Genetic aspects of pheochromocytoma

Endocr Regul. 2001 Mar;35(1):43-52.


We here review the literature on genetics related to pheochromocytoma. About 10 percent of these neuroendocrine tumors are hereditary and are most often associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2), von Hippel-Lindau disease, and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF 1). Hereditary tumor syndromes such as the aforementioned ones, are ideal to study the molecular pathogenesis of tumorigenesis as opposed to sporadic tumors in which genetic alterations often merely represent epigenetic tumor progression phenomena. Recent advances in molecular genetics, especially of RET, VHL, NF1, and SDHD, helped better understand the pathogenesis of pheochromocytoma. In this paper, we not only summarize key points of genetic discoveries related to pheochromocytoma, but also report in table format all known RET germline mutations related to pheochromocytoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Ligases*
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2a / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / genetics
  • Neurofibromin 1
  • Paraganglioma / genetics
  • Pheochromocytoma / genetics*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases*
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein
  • von Hippel-Lindau Disease / genetics


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurofibromin 1
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ret protein, Drosophila
  • Ligases
  • VHL protein, human