Independent Loss of Methylthioadenosine Phosphorylase (MTAP) in Primary Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

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Methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) and the tumor suppressor genes CDKN2A-CDKN2B are frequently deleted in malignancies. The specific role of MTAP in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma subgroups, mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sézary syndrome (SS), is unknown. In 213 skin samples from patients with MF/SS, MTAP copy number loss (34%) was more frequent than CDKN2A (12%) in all cutaneous T-cell lymphoma stages using quantitative reverse transcription PCR. Importantly, in early stage MF, MTAP loss occurred independently of CDKN2A loss in 37% of samples. In peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with SS, codeletion with CDKN2A occurred in 18% of samples but loss of MTAP alone was uncommon. In CD4+ cells from SS, reduced MTAP mRNA expression correlated with MTAP copy number loss (P < 0.01) but reduced MTAP expression was also detected in the absence of copy number loss. Deep sequencing of MTAP/CDKN2A-CDKN2B loci in 77 peripheral blood mononuclear cell DNA samples from patients with SS did not show any nonsynonymous mutations, but read-depth analysis suggested focal deletions consistent with MTAP and CDKN2A copy number loss detected with quantitative reverse transcription PCR. In a cutaneous T-cell lymphoma cell line, promoter hypermethylation was shown to downregulate MTAP expression and may represent a mechanism of MTAP inactivation. In conclusion, our findings suggest that there may be selection in early stages of MF for MTAP deletion within the cutaneous tumor microenvironment.




Woollard, W. J., Kalaivani, N. P., Jones, C. L., Roper, C., Tung, L., Lee, J. J., … Mitchell, T. J. (2016). Independent Loss of Methylthioadenosine Phosphorylase (MTAP) in Primary Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 136(6), 1238–1246.

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