Somatic mutation of the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome gene, LKB1/STK11, in malignant melanoma

Oncogene. 1999 Mar 4;18(9):1777-80. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1202486.


Mutations in LKB1/STK11, a gene mapping to chromosome 19p13.3 and encoding a widely expressed serine/threonine kinase, were recently identified as the cause of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. Despite the hamartomatous polyps and increased cancer risk associated with this syndrome, somatic alterations in LKB1/STK11 have not been identified in human tumours. Prompted by another feature of the syndrome, lentigines of the lips and oral mucosa, we evaluated the status of LKB1/STK11 expression, deletion, and mutation in cell lines and tumour samples from 35 patients with sporadic malignant melanoma. Two somatic mutations were identified, a nonsense mutation (Glu170Stop) causing exon skipping and intron retention, and a missense mutation (Asp194Tyr) affecting an invariant residue in the catalytic subunit of LKB1/STK11. Our data suggest that LKB1/STK11 may contribute to tumorigenesis in a small fraction of malignant melanomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Humans
  • Melanoma
  • Mutation*
  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome / enzymology*
  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome / genetics*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • STK11 protein, human
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases