHB mutation testing has no utility among patients with adrenaline-producing metastatic PPGLs, but is indicated in other patients with metastatic disease. Our study also reveals novel associations of metastatic spread with primary tumour location and presence of SDHB mutations.

Nannini M, Astolfi A, Urbini M, et al.
Integrated genomic study of quadruple-WT GIST (KIT/PDGFRA/SDH/RAS pathway wild-type GIST).
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:685 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: About 10-15% of adult gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and the vast majority of pediatric GIST do not harbour KIT or platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) mutations (J Clin Oncol 22:3813-3825, 2004; Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 23:15-34, 2009). The molecular biology of these GIST, originally defined as KIT/PDGFRA wild-type (WT), is complex due to the existence of different subgroups with distinct molecular hallmarks, including defects in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex and mutations of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), BRAF, or KRAS genes (RAS-pathway or RAS-P).In this extremely heterogeneous landscape, the clinical profile and molecular abnormalities of the small subgroup of WT GIST suitably referred to as quadruple wild-type GIST (quadrupleWT or KITWT/PDGFRAWT/SDHWT/RAS-PWT) remains undefined. The aim of this study is to investigate the genomic profile of KITWT/PDGFRAWT/SDHWT/RAS-PWT GIST, by using a massively parallel sequencing and microarray approach, and compare it with the genomic profile of other GIST subtypes.
METHODS: We performed a whole genome analysis using a massively parallel sequencing approach on a total of 16 GIST cases (2 KITWT/PDGFRAWT/SDHWT and SDHBIHC+/SDHAIHC+, 2 KITWT/PDGFRAWT/SDHAmut and SDHBIHC-/SDHAIHC- and 12 cases of KITmut or PDGFRAmut GIST). To confirm and extend the results, whole-genome gene expression analysis by microarray was performed on 9 out 16 patients analyzed by RNAseq and an additional 20 GIST patients (1 KITWT/PDGFRAWTSDHAmut GIST and 19 KITmut or PDGFRAmut GIST). The most impressive data were validated by quantitave PCR and Western Blot analysis.
RESULTS: We found that both cases of quadrupleWT GIST had a genomic profile profoundly different from both either KIT/PDGFRA mutated or SDHA-mutated GIST. In particular, the quadrupleWT GIST tumors are characterized by the overexpression of molecular markers (CALCRL and COL22A1) and of specific oncogenes including tyrosine and cyclin- dependent kinases (NTRK2 and CDK6) and one member of the ETS-transcription factor family (ERG).
CONCLUSION: We report for the first time an integrated genomic picture of KITWT/PDGFRAWT/SDHWT/RAS-PWT GIST, using massively parallel sequencing and gene expression analyses, and found that quadrupleWT GIST have an expression signature that is distinct from SDH-mutant GIST as well as GIST harbouring mutations in KIT or PDGFRA. Our findings suggest that quadrupleWT GIST represent another unique group within the family of gastrointestintal stromal tumors.

Iles MM, Bishop DT, Taylor JC, et al.
The effect on melanoma risk of genes previously associated with telomere length.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(10) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
Telomere length has been associated with risk of many cancers, but results are inconsistent. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with mean leukocyte telomere length were either genotyped or well-imputed in 11108 case patients and 13933 control patients from Europe, Israel, the United States and Australia, four of the seven SNPs reached a P value under .05 (two-sided). A genetic score that predicts telomere length, derived from these seven SNPs, is strongly associated (P = 8.92x10(-9), two-sided) with melanoma risk. This demonstrates that the previously observed association between longer telomere length and increased melanoma risk is not attributable to confounding via shared environmental effects (such as ultraviolet exposure) or reverse causality. We provide the first proof that multiple germline genetic determinants of telomere length influence cancer risk.

