Uterine leiomyomas from hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) patients are driven by fumarate hydratase (FH) inactivation or occasionally by mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) mutations. The aim of this study was to analyse whether MED12 mutations and FH inactivation are mutually exclusive and to determine the contribution of MED12 mutations on HLRCC patients' myomagenesis.
MED12 exons 1 and 2 mutation screening and 2SC immunohistochemistry indicative for FH deficiency was performed on a comprehensive series of HLRCC patients' (122 specimens) and sporadic (66 specimens) tumours. Gene expression analysis was performed using Affymetrix GeneChip Human Exon Arrays (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA, USA).
Nine tumours from HLRCC patients harboured a somatic MED12 mutation and were negative for 2SC immunohistochemistry. All remaining successfully analysed lesions (107/116) were deficient for FH. Of sporadic tumours, 35/64 were MED12 mutation positive and none displayed a FH defect. In global gene expression analysis FH-deficient tumours clustered together, whereas HLRCC patients' MED12 mutation-positive tumours clustered together with sporadic MED12 mutation-positive tumours.
Somatic MED12 mutations and biallelic FH inactivation are mutually exclusive in both HLRCC syndrome-associated and sporadic uterine leiomyomas. The great majority of HLRCC patients' uterine leiomyomas are caused by FH inactivation, but incidental tumours driven by somatic MED12 mutations also occur. These MED12 mutation-positive tumours display similar expressional profiles with their sporadic counterparts and are clearly separate from FH-deficient tumours.