Journal of the Endocrine Society Journal Article

PRKAR1A Mosaicism and Somatic Defects

February 22, 2021
 

Crystal D C Kamilaris, Fabio R Faucz, Victoria C Andriessen, Naris Nilubol, Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, Mark A Ahlman, Fady Hannah-Shmouni, Constantine A Stratakis
Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, April 2021, bvab007
https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab007

Abstract

Context

Primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) is a rare cause of ACTH-independent Cushing syndrome (CS) associated mostly with Carney complex (CNC), a rare autosomal dominant multiple neoplasia syndrome. More than two-thirds of familial cases and approximately one-third of sporadic cases of CNC harbor germline inactivating PRKAR1A defects. Increasingly sensitive technologies for the detection of genetic defects such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) have further highlighted the importance of mosaicism in human disease.

Case Description

A 33-year-old woman was diagnosed with ACTH-independent CS with abdominal computed tomography showing bilateral micronodular adrenal hyperplasia with a left adrenal adenoma. She underwent left adrenalectomy with pathology demonstrating PPNAD with a 1.5-cm pigmented adenoma. DNA analysis by Sanger sequencing revealed 2 different PRKAR1A variants in the adenoma that were absent from DNA extracted from blood and saliva: c.682C > T and c.974-2A > G. “Deep” NGS revealed that 0.31% of DNA copies extracted from blood and saliva did in fact carry the c.682C > T variant, suggesting low-level mosaicism for this defect.

Conclusions

We present a case of PPNAD due to low-level mosaicism for a PRKAR1A defect which led to the formation of an adenoma due to a second, adrenal-specific, somatic PRKAR1A mutation. The identification of mosaicism for PRKAR1A, depending on the number and distribution of cells affected has implications for genetic counseling and tumor surveillance. This is the first recorded case of a patient with PRKAR1A mosaicism, PPNAD, and an adenoma forming due to complete inactivation of PRKAR1A in adrenal tissue from a second, somatic-only, PRKAR1A coding sequence mutation.

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