Beamer LC
Cowden syndrome: what oncology nurses need to know about increased risk of developing certain cancers.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 2014; 41(5):555-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cowden syndrome (CS) is a genetic disorder characterized by multiple benign tissue growths (i.e., hamartomas) and an increased risk of developing specific cancers, such as breast, thyroid, kidney, endometrial, or colorectal cancer (Genetics Home Reference, 2012). This genetic syndrome was named after a person diagnosed with the disorder (Lloyd & Dennis, 1963). CS is part of a larger syndrome called PTEN hamartomatous syndrome, which also includes Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, PTEN-related Proteus syndrome, and Proteus-like syndrome (Eng, 2014).

Morin A, Letouzé E, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP, Favier J
Oncometabolites-driven tumorigenesis: From genetics to targeted therapy.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(10):2237-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the alteration of cellular metabolism in cancer was reported by Warburg in the early 1930s, a regain of interest in cancer metabolism has more recently followed the discovery of germline or somatic mutations in genes coding for metabolic enzymes (succinate dehydrogenase, fumarate hydratase and isocitrate dehydrogenase) that are associated with tumor susceptibility. Mutations in these genes are found in numerous tumor types including paragangliomas, kidney cancers, leiomyomas, glioblastomas and acute myeloid leukemia. They lead to the accumulation of so-called oncometabolites that behave as competitors of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases, involved in a broad spectrum of pathways such as hypoxic response and epigenetic reprogramming. Here, we review the diverse pathways affected by oncometabolites, their potential role in cancer formation, maintenance, metastasis and sensitivity to chemotherapies, as well as emerging new therapeutic strategies.

Kurisaki-Arakawa A, Saito T, Takahashi M, et al.
A case of (123)I-MIBG scintigram-negative functioning pheochromocytoma: immunohistochemical and molecular analysis with review of literature.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(7):4438-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
A 70-year-old Japanese woman was referred to our hospital due to hyperhidrosis and rapid weight loss of 10 kg in a month. A lump measuring 26 mm in diameter was detected in the left adrenal gland by computed tomography. Biochemical tests showed high levels of serum and urinary norepinephrine and epinephrine. However, a (123)I-MIBG scintigram failed to detect any accumulation in the left adrenal tumor. A left adrenalectomy was performed post clinical diagnosis of (123)I-MIBG negative pheochromocytoma. Microscopically, the tumor exhibited pheochromocytoma compatible features. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed low expression of VMAT1 in the tumor compared to the normal, surrounding tissue. To test for a possible genetic alteration of the monoamine transporter genes, we performed whole-exome sequencing of the VMAT1, VMAT2, and NET genes in the tumor. No significant base sequence substitution or deletion/insertion was found in any transporter. This suggests that MIBG negativity is caused by a change that is independent of the base sequence abnormalities, such as an epigenetic change. Furthermore, a retrospective literature review of (123)I-MIBG negative-scintigraphy cases indicates that a negative finding in the (123)I-MIBG scintigram is frequently associated with metastatic pheochromocytomas or SDHB mutations. However, a SDHB/D gene mutation has not been identified in the reported case. Although the patient needs careful monitoring following the surgery, to date she has been disease free for 12 months. This study could not find clear reasons for negative conversion, however, investigations of the negative conversion mechanism might reveal significant insights towards the improvement of patient survival.

Bachurska S, Staykov D, Belovezhdov V, et al.
Bilateral pheochromocytoma/intra-adrenal paraganglioma in von Hippel-Lindau patient causing acute myocardial infarction.
Pol J Pathol. 2014; 65(1):78-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 26-year-old male presented to the emergency department complaining of obstipation, severe headache and abdominal pain. An autopsy revealed bilateral pheochromocytoma and acute myocardial infarction. The tumor cells showed positive immunoreactivity of both chromogranin A and synaptophysin and were negative for adrenocortical markers such as SF-1, c17, scc, 3-HSD as well as SDHB, suggesting a germline mutation of the gene SDHB or SDHD. Molecular genetic analyses did not show a mutation in these two genes, but a mutation in the VHL gene, in exon 3: VHL c.499C>T. This is a missense mutation and causes an amino acid change (Arg167Trp).

