Congenital hemangioma is a rare vascular tumor that forms in utero. Postnatally, the tumor either involutes quickly (i.e., rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma [RICH]) or partially regresses and stabilizes (i.e., non-involuting congenital hemangioma [NICH]). We hypothesized that congenital hemangiomas arise due to somatic mutation and performed massively parallel mRNA sequencing on affected tissue from eight participants. We identified mutually exclusive, mosaic missense mutations that alter glutamine at amino acid 209 (Glu209) in GNAQ or GNA11 in all tested samples, at variant allele frequencies (VAF) ranging from 3% to 33%. We verified the presence of the mutations in genomic DNA using a combination of molecular inversion probe sequencing (MIP-seq) and digital droplet PCR (ddPCR). The Glu209 GNAQ and GNA11 missense variants we identified are common in uveal melanoma and have been shown to constitutively activate MAPK and/or YAP signaling. When we screened additional archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) congenital cutaneous and hepatic hemangiomas, 4/8 had GNAQ or GNA11 Glu209 variants. The same GNAQ or GNA11 mutation is found in both NICH and RICH, so other factors must account for these tumors' different postnatal behaviors.
Copyright © 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.