SMARCB1 is mutated in most rhabdoid tumors (RTs) developing in the kidney (RTK) and various other organs. Focal deletions found in patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome show breakpoints within clusters of segmental duplications (SDs), and those in some RTs show breakpoints in the 22q11-q12 region. SDs are known to cause focal deletion mediated by non-allelic homologous recombination. The present study identified SMARCB1 alterations in all 30 RTKs, using SNP array CGH, MLPA, and sequence analyses. Twenty-eight tumors had a total of 51 breakpoints forming focal 22q deletion and/or uniparental disomy (22qUPD), and the other two had compound mutation with no breakpoints in 22q. Twenty-four (47.1%) of the 51 breakpoints were within SDs, and occurred in 16 (53.3%) of the 30 tumors. The association of breakpoints with SDs was found not only in focal deletion, but also in 22qUPD, indicating that SDs mediate the first and second hits (focal deletion) and the second hit (22qUPD) of SMARCB1 alteration. Of the 51 breakpoints, 14 were recurrent, and 10 of the 14 were within SDs, suggesting the presence of hotspots in the 22q11.2 region. One recurrent breakpoint outside SDs resided in SMARCB1, suggesting inactivation of the gene by out-of-frame fusion. The association between SDs and focal deletion has been reported in two other types of cancer. RTKs may be the third example of SD-associated tumors. Thus, the present study indicated that RTKs exploit genomic instability in the 22q11.1-11.2 SDs region, and 22qUPD caused by mitotic recombination may also be mediated by SDs.
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