Waterfall JJ, Killian JK, Meltzer PS
The role of mutation of metabolism-related genes in genomic hypermethylation.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 455(1-2):16-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetic mutations, metabolic dysfunction, and epigenetic misregulation are commonly considered to play distinct roles in tumor development and maintenance. However, intimate relationships between these mechanisms are now emerging. In particular, mutations in genes for the core metabolic enzymes IDH, SDH, and FH are significant drivers of diverse tumor types. In each case, the resultant accumulation of particular metabolites inhibits TET enzymes responsible for oxidizing 5-methylcytosine, leading to pervasive DNA hypermethylation.

Du X, Wan S, Chen Y, et al.
Genetic variants in genes of tricarboxylic acid cycle key enzymes predict postsurgical overall survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21(13):4300-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer, including the alterations of activity and expression in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle key enzymes. However, the significance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding these key enzymes has not been investigated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: In this study, 17 SNPs in seven genes encoding three TCA cycle enzyme families (SDH, FH, and IDH) were genotyped in 492 HCC patients with surgical treatment and their association with overall survival (OS) was analyzed.
RESULTS: Five SNPs in four genes were identified to be associated with OS in HCC patients. Among them, rs3935401 in the 3' untranslated region of SDHC exhibited the most significant association (P < 0.001). The unfavorable genotype of these five SNPs showed a significant accumulative effect on the prognosis of HCC patients, with a P for trend of <0.001. Furthermore, the haplotype group consisting of wild type in rs4131826 and variant in rs3935401 was significantly associated with increased risk of death in HCC patients. Survival tree analysis indicated that variant genotype of rs3935401 was the primary risk factor contributing to the prediction of OS in HCC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: SNPs in TCA cycle key enzyme genes may serve as potential biomarkers to predict the OS in HCC patients.

Grimm M, Cetindis M, Lehmann M, et al.
Association of cancer metabolism-related proteins with oral carcinogenesis - indications for chemoprevention and metabolic sensitizing of oral squamous cell carcinoma?
J Transl Med. 2014; 12:208 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor metabolism is a crucial factor for the carcinogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
METHODS: Expression of IGF-R1, glycolysis-related proteins (GLUT-1, HK 2, PFK-1, LDHA, TKTL1), mitochondrial enzymes (SDHA, SDHB, ATP synthase) were analyzed in normal oral mucosa (n = 5), oral precursor lesions (simple hyperplasia, n = 11; squamous intraepithelial neoplasia, SIN I-III, n = 35), and OSCC specimen (n = 42) by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis in OSCC cell lines. Metabolism-related proteins were correlated with proliferation activity (Ki-67) and apoptotic properties (TUNEL assay) in OSCC. Specificity of antibodies was confirmed by western blotting in cancer cell lines.
RESULTS: Expression of IGF-R1, glycolysis-related proteins (GLUT-1, HK 2, LDHA, TKTL1), and mitochondrial enzymes (SDHA, SDHB, ATP synthase) were significantly increased in the carcinogenesis of OSCC. Metabolic active regions of OSCC were strongly correlated with proliferating cancer (Ki-67+) cells without detection of apoptosis (TUNEL assay).
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first evidence of the expression of IGF-R1, glycolysis-related proteins GLUT-1, HK 2, PFK-1, LDHA, and TKTL1, as well as mitochondrial enzymes SDHA, SDHB, and ATP synthase in the multi-step carcinogenesis of OSCC. Both, hypoxia-related glucose metabolism and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation characteristics are associated with the carcinogenesis of OSCC. Acidosis and OXPHOS may drive a metabolic shift towards the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Therefore, inhibition of the PPP, glycolysis, and targeted anti-mitochondrial therapies (ROS generation) by natural compounds or synthetic vitamin derivatives may act as sensitizer for apoptosis in cancer cells mediated by adjuvant therapies in OSCC.

