Gene-specific somatic epigenetic mosaicism of FDFT1 underlies a non-hereditary localized form of porokeratosis

Sonoko Saito, Yuki Saito, Showbu Sato, Satomi Aoki, Harumi Fujita, Yoshihiro Ito, Noriko Ono, Takeru Funakoshi, Tomoko Kawai, Hisato Suzuki, Takashi Sasaki, Tomoyo Tanaka, Masukazu Inoie, Kenichiro Hata, Keisuke Kataoka, Kenjiro Kosaki, Masayuki Amagai, Kazuhiko Nakabayashi, Akiharu Kubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porokeratosis is a clonal keratinization disorder characterized by solitary, linearly arranged, or generally distributed multiple skin lesions. Previous studies showed that genetic alterations in MVK, PMVK, MVD, or FDPS—genes in the mevalonate pathway—cause hereditary porokeratosis, with skin lesions harboring germline and lesion-specific somatic variants on opposite alleles. Here, we identified non-hereditary porokeratosis associated with epigenetic silencing of FDFT1, another gene in the mevalonate pathway. Skin lesions of the generalized form had germline and lesion-specific somatic variants on opposite alleles in FDFT1, representing FDFT1-associated hereditary porokeratosis identified in this study. Conversely, lesions of the solitary or linearly arranged localized form had somatic bi-allelic promoter hypermethylation or mono-allelic promoter hypermethylation with somatic genetic alterations on opposite alleles in FDFT1, indicating non-hereditary porokeratosis. FDFT1 localization was uniformly diminished within the lesions, and lesion-derived keratinocytes showed cholesterol dependence for cell growth and altered expression of genes related to cell-cycle and epidermal development, confirming that lesions form by clonal expansion of FDFT1-deficient keratinocytes. In some individuals with the localized form, gene-specific promoter hypermethylation of FDFT1 was detected in morphologically normal epidermis adjacent to methylation-related lesions but not distal to these lesions, suggesting that asymptomatic somatic epigenetic mosaicism of FDFT1 predisposes certain skin areas to the disease. Finally, consistent with its genetic etiology, topical statin treatment ameliorated lesions in FDFT1-deficient porokeratosis. In conclusion, we identified bi-allelic genetic and/or epigenetic alterations of FDFT1 as a cause of porokeratosis and shed light on the pathogenesis of skin mosaicism involving clonal expansion of epigenetically altered cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-912
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2024 May 2


  • FDFT1
  • cholesterol
  • clonal expansion
  • epigenetic mosaicism
  • germline variant
  • mevalonate pathway
  • porokeratosis
  • promoter hypermethylation
  • somatic variant
  • statin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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