Embryonic stem cell factor FOXD3 (Genesis) defects in gastrointestinal stromal tumors
Carney triad; Carney–Stratakis syndrome; FOXD3; GIST; interstitial cells of Cajal
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are mesenchymal neoplasms, believed to originate from the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), often caused by overexpression of tyrosine kinase receptors (TKR) KIT or PDGFRA. Here, we present evidence that the embryonic stem cell factor FOXD3, first identified as 'Genesis' and involved in both gastrointestinal and neural crest cell development, is implicated in GIST pathogenesis; its involvement is investigated both in vitro and in zebrafish and a mouse model of FOXD3 deficiency. Samples from a total of 58 patients with wild-type GISTs were used for molecular analyses, including Sanger sequencing, comparative genomic hybridization, and methylation analysis. Immunohistochemistry and western blot evaluation were used to assess FOXD3 expression. Additionally, we conducted in vitro functional studies in tissue samples and in transfected cells to confirm the pathogenicity of the identified genetic variants. Germline partially inactivating FOXD3 sequence variants (p.R54H and p.Ala88_Gly91del) were found in patients with isolated GISTs. Chromosome 1p loss was the most frequent chromosomal abnormality identified in tumors. In vitro experiments demonstrate the impairment of FOXD3 in the presence of those variants. Animal studies showed disruption of the GI neural network and changes in the number and distribution in the ICC. FOXD3 suppresses KIT expression in human cells; its inactivation led to an increase in ICC in zebrafish, as well as mice, providing evidence for a functional link between FOXD3 defects and KIT overexpression leading to GIST formation.
Faucz, Fabio R.; Horvath, Anelia D.; Assié, Guillaume; Almeida, Madson Q.; Szarek, Eva; Boikos, Sosipatros; Angelousi, Anna; Levy, Isaac; Maria, Andrea G.; Chitnis, Ajay; Antonescu, Cristina R.; Claus, Rainer; Bertherat, Jérôme; Plass, Christoph; Eng, Charis; and Stratakis, Constantine A., "Embryonic stem cell factor FOXD3 (Genesis) defects in gastrointestinal stromal tumors" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3333.
Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine