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Adenomatoid tumors of the male and female genital tract are defined by TRAF7 mutations that drive aberrant NF-kB pathway activation.

  • Author(s): Goode, Benjamin
  • Joseph, Nancy M
  • Stevers, Meredith
  • Van Ziffle, Jessica
  • Onodera, Courtney
  • Talevich, Eric
  • Grenert, James P
  • Yeh, Iwei
  • Bastian, Boris C
  • Phillips, Joanna J
  • Garg, Karuna
  • Rabban, Joseph T
  • Zaloudek, Charles
  • Solomon, David A
  • et al.

Adenomatoid tumors are the most common neoplasm of the epididymis, and histologically similar adenomatoid tumors also commonly arise in the uterus and fallopian tube. To investigate the molecular pathogenesis of these tumors, we performed genomic profiling on a cohort of 31 adenomatoid tumors of the male and female genital tracts. We identified that all tumors harbored somatic missense mutations in the TRAF7 gene, which encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase belonging to the family of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factors (TRAFs). These mutations all clustered into one of five recurrent hotspots within the WD40 repeat domains at the C-terminus of the protein. Functional studies in vitro revealed that expression of mutant but not wild-type TRAF7 led to increased phosphorylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) and increased expression of L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM), a marker of NF-kB pathway activation. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated robust L1CAM expression in adenomatoid tumors that was absent in normal mesothelial cells, malignant peritoneal mesotheliomas and multilocular peritoneal inclusion cysts. Together, these studies demonstrate that adenomatoid tumors of the male and female genital tract are genetically defined by TRAF7 mutation that drives aberrant NF-kB pathway activation.

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