Boikos SA, Stratakis CA
The genetic landscape of gastrointestinal stromal tumor lacking KIT and PDGFRA mutations.
Endocrine. 2014; 47(2):401-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
About 10-15 % of adult gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and 85 % of pediatric GISTs do not have mutations in the KIT or PDGFRA genes and are generally classified as KIT/PDGFRA wild type (WT). Recent studies have shown that this group of KIT/PDGFRA WT GISTs is quite heterogeneous in terms of clinical phenotype, genetic etiology, and molecular pathways. Succinate dehydrogenase subunit (SDH)-deficient GISTs, which include tumors that are part of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes, are the newest group of KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST to be molecularly elucidated. This review aims to describe the different genetic subgroups of KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST, with a special focus on the SDH-deficient GIST.

Schulte KM, Talat N, Galata G, et al.
Genetics and the clinical approach to paragangliomas.
Horm Metab Res. 2014; 46(13):964-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study analyses new information on gene mutations in paragangliomas and puts them into a clinical context. A suspicion of malignancy is critical to determine the workup and surgical approach in adrenal (A-PGL) and extra-adrenal (E-PGL) paragangliomas (PGLs). Malignancy rates vary with location, family history, and gene tests results. Currently there is no algorithm incorporating the above information for clinical use. A sum of 1,821 articles were retrieved from PubMed using the search terms "paraganglioma genetics". Thirty-seven articles were selected of which 9 were analyzed. It was found that 599/2,487 (24%) patients affected with paragangliomas had a germline mutation. Of these 30.2% were mutations in SDHB, 25% VHL, 19.4% RET, 18.4% SDHD, 5.0% NF1, and 2.0% SDHC genes. A family history was positive in 18.1-64.3% of patients. Adrenal PGLs accounted for 55.1% in mutation (+) and 81.0% in mutation (-) patients (RR 1.2, p < 0.0001). Bilateral A-PGLs accounted for 56.4% in mutation (+) and 3.2% in mutation (-) patients (RR 8.7, p < 0.0001). E-PGL were found in 33.6% of mut+ and 17.3% of mut- (RR 1.7, p < 0.0001). In mutation (+) patients PGLs malignancy varied with location, adrenal (6.4%) thoraco-abdominal E-PGL (38%), H & N E-PGL (10%). Malignancy rates were 8.2% in mutation (-) and lower in mutation (+) PGLs except for SDHB 36.5% and SDHC 8.3%. Exclusion of a mutation lowered the probability of malignancy significantly in E-PGL (RR 0.03 (95% CI 0.1-0.6); p < 0.001). Mutation analysis provides valuable preoperative information to assess the risk of malignancy in A-PG and E-PGLs and should be considered in the work up of all E-PGL lesions.

Richter S, Peitzsch M, Rapizzi E, et al.
Krebs cycle metabolite profiling for identification and stratification of pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas due to succinate dehydrogenase deficiency.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(10):3903-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
CONTEXT: Mutations of succinate dehydrogenase A/B/C/D genes (SDHx) increase susceptibility to development of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs), with particularly high rates of malignancy associated with SDHB mutations.
OBJECTIVE: We assessed whether altered succinate dehydrogenase product-precursor relationships, manifested by differences in tumor ratios of succinate to fumarate or other metabolites, might aid in identifying and stratifying patients with SDHx mutations.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: PPGL tumor specimens from 233 patients, including 45 with SDHx mutations, were provided from eight tertiary referral centers for mass spectrometric analyses of Krebs cycle metabolites.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Diagnostic performance of the succinate:fumarate ratio for identification of pathogenic SDHx mutations.
RESULTS: SDH-deficient PPGLs were characterized by 25-fold higher succinate and 80% lower fumarate, cis-aconitate, and isocitrate tissue levels than PPGLs without SDHx mutations. Receiver-operating characteristic curves for use of ratios of succinate to fumarate or to cis-aconitate and isocitrate to identify SDHx mutations indicated areas under curves of 0.94 to 0.96; an optimal cut-off of 97.7 for the succinate:fumarate ratio provided a diagnostic sensitivity of 93% at a specificity of 97% to identify SDHX-mutated PPGLs. Succinate:fumarate ratios were higher in both SDHB-mutated and metastatic tumors than in those due to SDHD/C mutations or without metastases.
CONCLUSIONS: Mass spectrometric-based measurements of ratios of succinate:fumarate and other metabolites in PPGLs offer a useful method to identify patients for testing of SDHx mutations, with additional utility to quantitatively assess functionality of mutations and metabolic factors responsible for malignant risk.

