Am J Hum Genet 2008 Feb 31;82(2):366-74. Epub 2008 Jan 31.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute, Neurogenomics Division, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA.
Hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) are rare, benign congenital tumors associated with intractable epilepsy. Most cases are sporadic and nonsyndromic. Approximately 5% of HH cases are associated with Pallister-Hall syndrome (PHS), which is caused by haploinsufficiency of GLI3. We have investigated the possibility that HH pathogenesis in sporadic cases is due to a somatic (tumor-only) mutation in GLI3. We isolated genomic DNA from peripheral blood and surgically resected HH tissue in 55 patients with sporadic HH and intractable epilepsy. A genome-wide screen for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and chromosomal abnormalities was performed with parallel analysis of blood and HH tissue with Affymetrix 10K SNP microarrays. Additionally, resequencing and fine mapping with SNP genotyping were completed for the GLI3 gene with comparisons between peripheral blood and HH tissue pairs. By analyzing chromosomal copy-number data for paired samples on the Affymetrix 10K array, we identified a somatic chromosomal abnormality on chromosome 7p in one HH tissue sample. Resequencing of GLI3 did not identify causative germline mutations but did identify LOH within the GLI3 gene in the HH tissue samples of three patients. Further genotyping of 28 SNPs within and surrounding GLI3 identified five additional patients exhibiting LOH. Together, these data provide evidence that the development of chromosomal abnormalities within GLI3 is associated with the pathogenesis of HH lesions in sporadic, nonsyndromic patients with HH and intractable epilepsy. Chromosomal abnormalities including the GLI3 locus were seen in 8 of 55 (15%) of the resected HH tissue samples. These somatic mutations appear to be highly variable.