Analysis of TSC Cortical Tubers by Deep Sequencing of TSC1, TSC2 and KRAS Demonstrates that Small Second-Hit Mutations in these Genes are Rare Events


David J. Kwiatkowski, MD, PhD, Translational Medicine Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 (E-mail: ph)


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an often severe neurocutaneous syndrome. Cortical tubers are the predominant neuropathological finding in TSC, and their number and location has been shown to correlate roughly with the severity of neurologic features in TSC. Past studies have shown that genomic deletion events in TSC1 or TSC2 are very rare in tubers, and suggested the potential involvement of the MAPK pathway in their pathogenesis. We used deep sequencing to assess all coding exons of TSC1 and TSC2, and the activating mutation hot spots within KRAS in 46 tubers from TSC patients. Germline heterozygous mutations were identified in 81% of tubers. The same secondary mutation in TSC2 was identified in six tuber samples from one individual. Further study showed that this second hit mutation was widely distributed in the cortex from one cerebral hemisphere of this individual at frequencies up to 10%. No other secondary mutations were found in the other 40 tubers analyzed. These data indicate that small second hit mutations in any of these three genes are very rare in TSC tubers. However, in one TSC individual, a second hit TSC2 point mutation occurred early during brain development, and likely contributed to tuber formation.