Clark GR, Sciacovelli M, Gaude E, et al.
Germline FH mutations presenting with pheochromocytoma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(10):E2046-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: At least a third of the patients with pheochromocytoma (PCC) or paraganglioma (PGL) harbor an underlying germline mutation in a known PCC/PGL gene. Mutations in genes (SDHB, SDHD, SDHC, and SDHA) encoding a component of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), are a major cause of inherited PCC and PGL. SDHB mutations are also, albeit less frequently, associated with inherited renal cell carcinoma. Inactivation of SDH and another tricarboxylic acid cycle component, fumarate hydratase (FH), have both been associated with abnormalities of cellular metabolism, responsible for the activation of hypoxic gene response pathways and epigenetic alterations (eg, DNA methylation). However, the clinical phenotype of germline mutations in SDHx genes and FH is usually distinct, with FH mutations classically associated with hereditary cutaneous and uterine leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma, although recently an association with PCC/PGL has been reported.
OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN: To identify potential novel PCC/PGL predisposition genes, we initially undertook exome resequencing studies in a case of childhood PCC, and subsequently FH mutation analysis in a further 71 patients with PCC, PGL, or head and neck PGL.
RESULTS: After identifying a candidate FH missense mutation in the exome study, we then detected a further candidate missense mutation (p.Glu53Lys) by candidate gene sequencing. In vitro analyses demonstrated that both missense mutations (p.Cys434Tyr and p.Glu53Lys) were catalytically inactive.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings 1) confirm that germline FH mutations may present, albeit rarely with PCC or PGL; and 2) extend the clinical phenotype associated with FH mutations to pediatric PCC.

Rauchová H, Vokurková M, Drahota Z
Inhibition of mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase by α-tocopheryl succinate.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014; 53:409-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
α-Tocopheryl succinate (TOS), a redox-silent analogue of vitamin E, suppresses cell growth in a number of clinical and experimental cancers, inhibits mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) and activates reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The aim of this study was to test whether TOS also inhibits glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (mGPDH), another flavoprotein-dependent enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain because there are differences between electron transfer pathway from SDH and mGPDH to coenzyme Q pool. For our experiments brown adipose tissue mitochondria with high expression of mGPDH were used. Our data showed that inhibition of glycerol-3-phosphate (GP)-dependent oxygen consumption by TOS was more pronounced than the succinate (SUC)-dependent one (50% inhibition was reached at 10 μmol/l TOS vs. 80 μmol/l TOS, respectively). A comparison of the inhibitory effect of TOS on GP-oxidase, GP-cytochrome c oxidoreductase and GP-dehydrogenase activities showed that TOS directly interacts with the dehydrogenase. After TOS application the GP-dependent generation of ROS was highly depressed. It may thus be concluded that TOS-induced inhibition of mGPDH is more pronounced than TOS-induced inhibition of SDH and that the inhibitory effect of TOS for both substrates is exerted at different locations of the particular dehydrogenases. Our data indicate that the inhibition of mGPDH activity could also play a role in TOS-induced growth suppression in neoplastic cells.

