Schwann cells harbor the somatic NF1 mutation in neurofibromas: Evidence of two different Schwann cell subpopulations

Eduard Serra, Thorsten Rosenbaum, Ursula Winner, Rosa Aledo, Elisabet Ars, Xavier Estivill, Hans Gerd Lenard, Conxi Lázaro

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175 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neurofibromas are one of the most characteristic features of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), an inherited autosomal-dominant neurogenetic disorder affecting 1 in 3500 individuals worldwide. These benign tumors mainly consist of Schwann cells (SCs) and fibroblasts. Recent evidence demonstrates that somatic mutations at the NF1 gene are found in neurofibromas, but it has not been demonstrated whether SCs, fibroblasts and/or both cell types bear a somatic loss of NF1. We recently established a cell culture system that allows selective expansion of human SCs from neurofibromas. We cultured pure populations of SCs and fibroblasts derived from 10 neurofibromas with characterized NF1 mutations and found that SCs but not fibroblasts harbored a somatic mutation at the NF1 locus in all studied tumors. Furthermore, by culturing neurofibroma-derived SCs under different in vitro conditions we were able to obtain two genetically distinct SC subpopulations: NF1(-/-) and NF1(+/-). These data strongly support the idea that NF1 mutations in SCs, but not in fibroblasts, correlate to neurofibroma formation and demonstrate that only a portion of SCs in neurofibromas have mutations in both NF1 alleles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3055-3064
Number of pages10
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Volume9
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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    Serra, E., Rosenbaum, T., Winner, U., Aledo, R., Ars, E., Estivill, X., Lenard, H. G., & Lázaro, C. (2000). Schwann cells harbor the somatic NF1 mutation in neurofibromas: Evidence of two different Schwann cell subpopulations. Human molecular genetics, 9(20), 3055-3064.