BACKGROUND: Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at chromosome 11q13 has been demonstrated in multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN I) and sporadic parathyroid tumors, pituitary adenomas, and a few types of pancreatic endocrine tumors. Gastrinomas are the most common pancreatic endocrine tumor in MEN I. We hypothesized that all pancreatic endocrine tumors have LOH at 11q13, resulting in inactivation of the previously described tumor suppressor gene in this region. METHODS: We analyzed a sporadic gastrinoma, a MEN I- associated gastrinoma, and a nonfunctional pancreatic endocrine tumor from a patient with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease for LOH at seven loci at 11q13; D11S149, PYGM, D11S427, D11S546, SEA, D11S97, and D11S146. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We found LOH at 11q13 in all three tumors. The MEN I-associated gastrinoma we analyzed is the first tumor of this type to have LOH. This is also the first report of LOH at 11q13 in a pancreatic endocrine tumor from a patient with VHL. These findings suggest that the etiology of pancreatic endocrine tumor formation involves a common genetic pathway for sporadic, MEN I, and VHL tumors.
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