Papathomas TG, Oudijk L, Zwarthoff EC, et al.
Telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter mutations in tumors originating from the adrenal gland and extra-adrenal paraganglia.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014; 21(4):653-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hotspot mutations in the promoter of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene have been recently reported in human cancers and proposed as a novel mechanism of telomerase activation. To explore TERT promoter mutations in tumors originating from the adrenal gland and extra-adrenal paraganglia, a set of 253 tumors (38 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs), 127 pheochromocytomas (PCCs), 18 extra-adrenal paragangliomas (ea PGLs), 37 head and neck PGLs (HN PGLs), and 33 peripheral neuroblastic tumors) was selected along with 16 human neuroblastoma (NBL) and two ACC cell lines to assess TERT promoter mutations by the Sanger sequencing method. All mutations detected were confirmed by a SNaPshot assay. Additionally, 36 gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) were added to explore an association between TERT promoter mutations and SDH deficiency. TERT promoter mutations were found in seven out of 289 tumors and in three out of 18 human cell lines; four C228T mutations in 38 ACCs (10.5%), two C228T mutations in 18 ea PGLs (11.1%), one C250T mutation in 36 GISTs (2.8%), and three C228T mutations in 16 human NBL cell lines (18.75%). No mutation was detected in PCCs, HN PGLs, neuroblastic tumors as well as ACC cell lines. TERT promoter mutations preferentially occurred in a SDH-deficient setting (P=0.01) being present in three out of 47 (6.4%) SDH-deficient tumors vs zero out of 171 (0%) SDH-intact tumors. We conclude that TERT promoter mutations occur in ACCs and ea PGLs. In addition, preliminary evidence indicates a potential association with the acquisition of TERT promoter mutations in SDH-deficient tumors.

van Berkel A, Rao JU, Kusters B, et al.
Correlation between in vivo 18F-FDG PET and immunohistochemical markers of glucose uptake and metabolism in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(8):1253-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) can be localized by (18)F-FDG PET. The uptake is particularly high in tumors with an underlying succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) mutation. SDHx-related PPGLs are characterized by compromised oxidative phosphorylation and a pseudohypoxic response, which mediates an increase in aerobic glycolysis, also known as the Warburg effect. The aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that increased uptake of (18)F-FDG in SDHx-related PPGLs is reflective of increased glycolytic activity and is correlated with expression of different proteins involved in glucose uptake and metabolism through the glycolytic pathway.
METHODS: Twenty-seven PPGLs collected from patients with hereditary mutations in SDHB (n = 2), SDHD (n = 3), RET (n = 5), neurofibromatosis 1 (n = 1), and myc-associated factor X (n = 1) and sporadic patients (n = 15) were investigated. Preoperative (18)F-FDG PET/CT studies were analyzed; mean and maximum standardized uptake values (SUVs) in manually drawn regions of interest were calculated. The expression of proteins involved in glucose uptake (glucose transporters types 1 and 3 [GLUT-1 and -3, respectively]), phosphorylation (hexokinases 1, 2, and 3 [HK-1, -2, and -3, respectively]), glycolysis (monocarboxylate transporter type 4 [MCT-4]), and angiogenesis (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], CD34) were examined in paraffin-embedded tumor tissues using immunohistochemical staining with peroxidase-catalyzed polymerization of diaminobenzidine as a read-out. The expression was correlated with corresponding SUVs.
RESULTS: Both maximum and mean SUVs for SDHx-related tumors were significantly higher than those for sporadic and other hereditary tumors (P < 0.01). The expression of HK-2 and HK-3 was significantly higher in SDHx-related PPGLs than in sporadic PPGLs (P = 0.022 and 0.025, respectively). The expression of HK-2 and VEGF was significantly higher in SDHx-related PPGLs than in other hereditary PPGLs (P = 0.039 and 0.008, respectively). No statistical differences in the expression were observed for GLUT-1, GLUT-3, and MCT-4. The percentage anti-CD 34 staining and mean vessel perimeter were significantly higher in SDHx-related PPGLs than in sporadic tumors (P = 0.050 and 0.010, respectively). Mean SUVs significantly correlated with the expression of HK-2 (P = 0.027), HK-3 (P = 0.013), VEGF (P = 0.049), and MCT-4 (P = 0.020).
CONCLUSION: The activation of aerobic glycolysis in SDHx-related PPGLs is associated with increased (18)F-FDG accumulation due to accelerated glucose phosphorylation by hexokinases rather than increased expression of glucose transporters.

