Structural and functional abnormalities at 11p15 are associated with the malignant phenotype in sporadic adrenocortical tumors: study on a series of 82 tumors

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Aug;82(8):2559-65. doi: 10.1210/jcem.82.8.4170.


Abnormalities of the 11p15 region with overexpression of the normally imprinted insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) gene have been implicated in the pathogenesis of adrenocortical tumors. We evaluated the frequency and distribution of 11p15 loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and IGF-II gene overexpression in a series of 82 sporadic adrenocortical tumors, screened for pathological functional imprinting of the 11p15 region in tumors not exhibiting LOH and evaluated the expression of H19 gene in these tumors. Abnormalities of the 11p15 region as LOH (loss of the maternal allele and duplication of the paternal allele) and/or IGF-II gene overexpression are frequent features of the malignant state and were found in 27 of 29 (93.1%) of the malignant tumors and in only 3 of 35 (8.6%) of the benign tumors. Tumors without abnormality of the 11p15 region (mainly benign tumors) did not exhibit pathological functional imprinting. In tumors with mosaicism for 11p15 LOH, biallelic expression of the IGF-II gene was constant in the tumor cell contingent not undergoing LOH. Abrogation of H19 expression correlated with the loss of the maternal allele (LOH or pathological imprinting), but did not always correlate with overexpression of the IGF-II gene. These data indicate the involvement of dysregulation of the 11p15 region in late steps of adrenocortical tumorigenesis and provide us with new molecular markers for a better diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of adrenocortical tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11*
  • DNA Methylation
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mosaicism
  • Multigene Family
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II