Importance: Multiple hereditary infundibulocystic basal cell carcinoma syndrome (MHIBCC) is a rare genodermatosis in which numerous indolent, well-differentiated basal cell carcinomas develop primarily on the face and genitals, without other features characteristic of basal cell nevus syndrome. The cause is unknown. The purpose of the study was to identify a genetic basis for the syndrome and a mechanism by which the associated tumors develop.
Observations: Whole-exome sequencing of 5 tumors and a normal buccal mucosal sample from a patient with MHIBCC was performed. A conserved splice-site mutation in 1 copy of the suppressor of fused gene (SUFU) was identified in all tumor and normal tissue samples. Additional distinct deletions of the trans SUFU allele were identified in all tumor samples, none of which were present in the normal sample.
Conclusions and relevance: A germline SUFU mutation was present in a patient with MHIBCC, and additional acquired SUFU mutations underlie the development of infundibulocystic basal cell carcinomas. The downstream location of the SUFU gene within the sonic hedgehog pathway may explain why its loss is associated with relatively well-differentiated tumors and suggests that MHIBCC will not respond to therapeutic strategies, such as smoothened inhibitors, that target upstream components of this pathway.