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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Immunology - Pediatrics and Child Health

B-RAF Mutant Alleles Associated with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a Granulomatous Pediatric Disease
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Author: Takeshi Satoh et al.

by Takeshi Satoh, Alexander Smith, Aurelien Sarde, Hui-chun Lu, Sophie Mian, Celine Trouillet, Ghulam Mufti, Jean-Francois Emile, Franca Fraternali, Jean Donadieu, Frederic Geissmann


Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) features inflammatory granuloma characterised by the presence of CD1a+ dendritic cells or ‘LCH cells’. Badalian-Very et al. recently reported the presence of a canonical V600EB-RAF mutation in 57% of paraffin-embedded biopsies from LCH granuloma. Here we confirm their findings and report the identification of two novel B-RAF mutations detected in LCH patients.

Methods and Results

Mutations of B-RAF were observed in granuloma samples from 11 out of 16 patients using ‘next generation’ pyrosequencing. In 9 cases the mutation identified was V600EB-RAF. In 2 cases novel polymorphisms were identified. A somatic 600DLATB-RAF insertion mimicked the structural and functional consequences of the V600EB-RAF mutant. It destabilized the inactive conformation of the B-RAF kinase and resulted in increased ERK activation in 293 T cells. The 600DLATB-RAF and V600EB-RAF mutations were found enriched in DNA and mRNA from the CD1a+ fraction of granuloma. They were absent from the blood and monocytes of 58 LCH patients, with a lower threshold of sequencing sensitivity of 1%–2% relative mutation abundance. A novel germ line T599AB-RAF mutant allele was detected in one patient, at a relative mutation abundance close to 50% in the LCH granuloma, blood monocytes and lymphocytes. However, T599AB-RAF did not destabilize the inactive conformation of the B-RAF kinase, and did not induce increased ERK phosphorylation or C-RAF transactivation.


Our data confirmed presence of the V600EB-RAF mutation in LCH granuloma of some patients, and identify two novel B-RAF mutations. They indicate that V600EB-RAF and 600DLATB-RAF mutations are somatic mutants enriched in LCH CD1a+ cells and absent from the patient blood. Further studies are needed to assess the functional consequences of the germ-line T599AB-RAF allele.