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Insoon Jang 1 Article
Adrenal Gland
Clinical and Molecular Characteristics of PRKACA L206R Mutant Cortisol-Producing Adenomas in Korean Patients
Insoon Jang, Su-jin Kim, Ra-Young Song, Kwangsoo Kim, Seongmin Choi, Jang-Seok Lee, Min-Kyeong Gwon, Moon Woo Seong, Kyu Eun Lee, Jung Hee Kim
Endocrinol Metab. 2021;36(6):1287-1297.   Published online December 2, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2021.1217
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Background
An activating mutation (c.617A>C/p.Lys206Arg, L206R) in protein kinase cAMP-activated catalytic subunit alpha (PRKACA) has been reported in 35% to 65% of cases of cortisol-producing adenomas (CPAs). We aimed to compare the clinical characteristics and transcriptome analysis between PRKACA L206R mutants and wild-type CPAs in Korea.
Methods
We included 57 subjects with CPAs who underwent adrenalectomy at Seoul National University Hospital. Sanger sequencing for PRKACA was conducted in 57 CPA tumor tissues. RNA sequencing was performed in 13 fresh-frozen tumor tissues.
Results
The prevalence of the PRKACA L206R mutation was 51% (29/57). The mean age of the study subjects was 42±12 years, and 87.7% (50/57) of the patients were female. Subjects with PRKACA L206R mutant CPAs showed smaller adenoma size (3.3±0.7 cm vs. 3.8±1.2 cm, P=0.059) and lower dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels (218±180 ng/mL vs. 1,511±3,307 ng/mL, P=0.001) than those with PRKACA wild-type CPAs. Transcriptome profiling identified 244 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between PRKACA L206R mutant (n=8) and wild-type CPAs (n=5), including five upregulated and 239 downregulated genes in PRKACA L206R mutant CPAs (|fold change| ≥2, P<0.05). Among the upstream regulators of DEGs, CTNNB1 was the most significant transcription regulator. In several pathway analyses, the Wnt signaling pathway was downregulated and the steroid biosynthesis pathway was upregulated in PRKACA mutants. Protein-protein interaction analysis also showed that PRKACA downregulates Wnt signaling and upregulates steroid biosynthesis.
Conclusion
The PRKACA L206R mutation in CPAs causes high hormonal activity with a limited proliferative capacity, as supported by transcriptome profiling.
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