Authors: Alves M.M., Fuhler G.M., Queiroz K.C.S., Scholma J., Goorden S., Anink J., Spek C.A., Hoogeveen-Westerveld A., Bruno M.J., Nellist M., Aronica E. & Peppelenbosch M.P.
Scientific reports/5:14534/DOI:10.1038/srep14534


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is caused by inactivating mutations in either TSC1 or TSC2 and is characterized by uncontrolled mTORC1 activation. Drugs that reduce mTOR activity are only partially successful in the treatment of TSC, suggesting that mTOR-independent pathways play a role in disease development. Here, kinome profiles of wild-type and Tsc2-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were generated, revealing a prominent role for PAK2 in signal transduction downstream of TSC1/2. Further investigation showed that the effect of the TSC1/2 complex on PAK2 is mediated through RHEB, but is independent of mTOR and p21RAC. We also demonstrated that PAK2 overactivation is likely responsible for the migratory and cell cycle abnormalities observed in Tsc2-/-MEFs. Finally, we detected high levels of PAK2 activation in giant cells in the brains of TSC patients. These results show that PAK2 is a direct effector of TSC1-TSC2-RHEB signaling and a new target for rational drug therapy in TSC. 


Authors: K. Sadowski, K. Kotulska, R. A. Schwartz and S. Jóźwiak
DOI: 10.1111/jdv.13356


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic multisystem disorder associated with constitutive overactivation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and characterized by development of benign tumours in various organs. mTOR inhibitors have proven to be effective in the targeted therapy of certain TSC-associated pathologies such as subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) and renal angiomyolipomas (AMLs). Accumulating experimental and clinical data suggest that mTOR inhibitors might have a systemic, disease-modifying influence on affected individuals. This systematic review provides an analysis of available clinical data concerning systemic effect of mTOR inhibitors and the influence of mTOR inhibition on different manifestations of TSC in individual patients.

Authors: Kwiatkowski DJ, Palmer MR, Jozwiak S, Bissler J, Franz D, Segal S, Chen D, Sampson JR. 
Eur J Hum Genet. 2015. In press.

Tuberous sclerosis complex is an autosomal dominant disorder that occurs owing to inactivating mutations in either TSC1 or TSC2. Tuberous sclerosis complex-related tumors in the brain, such as subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, and in the kidney, such as angiomyolipoma, can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Recently, randomized clinical trials (EXIST-1 and EXIST-2) of everolimus for each of these tuberous sclerosis complex-associated tumors demonstrated the benefit of this drug, which blocks activated mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. Here we report on the spectrum of mutations seen in patients treated during these trials and the association between mutation and response. TSC2 mutations were predominant among patients in both trials and were present in nearly all subjects with angiomyolipoma in whom a mutation was identified (97%), whereas TSC1 mutations were rare in those subjects (3%). The spectrum of mutations seen in each gene was similar to those previously reported. In both trials, there was no apparent association between mutation type or location within each gene and response to everolimus. Everolimus responses were also seen at a similar frequency for the 16-18% of patients in each trial in whom no mutation in either gene was identified. These observations confirm the strong association between TSC2 mutation and angiomyolipoma burden seen in previous studies, and they indicate that everolimus response occurs regardless of mutation type or location or when no mutation in TSC1 or TSC2 has been identified.

Authors: Tyburczy ME, Jozwiak S, Malinowska IA, Chekaluk Y, Pugh TJ, Wu CL, Nussbaum RL, Seepo S, Dzik
               T, Kotulska K, Kwiatkowski DJ.
Hum Mol Genet. 2015 24(7):1836-42. PMID:25432535

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder characterized by seizures and tumor formation in multiple organs, mainly in the brain, skin, kidney, lung and heart. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) occurs in ∼3% of TSC patients, and typically develops at age <50. Here we describe genetic findings in two TSC patients with multiple renal tumors, each of whom had the germline mutation TSC2 p.R905Q. The first (female) TSC patient had a left followed by a right nephrectomy at ages 24 and 27. Both kidneys showed multifocal TSC-associated papillary RCC (PRCC). Targeted, next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis of TSC2 in five tumors (four from the left kidney, one from the right) showed loss of heterozygosity in one tumor, and four different TSC2 point mutations (p.E1351*, p.R1032*, p.R1713H, c.4178_4179delCT) in the other four samples. Only one of the 11 other tumors available from this patient had one of the TSC2 second hit mutations identified. Whole-exome analysis of the five tumors identified a very small number of additional mutated genes, with an average of 3.4 nonsilent coding, somatic mutations per tumor, none of which were seen in >1 tumor. The second (male) TSC patient had bilateral partial nephrectomies (both at age 36), with similar findings of multifocal PRCC. NGS analysis of TSC2 in two of these tumors identified a second hit mutation c.2355+1G>T in one sample that was not seen in other tumors. In conclusion, we report the first detailed genetic analysis of RCCs in TSC patients. Molecular studies indicate that tumors developed independently due to various second hit events, suggesting that these patients experienced a 'shower' of second hit mutations in TSC2 during kidney development leading to this severe phenotype.

Authors: Yang P, Cornejo KM, Sadow PM, Cheng L, Wang M, Xiao Y, Jiang Z, Oliva E, Jozwiak S, Nussbaum
               RL, Feldman AS, Paul E, Thiele EA, Yu JJ, Henske EP, Kwiatkowski DJ, Young RH, Wu CL.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014 38:895-909. PMCID:PMC4139167

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) occurs in 2% to 4% of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Previous reports have noted a variety of histologic appearances in these cancers, but the full spectrum of morphologic and molecular features has not been fully elucidated. We encountered 46 renal epithelial neoplasms from 19 TSC patients and analyzed their clinical, pathologic, and molecular features, enabling separation of these 46 tumors into 3 groups. The largest subset of tumors (n=24) had a distinct morphologic, immunologic, and molecular profile, including prominent papillary architecture and uniformly deficient succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) expression prompting the novel term "TSC-associated papillary RCC (PRCC)." The second group (n=15) were morphologically similar to a hybrid oncocytic/chromophobe tumor (HOCT), whereas the last 7 renal epithelial neoplasms of group 3 remained unclassifiable. The TSC-associated PRCCs had prominent papillary architecture lined by clear cells with delicate eosinophilic cytoplasmic thread-like strands that occasionally appeared more prominent and aggregated to form eosinophilic globules. All 24 (100%) of these tumors were International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) nucleolar grade 2 or 3 with mostly basally located nuclei. Tumor cells from 17 of 24 TSC-associated PRCCs showed strong, diffuse labeling for carbonic anhydrase IX (100%), CK7 (94%), vimentin (88%), and CD10 (83%) and were uniformly negative for SDHB, TFE3, and AMACR. Gains of chromosomes 7 and 17 were found in 2 tumors, whereas chromosome 3p deletion and TFE3 translocations were not detected. In this study, we reported a sizable cohort of renal tumors seen in TSC and were able to identify them as different morphotypes, which may help to expand the morphologic spectrum of TSC-associated RCC.