Annual review 2016

2016 has been a busy year for BHD research. With the new year approaching, this week’s blog will review the studies we’ve particularly enjoyed writing about and revisit the year’s highlights. Iribe et al. (2016) assessed several RCC subtypes from BHD patients to determine if they had similar or distinct patterns of genetic abnormalities. Only a few chromophobe RCC … Read more

Establishment of a new BHD Syndrome cell line

Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome is caused by mutations in the FLCN gene. The FLCN protein acts as a tumour suppressor and BHD patients have a high risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The mechanisms of tumour formation in BHD have been investigated using mouse models and human RCC tissues. However, in vitro signalling studies of human renal cells with mutant FLCN … Read more

FLCN haploinsufficiency leads to lung fibroblast dysfunction in patients with BHD syndrome

Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome (BHD) is caused by germline mutations in the FLCN gene and characterized by fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax and renal tumours. The stretch hypothesis for pulmonary cyst formation proposes that cysts in BHD arise from defects in cell–cell adhesion, leading to repeated respiration-induced physical stretch-induced stress and, over time, expansion of alveolar spaces particularly in … Read more

Mutated mTOR regulator RRAGC proteins decrease interactions with FLCN

Follicular lymphoma is a B-cell lymphoma that remains incurable with conventional therapies. Ying et al. (2016) present a new study exploring the biological and genetic features of follicular lymphoma and identifying potential new therapeutic targets. The authors identify recurrent mutations in the mTOR regulator RRAGC, a small G-protein, in approximately 10% of follicular lymphoma cases. … Read more

RCC clinical trials: positive results and new phase III clinical study

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is by far the most common type of kidney cancer and it can be caused by genetic conditions such as BHD (Randall et al., 2014). BHD patients can develop multiple kidney tumours.  In most cases these tumours can be surgically removed.  However, surgery and traditional chemotherapies can leave patients with reduced renal function … Read more

Two recent case reports on BHD–Epidemiologic study of patients in Asia and new FLCN mutation

Furuya et al. (2016) present a new study describing genetic, epidemiologic and clinicopathologic features of 312 Asian individuals with BHD manifestations based on data from 120 probands from different families (119 Japanese and 1 Taiwanese), 36 siblingss with genetic testing and 156 siblings without genetic testing. Among the 120 probands that were grouped as ‘Possible … Read more

Lack of Tsc2 in Mesenchymal Cells Causes Kidney Cysts and Defective Lung Alveolarization

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder that shares clinical similarities with BHD. TSC results from germline mutations in the Tsc1 or Tsc2 gene, affecting multiple organs, including the kidney and lung. In the kidney, lesions such as multiple renal cysts and renal cell carcinoma can occur. In the lung, patients can develop multifocal micronodular pneumocyte … Read more

Chest CT in patients with spontaneous pneumothorax is cost-effective

Patients that present with a spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) without a known medical history of lung disease are usually diagnosed as primary spontaneous pneumothorax – a pneumothorax that occurs without underlying diseases. However, underlying diffuse cystic lung diseases such as Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome (BHD), lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and pulmonary Langerhans cell histiocytosis (PLCH) may have a spontaneous pneumothorax … Read more

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