Whole exome sequencing (WES) was used to investigate two Italian siblings with wild-type RET genotype, who developed medullary thyroid cancers (MTCs) and, later, primary prostate and breast cancers, respectively. The proband's MTC harbored a p.Met918Thr RET mutation; his sister's MTC was RET/RAS wild-type. Both siblings had a germline mutation (p.Arg417Gln) in the extracellular Sema domain of the proto-oncogene MET. Experiments involving ectopic expression of MET p.Arg417Gln in MET-negative T47D breast cancer cells documented the mutant receptor's functionality and its ability to enhance cell migration and invasion. Our findings highlight a possible link between MET germline mutations and MTCs and suggest that MET p. Arg417Gln may promote an invasive malignant phenotype. The possibility that MTC can be driven/co-driven by a MET mutation has potential management implications, since the tyrosine-kinase inhibitor cabozantinib-approved for treating advanced MTCs-is a specific MET inhibitor.
Keywords: MET proto-oncogene; RET proto-oncogene; familial medullary thyroid cancer; medullary thyroid cancer; whole exome sequencing.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.