Neoplasias endocrinas múltiples: un modelo clínico para aplicar técnicas de genética molecular
Multiple endocrine neoplasias (MEN) are syndromes inherited as autosomal dominant. The application of the techniques of molecular biology has made possible the identification of the genes causing MEN 1 and 2. The gene responsable for MEN 1 belongs to the family of tumor suppressor genes and encodes for a protein named MENIN whose function remains to be elucidated. The identification of mutant MEN 1 gene carriers who are at risk of developing this syndrome requires frequent biochemical screening for the development of endocrine tumors. MEN 2 is a consequence of mutations in the Ret proto- oncogene (c-Ret). This gene encodes for a tyrosine kinase receptor thought to play a role in the development of neural crest- derived tissue. Members of kindred with either MEN 2A or MEN 2B should be screened by direct DNA testing early in life for mutations in c-Ret. Those with the mutation should be advised to have thyroidectomy at five years of age in children with MEN 2A and earlier in children with MEN 2B . Some cases of sporadic MTC are actually MEN 2A or Familial MTC after c-Ret testing is done, therefore routine application of this test is recommended in all cases of apparent sporadic MTC (Rev Méd Chile 2000; 128: 811-20).