Petersson F, Sperga M, Bulimbasic S, et al.
Foamy cell (hibernoma-like) change is a rare histopathological feature in renal cell carcinoma.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 465(2):215-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report nine patients (seven males and two females, median age 64 years (range 51-79 years)) with a renal cell carcinoma, each of which contained a significant component of neoplastic epithelial cells with a striking microvacuolated (hibernoma-like) cytoplasmic appearance. Tumor sizes ranged from 1.5 to 8.0 cm (mean 4.2 cm, median 4.3 cm). The basic architecture of the tumors was solid-alveolar in two cases (classified as renal cell carcinoma-not otherwise specified (NOS)) and papillary in seven cases (classified as papillary renal cell carcinoma NOS). The nuclear grade according to the Fuhrman grading system was three in all cases. By immunohistochemistry, the cells with microvacuolated cytopasm and significantly expressed adipophilin and anti-mitochondrial antigen in a similar cytoplasmic pattern. On ultrastructural examination, the cytoplasm of the neoplastic epithelial cells was packed with distended mitochondria, most of which displayed lamellated cristae. Numerous microvesicles were dispersed between the mitochondria. No mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase B gene were identified. Based on our findings, we propose that the mechanism behind this phenomenon is an abnormal intracellular processing of lipids. No aggressive behavior was observed in six out of nine patients with available follow-up information.

Miettinen M, Lasota J
Succinate dehydrogenase deficient gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) - a review.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014; 53:514-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Loss of function of the succinate dehydrogenase complex characterizes a rare group of human tumors including some gastrointestinal stromal tumors, paragangliomas, renal carcinomas, and pituitary adenomas, and these can all be characterized as SDH-deficient tumors. Approximately 7.5% of gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors are SDH-deficient and not driven by KIT/PDGFRA mutations, as are most other GISTs. The occurrence of SDH-deficient GISTs is restricted to stomach, and they typically occur in children and young adults representing a spectrum of clinical behavior from indolent to progressive. Slow progression is a common feature even after metastatic spread has taken place, and many patients live years with metastases. SDH-deficient GISTs have characteristic morphologic features including multinodular gastric wall involvement, often multiple separate tumors, common lymphovascular invasion, and occasional lymph node metastases. Diagnostic is the loss of succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) from the tumor cells and this can be practically assessed by immunohistochemistry. SDHA is lost in cases associated with SDHA mutations. Approximately half of the patients have SDH subunit gene mutations, often germline and most commonly A (30%), and B, C or D (together 20%), with both alleles inactivated in the tumor cells according to the classic tumor suppressor gene model. Half of the cases are not associated with SDH-mutations and epigenetic silencing of the SDH complex is the possible pathogenesis. Extensive genomic methylation has been observed in these tumors, which is in contrast with other GISTs. SDH-loss causes succinate accumulation and activation of pseudohypoxia signaling via overexpression of HIF-proteins. Activation of insulin-like growth factor 1-signaling is also typical of these tumors. SDH-deficient GISTs are a unique group of GISTs with an energy metabolism defect as the key oncogenic mechanism. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Rare Cancers.

