Missense mutations in exon 2 of the MED12 gene are involved in IGF-2 overexpression in uterine leiomyoma.Mol Hum Reprod. 2014 Oct; 20(10):1009-15.MH
Uterine leiomyoma (UL), the most common benign tumour found in females, is associated with many recurrent genetic aberrations, such as translocations, interstitial deletions and specific germline mutations. Among these, mutations affecting exon 2 of the mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) gene are commonly detected in the majority of ULs. Mutational analysis of the MED12 gene, performed on 36 UL samples, revealed that 12 leiomyomas (33.4%) exhibited heterozygous missense mutations in codon 44 of exon 2 of the MED12 gene, four leiomyomas (11.1%) showed internal in-frame deletions, and two leiomyomas (5.5%) exhibited deletions involving intron 1-exon 2 junction, which caused a predicted loss of the splice acceptor. No mutations were detected in uterine myometrium (UM) and pseudocapsule (PC) samples, including those from women with a MED12 mutation in UL. These data showed that the PC is a healthy tissue that surrounds the UL to maintain UM integrity. Analysis of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) and collagen type IV alpha 2 (COL4A2) mRNA expression levels in the same set of ULs revealed that only those with MED12 missense mutations expressed significantly higher levels of IGF-2 mRNA. In contrast, MED12 gene status does not appear to affect mRNA expression levels of the COL4A2 gene. On the basis of this finding, we suggest that the MED12 status stratifies the ULs into two mutually exclusive pathways of leiomyoma genesis, one with IGF-2 overexpression and the other with no IGF-2 activation. The occurrence of IGF-2 overexpression could be therapeutically targeted for the non-surgical treatment of leiomyomas.