This usually involves a combination of a point mutation or multiexon deletion, in conjunction with either a second point mutation or loss of heterozygosity (LOH). We have performed DNA sequence and dosage analysis of the NF2 gene in a panel of 239 schwannoma tumours: 97 neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)-related schwannomas, 104 sporadic vestibular schwannomas (VS) and 38 schwannomatosis-related schwannomas.
In total, we identified germline NF2 mutations in 86 out of 97 (89%) NF2 patients and a second mutational event in 77 out of 97 (79%). LOH was by far the most common form of second hit. A combination of microsatellite analysis with either conventional comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) identified mitotic recombination (MR) as the cause of LOH in 14 out of 72 (19%) total evaluable tumours.
Among sporadic VS, at least one NF2 mutation was identified by sequence analysis or MLPA in 65 out of 98 (66%) tumours. LOH occurred in 54 out of 96 (56%) evaluable tumours, but MR only accounted for 5 out of 77 (6%) tested. LOH was present in 28 out of 34 (82%) schwannomatosis-related schwannomas.
In all eight patients who had previously tested positive for a germline SMARCB1 mutation, this involved loss of the whole, or part of the long arm, of chromosome 22. In contrast, 5 out of 22 (23%) tumours from patients with no germline SMARCB1 mutation exhibited MR. High-resolution Affymetrix SNP6 genotyping and copy number (CN) analysis (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA, USA) were used to determine the chromosomal breakpoint locations in tumours with MR. A range of unique recombination sites, spanning approximately 11.4 Mb, were identified.
This study shows that MR is a mechanism of LOH in NF2 and SMARCB1-negative schwannomatosis-related schwannomas, occurring less frequently in sporadic VS. We found no evidence of MR in SMARCB1-positive schwannomatosis, suggesting that susceptibility to MR varies according to the disease context.