• gastrointestinal hamartomas;
  • Peutz–Jeghers syndrome;
  • serine threonine kinase gene

Germline mutations of the STK11 gene mapped to chromosome 19p13.3 are responsible for Peutz–Jeghers syndrome (PJS), a dominant disorder associated with characteristic gastrointestinal hamartomatous polyps and a predisposition to various cancers. We conducted a detailed investigation of germline STK11 alterations by protein truncation test and genomic DNA sequence analysis in ten unrelated PJS families. We identified a novel truncating deletion spanning STK11 exons 2–7 in a single patient and several known polymorphisms. Loss of heterozygosity studies in PJS polyps of four of these patients identified an allelic deletion of D19S886 in another patient. Our results suggest that STK11 mutations account for only a proportion of PJS cases.