Genetics of parathyroid tumours.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), due to parathyroid tumours, may occur as part of a complex syndrome or as an isolated (nonsyndromic) disorder, and both forms can occur as familial (i.e. hereditary) or nonfamilial (i.e. sporadic) disease. Syndromic PHPT includes multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) types 1 to 4 (MEN1 to MEN4) and the hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumour (HPT-JT) syndrome. Syndromic and hereditary PHPT are often associated with multiple parathyroid tumours, in contrast to sporadic PHPT, in which single parathyroid adenomas are more common. In addition, parathyroid carcinomas may occur in ~15% of patients with the HPT-JT syndrome. MEN1 is caused by abnormalities of the MEN1 gene which encodes a tumour suppressor; MEN2 and MEN3 are due to mutations of the rearranged during transfection (RET) proto-oncogene, which encodes a tyrosine kinase receptor; MEN4 is due to mutations of a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDNK1B); and HPT-JT is due to mutations of cell division cycle 73 (CDC73), which encodes parafibromin. Nonsyndromic PHPT, which may be hereditary and referred to as familial isolated hyperparathyroidism, may also be due to MEN1, CDC73 or calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) mutations. In addition, ~10% of patients presenting below the age of 45 years with nonsyndromic, sporadic PHPT may have MEN1, CDC73 or CASR mutations, and overall more than 10% of patients with PHPT will have a mutation in one of 11 genes. Genetic testing is available and of value in the clinical setting, as it helps in making the correct diagnosis and planning the management of these complex disorders associated with parathyroid tumours.