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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Predictive genetic screening and clinical findings in multiple endocrine neoplasia type I families.

Germline mutations of the MEN1 gene have been identified as the causative genetic defect of multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN-I), an autosomal dominantly inherited condition. To establish the basis for predictive family screening we evaluated the spectrum of MEN1 gene mutations in MEN-I patients treated at our institution. Relatives at risk were subjected to predictive genetic screening after genetic counseling. Gene carriers were subjected to extensive clinical screening for MEN-I, including biochemical tests for basal hormone concentrations in blood and urine, a standardized meal stimulation test and imaging procedures (ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging). Among index patients of 15 independent MEN-I kindreds, 14 heterozygous MEN1 germline mutations were identified by single-strand conformational variant analysis (SSCV) and direct DNA sequence analysis. Of 51 individuals at risk, 26 predictively tested relatives with the wild-type MEN1 gene could be excluded from further screening procedures because they had not inherited the disease. In all previously presumed unaffected relatives with the mutant gene, our extensive clinical screening program revealed at least one manifestation of MEN-I. Furthermore, 22 additional diagnoses could be established in identified MEN-I patients. We show that mutation analysis enables predictive genetic screening for MEN-I families, providing a valuable tool for genetic counseling and clinical management. An extensive clinical screening program focusing on genetically proven individuals at risk allows detection of MEN-I manifestations at an early, asymptomatic stage of the disease. Controlled, prospective studies are now required to prove whether timely appropriate treatment on the basis of predictive screening might help improve disease-related quality of life and prolong life expectancy in MEN-I kindreds.[1]


  1. Predictive genetic screening and clinical findings in multiple endocrine neoplasia type I families. Kopp, I., Bartsch, D., Wild, A., Schilling, T., Nies, C., Bergenfelz, A., Rieder, H., Simon, B., Rothmund, M. World journal of surgery. (2001) [Pubmed]
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