The RET E616Q Variant is a Gain of Function Mutation Present in a Family with Features of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia 2A

William Grey, Rosaline Hulse, Anna Yakovleva, Dilyana Genkova, Ben Whitelaw, Ellen Solomon, Salvador J. Diaz-Cano, Louise Izatt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The REarranged during Transfection (RET) proto-oncogene is a receptor tyrosine kinase involved in growth and differentiation during embryogenesis and maintenance of the urogenital and nervous systems in mammals. Distinct mutations across hotspot RET exons can cause Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2A (MEN2A) characterised by development of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), phaeochromocytoma (PCC) and primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), with a strong correlation between genotype and phenotype. Here, we report a 42-year-old man presented in the clinic with a unilateral PCC, with subsequent investigations revealing a nodular and cystic thyroid gland. He proceeded to thyroidectomy, which showed bilateral C-cell hyperplasia (CCH) without evidence of MTC. His brother had neonatal Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). Genetic testing revealed the presence of a heterozygous variant of unknown significance (VUS) in the cysteine-rich region of exon 10 in the RET gene (c.1846G>C, p.E616Q), in both affected siblings and their unaffected mother. Exon 10 RET mutations are known to be associated with HSCR and MEN2. Variants in the cysteine-rich region of the RET gene, outside of the key cysteine residues, may contribute to the development of MEN2 in a less aggressive manner, with a lower penetrance of MTC. Currently, a VUS in RET cannot be used to inform clinical management and direct future care. Analysis of RETE616Q reveals a gain of function mutant phenotype for this variant, which has not previously been reported, indicating that this VUS should be considered at risk for future clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Early online date5 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • C-cell hyperplasia
  • Hirschsprung
  • MEN2A
  • Phaeochromocytoma
  • RET proto-oncogene


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