Germline mutations in the tyrosine-kinase domain of the MET proto-oncogene were found in patients suffering from the hereditary predisposition to develop multiple papillary renal-cell carcinomas (hereditary PRCC, HPRCC). PRCCs are often multiple and bilateral even in patients without a family history. We analyzed the germline of patients carrying multiple or single papillary tumors with and without family history. One patient had a familial cancer and carried a novel (V1110I) germline MET mutation, located in MET gene exon 16. This mis-sense mutation was found in affected members of this patient's family. Interestingly, the V1110I mutation is located in the ATP-binding site of the MET kinase and is homologous to the V157I mutation that triggers the sarcomagenic potential of the v-erbB oncogene. The V1110I mutated MET receptor is an active kinase and transforms NIH-3T3 fibroblasts in the in vitro assays. Patients without familiality did not show germline mutations in the MET kinase domain, showing that multiple and bilateral papillary kidney tumors develop in the absence of these mutations. In conclusion, we describe a new mutation in the MET oncogene kinase domain, associated to HPRCC, affecting an amino-acid residue critical for kinase activation in different oncogenes.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.