Somatic neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) inactivation events in cutaneous neurofibromas of a single NF1 patient

Eur J Hum Genet. 2015 Jun;23(6):870-3. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2014.210. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) (MIM#162200) is a relatively frequent genetic condition that predisposes to tumor formation. The main types of tumors occurring in NF1 patients are cutaneous and subcutaneous neurofibromas, plexiform neurofibromas, optic pathway gliomas, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. To search for somatic mutations in cutaneous (dermal) neurofibromas, whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on seven spatially separated tumors and two reference tissues (blood and unaffected skin) from a single NF1 patient. Validation of WES findings was done using routine Sanger sequencing or Sequenom IPlex SNP genotyping. Exome sequencing confirmed the existence of a known familial splice-site mutation NM_000267.3:c.3113+1G>A in exon 23 of NF1 gene (HGMD ID CS951480) in blood, unaffected skin, and all tumor samples. In five out of seven analyzed tumors, we additionally detected second-hit mutations in the NF1 gene. Four of them were novel and one was previously observed. Each mutation was distinct, demonstrating the independent origin of each tumor. Only in two of seven tumors we detected an additional somatic mutation that was not associated with NF1. Our study demonstrated that somatic mutations of NF1 are likely the main drivers of cutaneous tumor formation. The study provides evidence for the rareness of single base pair level alterations in the exomes of benign NF1 cutaneous tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clonal Evolution
  • Exome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / genetics*
  • Neurofibromin 1 / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Neurofibromin 1