Benign clear cell "sugar" tumor of the lung in a patient with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome: a case report

Yoko Gunji-Niitsu; Toshio Kumasaka; Shigehiro Kitamura; Yoshito Hoshika; Takuo Hayashi; Hitoshi Tokuda; Riichiro Morita; Etsuko Kobayashi; Keiko Mitani; Mika Kikkawa; Kazuhisa Takahashi; Kuniaki Seyama
November 2016
BMC Medical Genetics;11/21/2016, Vol. 17, p1
Academic Journal
Case Study
Background: Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is a rare inherited autosomal genodermatosis and caused by germline mutation of the folliculin (FLCN) gene, a tumor suppressor gene of which protein product is involved in mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway regulating cell growth and metabolism. Clinical manifestations in BHD syndrome is characterized by fibrofolliculomas of the skin, pulmonary cysts with or without spontaneous pneumothorax, and renal neoplasms. There has been no pulmonary neoplasm reported in BHD syndrome, although the condition is due to deleterious sequence variants in a tumor suppressor gene. Here we report, for the first time to our knowledge, a patient with BHD syndrome who was complicated with a clear cell "sugar" tumor (CCST) of the lung, a benign tumor belonging to perivascular epithelioid cell tumors (PEComas) with frequent causative relation to tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (TSC1) or 2 (TSC2) gene. Case presentation: In a 38-year-old Asian woman, two well-circumscribed nodules in the left lung and multiple thin-walled, irregularly shaped cysts on the basal and medial area of the lungs were disclosed by chest roentgenogram and computer-assisted tomography (CT) during a preoperative survey for a bilateral faucial tonsillectomy. Analysis of the resected tumor showed large polygonal cells with clear cytoplasm proliferating in a solid pattern. Immunohistochemistry revealed that these tumor cells were positive for microphthalmia-transcription factor, S100, and CD1a but negative for HMB45, indicating that the tumor was a CCST. Genetic testing indicated that the patient had a germline mutation on exon 12 of the FLCN gene, i.e., insertion of 7 nucleotides (CCACCCT) (c.1347_1353dupCCACCCT). Direct sequencing of the FLCN exon 12 using genomic DNA obtained from her microdissected CCST cells clearly revealed loss of the wild-type FLCN sequence, which confirmed complete functional loss of the FLCN gene. On the other hand, no loss of heterozygosity around TCS1- or TSC2-associated genetic region was demonstrated. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first report of CCST of the lung in a patient with BHDS, indicating that CCST should be added to the spectrum of pulmonary manifestations of BHDS.


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