Luigi Mori

Spedali Civili di Brescia, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (8)58.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: SDH genes, encoding succinate dehydrogenase, act as tumor suppressor, linking mitochondrial dysfunction with tumorigenesis. Heterozygous germline mutations in SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD and in the assembly factor encoding gene SDHAF2 have all been shown to predispose to heritable endocrine neoplasias such as Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas called "PHEO-PGL syndrome". SDH genes mutations, in addition to deletions or truncations which are most likely pathogenic, often include missense substitutions which can be of uncertain significance. Unclassified missense substitutions may be difficult to interpret unless the cause-effect link between mutation and the disease is established by functional and in silico studies or by the familial segregation with the phenotype.Using the yeast model, here we report functional investigations on several missense SDH mutations found in patients affected by Pheochromocytoma or Paraganglioma. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether and to which extent the yeast model may be useful for establishing the pathological significance of missense SDH mutations in humans. The results of our study demonstrate that the yeast is a good functional model to validate the pathogenic significance of SDHB missense mutations while, for missense mutations in SDHC and SDHD genes, the model can be informative only when the variation involves a conserved residue in a conserved domain.
    Human Molecular Genetics 11/2012; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytomas (PCC) and paragangliomas (PGL) are genetically heterogeneous neural crest-derived neoplasms. Recently we identified germline mutations in a new tumor suppressor susceptibility gene, MAX (MYC-associated factor X), which predisposes carriers to PCC. How MAX mutations contribute to PCC/PGL and associated phenotypes remain unclear. This study aimed to examine the prevalence and associated phenotypic features of germline and somatic MAX mutations in PCC/PGL. Design: We sequenced MAX in 1,694 patients with PCC or PGL (without mutations in other major susceptibility genes) from 17 independent referral centers. We screened for large deletions/duplications in 1,535 patients using a multiplex PCR-based method. Somatic mutations were searched for in tumors from an additional 245 patients. The frequency and type of MAX mutation was assessed overall and by clinical characteristics. Sixteen MAX pathogenic mutations were identified in 23 index patients. All had adrenal tumors, including 13 bilateral or multiple PCCs within the same gland (P < 0.001), 15.8% developed additional tumors at thoracoabdominal sites, and 37% had familial antecedents. Age at diagnosis was lower (P = 0.001) in MAX mutation carriers compared with nonmutated cases. Two patients (10.5%) developed metastatic disease. A mutation affecting MAX was found in five tumors, four of them confirmed as somatic (1.65%). MAX tumors were characterized by substantial increases in normetanephrine, associated with normal or minor increases in metanephrine. Germline mutations in MAX are responsible for 1.12% of PCC/PGL in patients without evidence of other known mutations and should be considered in the genetic work-up of these patients.
    Clinical Cancer Research 03/2012; 18(10):2828-37. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To perform a genetic screening for the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) gene mutations in patients affected by an apparently sporadic form of the disease, referred to an internal medicine unit of a large general hospital. In a group of 12 consecutive patients presenting clinical features of MEN type 1 syndrome, we performed a genetic screening for germline MEN1 gene mutations, including complete sequencing of the coding region (exons 2 to 10) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis for large deletion detection. Among these patients affected by apparently sporadic MEN type 1 syndrome, a targeted clinical history could detect indirect support for a diagnosis of familial condition only in 2 cases. The genetic screening identified pathogenic germline MEN1 gene mutations in 3 patients (25%). A previously unknown 18 base-pair deletion within exon 3, c.564_581delCAATGGGGAGCAGACAGC, resulting in loss of 6 amino acids (pAsp189_Ala194del), was found in heterozygosis in a woman affected by primary hyperparathyroidism and multifocal pancreatic neoplasia. Our results underscore the importance of performing genetic testing also in apparently sporadic MEN1 patients and extend the list of molecular variants leading to inactivation of the MEN1 gene.
