Congenital lipomatous overgrowth with vascular, epidermal, and skeletal anomalies (CLOVES) is a sporadically occurring, nonhereditary disorder characterized by asymmetric somatic hypertrophy and anomalies in multiple organs. We hypothesized that CLOVES syndrome would be caused by a somatic mutation arising during early embryonic development. Therefore, we employed massively parallel sequencing to search for somatic mosaic mutations in fresh, frozen, or fixed archival tissue from six affected individuals. We identified mutations in PIK3CA in all six individuals, and mutant allele frequencies ranged from 3% to 30% in affected tissue from multiple embryonic lineages. Interestingly, these same mutations have been identified in cancer cells, in which they increase phosphoinositide-3-kinase activity. We conclude that CLOVES is caused by postzygotic activating mutations in PIK3CA. The application of similar sequencing strategies will probably identify additional genetic causes for sporadically occurring, nonheritable malformations.
Copyright © 2012 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.