ABSTRACT: Frequent somatic mutations of BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B) exon T1799A, which are implicated in the initial events of promutagenic cellular proliferation, are detected in both malignant melanomas (MM) and melanocytic nevi (MN). Most of the data regarding BRAF exon T1799A mutation have been from Caucasian cohorts, and a comprehensive screening of a homogeneous population is lacking. A total of 379 cases of MN and 195 cases of MM were collected from Chinese Han living in three geographical regions in China, i.e., northeast, southwest, and northwest China. BRAF exon T1799A mutation was detected by PCR and sequencing from microdissected tumors. In all, 59.8% cases of MN harbored BRAF exon T1799A mutation. Samples from regions with high UV exposure had higher detection rates than regions with lower UV exposure (73.5, 67.0, and 38.9%, respectively; χ(2) = 31.674, P = 1.59E-7). There were no differences in mutation rates between congenital and acquired MN; however, acquired MN with advanced age of onset had a higher mutation rate than those with younger age of onset (χ(2) = 13.23, P = 0.02). In all, 15.0% cases of MM harbored the BRAF mutation. The mutation rate in MM was not affected by region, histological type, gender, pattern of UV exposure, and age. The study suggests that the mutation is not necessarily associated with malignant transformation.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 02/2011; 131(5):1129-38. · 6.31 Impact Factor