    Journal of endocrinological investigation 02/2012; 35(2):124-8. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are genetically heterogeneous neural crest-derived neoplasms. We recently identified germline mutations of the novel transmembrane-encoding gene FP/TMEM127 in familial and sporadic pheochromocytomas consistent with a tumor suppressor effect. To examine the prevalence and spectrum of FP/TMEM127 mutations in pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas and to test the effect of mutations in vitro. We sequenced the FP/TMEM127 gene in 990 individuals with pheochromocytomas and/or paragangliomas, including 898 previously unreported cases without mutations in other susceptibility genes from 8 independent worldwide referral centers between January 2009 and June 2010. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction-based method was developed to screen for large gene deletions in 545 of these samples. Confocal microscopy of 5 transfected mutant proteins was used to determine their subcellular localization. The frequency and type of FP/TMEM127 mutation or deletion was assessed and correlated with clinical variables; the subcellular localization of 5 overexpressed mutants was compared with wild-type FP/TMEM127 protein. We identified 19 potentially pathogenic FP/TMEM127 germline mutations in 20 independent families, but no large deletions were detected. All mutation carriers had adrenal tumors, including 7 bilateral (P = 2.7 × 10(-4)) and/or with familial disease (5 of 20 samples; P = .005). The median age at disease onset in the FP/TMEM127 mutation group was similar to that of patients without a mutation (41.5 vs 45 years, respectively; P = .54). The most common presentation was that of a single benign adrenal tumor in patients older than 40 years. Malignancy was seen in 1 mutation carrier (5%). Expression of 5 novel FP/TMEM127 mutations in cell lines revealed diffuse localization of the mutant proteins in contrast with the discrete multiorganelle distribution of wild-type TMEM127. Germline mutations of FP/TMEM127 were associated with pheochromocytoma but not paraganglioma and occurred in an age group frequently excluded from genetic screening algorithms. Disease-associated mutations disrupt intracellular distribution of the FP/TMEM127 protein.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 12/2010; 304(23):2611-9. · 29.98 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hypertension - J HYPERTENSION. 01/2010; 28.
  • Journal of Hypertension - J HYPERTENSION. 01/2010; 28.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to define the frequency of hereditary forms and the genotype/phenotype correlations in a large cohort of Italian patients with pheochromocytomas and/or functional or nonfunctional paragangliomas. We examined 501 consecutive patients with pheochromocytomas and/or paragangliomas (secreting or nonsecreting). Complete medical and family histories, as well as the results of clinical, laboratory, and imaging studies, were recorded in a database. Patients were divided into different groups according to their family history, the presence of lesions outside adrenals/paraganglia considered syndromic for VHL disease, MEN2, and NF1, and the number and types of pheochromocytomas and/or paragangliomas. Germ-line mutations in known susceptibility genes were investigated by gene sequencing (VHL, RET, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD) or diagnosed according to phenotype (NF1). In 160 patients younger than 50 yr with a wild-type profile, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assays were performed to detect genomic rearrangements. Germline mutations were detected in 32.1% of cases, but frequencies varied widely depending on the classification criteria and ranged from 100% in patients with associated syndromic lesions to 11.6% in patients with a single tumor and a negative family history. The types and number of pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas as well as age at presentation and malignancy suggest which gene should be screened first. Genomic rearrangements were found in two of 160 patients (1.2%). The frequency of the hereditary forms of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma varies depending on the family history and the clinical presentation. A positive family history and an accurate clinical evaluation of patients are strong indicators of which genes should be screened first.
    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 02/2009; 94(5):1541-7. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the prevalence of genetic mutations in nonsyndromic pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PHEO/PGL) patients we have performed a systematic search for mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) B, C, and D subunits, von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), and RET genes by direct bidirectional sequencing. Patients were selected from the medical records of hypertension centers. After exclusion of syndromic patients, 45 patients with familial (F+, n=3) and sporadic (F-, n=42) cases of isolated PHEO/PGL were considered. They included 35 patients with PHEO, 7 with PGL, and 3 with head/neck PGL (hnPGL). Three patients with PHEO (2F-, 1F+) presented VHL mutations (P86A, G93C, and R167W), six with PGL (4F-, 2F+) were positive for SDH or VHL mutations (SDHB R230G in two patients, SDHB S8F, R46Q, R90Q, and VHL P81L in one subject each), and one with hnPGL carried the SDHD 348-351delGACT mutation. We have also detected missense (SDHB S163P, SDHD H50R and G12S), synonymous (SDHB A6A, SDHD S68S), and intronic mutations that have been considered nonpathological polymorphic variants. No mutation was found in SDHC or RET genes. Our data indicate that germline mutations of VHL and SDH subunits are not infrequent in familial as well as in sporadic cases of nonsyndromic PHEO/PGL (overall, 12 of 45 probands, 22%). Accordingly, screening for such mutations seems to be justified. However, a more precise characterization of the functional relevance of any observed sequence variant and of other genetic and environmental determinants of neoplastic transformation is essential in order to plan appropriate protocols for family screening and follow-up.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 09/2006; 1073:156-65. · 4.38 Impact Factor