Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations of the tumor suppressor gene MEN1. Most of the germline MEN1 gene mutations have been small mutations, and the whole gene deletion is rarely observed. In the present study, we revealed Alu retrotransposon-mediated de novo germline deletion of the whole MEN1 gene and somatic copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in a patient with MEN1. The patient is a 39-year-old woman who was referred to our department for the management of prolactinoma. She was also diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism and suspected of MEN1. Although nucleotide sequencing did not detect any MEN1 gene mutations, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) revealed a large germline deletion of the MEN1 gene. Subsequent quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based copy number mapping showed a monoallelic loss of approximately 18.5-kilobase region containing the whole MEN1 gene. Intriguingly, the 2 breakpoints were flanked by Alu repetitive elements, suggesting the contribution of Alu/Alu-mediated rearrangements (AAMR) to the whole MEN1 gene deletion. Furthermore, copy number mapping using MLPA and qPCR in combination with single nucleotide polymorphism analysis revealed copy-neutral LOH as a somatic event for parathyroid tumorigenesis. In conclusion, copy number mapping revealed a novel combination of Alu/Alumediated de novo germline deletion of the MEN1 gene and somatic copy-neutral LOH as a cytogenetic basis for the MEN1 pathogenesis. Moreover, subsequent in silico analysis highlighted the possible predisposition of the MEN1 gene to Alu retrotransposon-mediated genomic deletion.
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