Haller F, Moskalev EA, Faucz FR, et al.
Aberrant DNA hypermethylation of SDHC: a novel mechanism of tumor development in Carney triad.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014; 21(4):567-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Carney triad (CT) is a rare condition with synchronous or metachronous occurrence of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), paragangliomas (PGLs), and pulmonary chondromas in a patient. In contrast to Carney-Stratakis syndrome (CSS) and familial PGL syndromes, no germline or somatic mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunits A, B, C, or D have been found in most tumors and/or patients with CT. Nonetheless, the tumors arising among patients with CT, CSS, or familial PGL share a similar morphology with loss of the SDHB subunit on the protein level. For the current study, we employed massive parallel bisulfite sequencing to evaluate DNA methylation patterns in CpG islands in proximity to the gene loci of all four SDH subunits. For the first time, we report on a recurrent aberrant dense DNA methylation at the gene locus of SDHC in tumors of patients with CT, which was not present in tumors of patients with CSS or PGL, or in sporadic GISTs with KIT mutations. This DNA methylation pattern was correlated to a reduced mRNA expression of SDHC, and concurrent loss of the SDHC subunit on the protein level. Collectively, these data suggest epigenetic inactivation of the SDHC gene locus with functional impairment of the SDH complex as a plausible alternate mechanism of tumorigenesis in CT.

Raygada M, King KS, Adams KT, et al.
Counseling patients with succinate dehydrogenase subunit defects: genetics, preventive guidelines, and dealing with uncertainty.
J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 27(9-10):837-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The discovery that mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunit (SDHA, B/C/D/AF2) genes predispose patients to the development of tumors has led to the identification of a large population of patients and relatives at risk for developing malignancies. The most frequent conditions associated with these mutations are the familial paraganglioma syndromes. Other tumors that are frequently associated with SDH mutations (SDHx) are gastrointestinal stromal tumors and renal cell carcinomas. A number of other rare associations have also been described. SDHx mutations are often clinically silent and metastatic, but they may also be aggressive in their presentation. The penetrance of these mutations is beginning to be understood, and the characteristics of the phenotype are being elucidated. However, the inability to accurately predict the appearance, nature, and location of tumors as well as their tendency to recur or metastasize pose challenges to those who counsel and manage patients with SDHx mutations. In this work, we present our approach for counseling these families in the context of the current uncertainties, while striving to maintain patient autonomy.

Holt DE, Henthorn P, Howell VM, et al.
Succinate dehydrogenase subunit D and succinate dehydrogenase subunit B mutation analysis in canine phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
J Comp Pathol. 2014; 151(1):25-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Phaeochromocytomas (PCs) are tumours of the adrenal medulla chromaffin cells. Paragangliomas (PGLs) arise in sympathetic ganglia (previously called extra-adrenal PCs) or in non-chromaffin parasympathetic ganglia cells that are usually non-secretory. Parenchymal cells from these tumours have a common embryological origin from neural crest ectoderm. Several case series of canine PCs and PGLs have been published and a link between the increased incidence of chemoreceptor neoplasia in brachycephalic dog breeds and chronic hypoxia has been postulated. A similar link to hypoxia in man led to the identification of germline heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding succinate dehydrogenase subunit D (SDHD) and subsequently SDHA, SDHB and SDHC in similar tumours. We investigated canine PCs (n = 6) and PGLs (n = 2) for SDHD and SDHB mutations and in one PGL found a somatic SDHD mutation c.365A>G (p.Lys122Arg) in exon 4, which was not present in normal tissue from this brachycephalic dog. Two PCs were heterozygous for both c.365A>G (p.Lys122Arg) mutation and an exon 3 silent variant c.291G>A. We also identified the heterozygous SDHB exon 2 mutation c.113G>A (p.Arg38Gln) in a PC. These results illustrate that genetic mutations may underlie tumourigenesis in canine PCs and PGLs. The spontaneous nature of these canine diseases and possible association of PGLs with hypoxia in brachycephalic breeds may make them an attractive model for studying the corresponding human tumours.

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